English, Fake News

A digitally edited picture is shared as a real image of a three-headed snake


An image of a three-headed snake is being shared on social media. The post claims this is a marvellous darshan (view/glimpse) of a three-headed snake. Let’s fact-check this image through this article.

Claim: A marvellous view of a three-headed snake.

Fact: This image is digitally altered; the original image of a normal, one-headed snake which has been edited multiple times to make it look like a multi-headed snake. Similar such editing has been done in the past too. This is an old internet hoax which has resurfaced through this post. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

Performing a reverse image search on the internet led to multiple web links with the same image. The image in the viral post has been circulating on the internet for a long time. These posts can be seen here, here, and here.

The original image of a normal single-headed snake has been digitally altered to look like a three-headed snake and sometimes even like a ten-headed snake. The archived version of the original image was uploaded to an image-sharing website canv.as seen here.

Various fact-checking websites debunked the image of a multiple-headed snake multiple times over the years.

In nature, animals are sometimes born with multiple heads. This condition is known as Polycephaly. In 2019, The Guardian reported a rare two-headed snake named double-Dave found in the US. The report says, ‘The condition of having more than one head is known as polycephaly and happens in much the same way that conjoined twins are formed: an embryo that has begun to split into identical twins stops before fully dividing.’ A national geographic article on double-headed snakes explains the difficulties faced by a double-headed snake and why it is hard for them to survive.

To sum up, a digitally edited picture of a three-headed snake, a relatively old internet hoax, is shared as real in the viral post.


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