Occasionally, against all odds, you'll see an interesting or even enjoyable picture on the Internet. But is it worth sharing, or just another Photoshop job that belongs in the digital trash heap? Check in here and find out if that viral photo deserves an enthusiastic "forward" or a pitiless "delete."
Baring the caption "Tree with spiraling roots," the above image shot to the top of Reddit's /r/pics page last Friday, becoming one of the section's most popular posts of the week. Even non-botanists, however, soon realized there was something suspicious about the oddly bark-less octopus tree.
In reality, the tree is the work of Swiss artist Sylvain Meyer, whose online gallery features this and other examples of his outdoor art. There's even a shot of Meyer putting his composition together, in case you were still unsure about the existence of tentacled pines.
Images via Twitter
As arachnologist Richard Vetter explained after a similar incident last year, it's extremely difficult to identify a spider species by its egg sac alone, as 43-year-old Maria Layton says she did this week.
"When I saw the cocoon [sic] it rang a bell and I thought I should check it so I googled it," Layton told The Telegraph. "I went through the images and there was an image which looked very similar to mine."
Typically, when one of these big, hairy spiders shows up overseas, it automatically gets labeled as a "deadly" Brazilian wandering spider without anyone identifying what genus or species the spider belongs to, Vetter said. And that's a shame, he said, because only one of the two genera of wandering spiders, Phoneutria, contains species that could actually pose a threat to humans. The other genus, Cupiennius, contains some big, but totally harmless, spiders.
Image via Twitter
Native Floridians may scoff at the hub-bub surrounding this (supposedly quite ordinary) golf dragon spotted last Friday, but the creature's prehistoric appearance had at least a few Facebook users questioning the picture's authenticity.
Presented as commentary on contemporary beauty standards, the argument made here is slightly undercut by the fact the picture was taken in 2004. As Snopes notes, the model is actually porn actress Aria Giovanni, born 22 years too late for a 1955 photo shoot.