Sometimes, the weird picture is REAL

I’ve long held that NO amount of photo evidence is going to be good enough to prove UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, and the like. Photos can be manipulated so easily and often are, just for fun and for purposeful hoaxing. But, sometimes the pictures ARE real. Here is a neat essay by Joe Schwarcz.

Joe Schwarcz: Every picture tells a story – sometimes they’re whoppers.

Pictures don’t lie, right? Of course they do. And they were deceiving us long before Photoshop made the manipulation of images almost child’s play. Today, nobody would bat an eye at a ghostly image of Abraham Lincoln standing behind his griefstricken widow, apparently comforting her. But back in the 1860s when William Mumler produced the first “spirit photographs,” the public was stunned. These photos appeared to show dead relatives hovering around the living subject who had posed for the picture. Photography was magical enough, so it didn’t seem such a far stretch that the camera could see things that the human eye could not.

With such ample historical evidence about photographic manipulation, it’s surprising how few people question the authenticity of a series of photographs being circulated on the Internet purporting to show the results of a student’s science fair experiment. The pictures depict plants supposedly watered either with microwaved water, or with water that has been heated on a stove top. And guess what! The microwave-watered plants wither while the others flourish!

Source: Montreal Gazette

Oh, there have been so many photo hoaxes… this is one of my favorites: Louisiana Swamp Monster. And for a while, we weren’t sure if the cyclops shark was real. But it was!

Photograph by: Abdelhak Senna, AFP/Getty Images

Yes, those tree climbing goats are real too.

The value of photos lies in giving us a clue that something might be worth looking into. They can suggest that the thing is real but so many questions CAN’T be answered from a picture. (Unexplained Blobjects) So, we end up with orbs, blobsquatches, blurfos and strange questionable images without adequate context.

What to do? Be skeptical. The first thought ought to be the most obvious, if it looks weird, it might be faked. Then again…things can get weird for real. That’s what makes it fun.

For more on recent hoaxes of all kinds, check out our hoax category.