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Issue 106 - September 2010 - Page 18

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Olympic Tower 2016 - Rio Solar City Tower Design
  2. Canadian Refugee Pensions Protest Hoax
  3. Financial Ombudsman Services Scam Email
  4. Snake Inside Computer Photographs
  5. New Gifts For You Facebook Virus Warning
  6. Luxury Yacht With Supercar - Buy One Get One Free
  7. 'Dislike Button' Scam Targets Facebook Users
  8. Rachel Arlington Charity Hoax
  9. Multicoloured Roses - Happy Roses Photograph
  10. Girl Who Killed Herself Virus Warning Hoax
  11. Baby Shot With Brad Nailer Prayer Request
  12. Free Doritos Coupons Hoax
  13. Orphanage Trust Job Offer Scam
  14. Giant Headed Baby Money For Forwarding Hoax
  15. Parrot For Sale or Adoption Advance Fee Scams
  16. Imitinef Mercilet - Free Blood Cancer Medicine Advice Message
  17. Famous Violinist Joshua Bell Plays At Metro Station
  18. Furong Reservoir - Giant Man Eating Catfish Hoax
  19. 'Interesting Fact' About August 2010 - 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays
  20. Cindy Hogman (or Hogan) Prayer Request Email

Issue 106 Start Menu

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Furong Reservoir - Giant Man Eating Catfish Hoax

Outline
Email claims that attached photographs show a massive man-eating catfish caught in the Furong Reservoir in Huadu, China.



Brief Analysis
The claims in the message are untrue. The images are genuine but they do not show a catfish, man-eating or otherwise. Instead, they show a whale shark. Whale sharks are not considered harmful to humans.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 23rd August 2010
First published: 14th February 2009
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: It's Just a Catfish!

For all those crazy guys who go 'noodling' for catfish and stick their arms down the fish's throat!! This would be 'all the catfish you can eat.'

Each year, a few people were drowning or disappearing mysteriously in Huadu's Furong Reservoir. It was not until recently, when the son of a government official went swimming, in the reservoir and was drowned, that the secret was revealed.

It is a 3 meter long man-eating catfish whose head alone is 1 meter wide! After cutting up the catfish, people were surprised to find the remains of another man inside!

Swimming in the reservoir is now forbidden because it is feared another similar man-eating catfish is still lurking in the waters

Catfish 1

Catfish 1




Detailed Analysis
According to this email forward, the very large fish shown in the attached photographs is a man-eating catfish caught in the Furong Reservoir, a large lake located in China's Huadu District. The message claims that human remains were found inside the giant fish and suggests that it, and possibly other "catfish" like it, are responsible for the "mysterious" disappearances of people in the area.

However, the claims in the message are nonsense. The photographs themselves are genuine, but they do not depict a catfish, man-eating or otherwise. Instead, they show a whale shark. Whale sharks, which are the largest living fish, are filter feeders that live in the ocean. Despite their size, whale sharks are not considered harmful to humans. A Wikipedia entry about whale sharks notes:
This species, despite its size, does not pose significant danger to humans. Whale sharks are actually quite gentle and can play with divers. Divers and snorkelers can swim with this giant fish without risk apart from unintentional blows from the shark’s large tail fin
The following photographs, which are obviously part of the same series, show the whale shark being skinned and cut open to reveal the fish's entrails. They are generally left out of the prank email, presumably because the obvious lack of human remains inside the fish tend to "give the game away".

Cutting Up Whale Shark 1 Cutting Up Whale Shark 2

Thus, as is often the case, it seems that some unknown prankster has simply invented a tall tale to go with a set of interesting images. At first glance, whale sharks do have a passing resemblance to catfish, and it was perhaps this resemblance that sparked the idea of a "giant man-eating catfish" in the prankster's imagination.

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Whale Shark
Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)



Previous Article            Next Article

Issue 106 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Olympic Tower 2016 - Rio Solar City Tower Design
  2. Canadian Refugee Pensions Protest Hoax
  3. Financial Ombudsman Services Scam Email
  4. Snake Inside Computer Photographs
  5. New Gifts For You Facebook Virus Warning
  6. Luxury Yacht With Supercar - Buy One Get One Free
  7. 'Dislike Button' Scam Targets Facebook Users
  8. Rachel Arlington Charity Hoax
  9. Multicoloured Roses - Happy Roses Photograph
  10. Girl Who Killed Herself Virus Warning Hoax
  11. Baby Shot With Brad Nailer Prayer Request
  12. Free Doritos Coupons Hoax
  13. Orphanage Trust Job Offer Scam
  14. Giant Headed Baby Money For Forwarding Hoax
  15. Parrot For Sale or Adoption Advance Fee Scams
  16. Imitinef Mercilet - Free Blood Cancer Medicine Advice Message
  17. Famous Violinist Joshua Bell Plays At Metro Station
  18. Furong Reservoir - Giant Man Eating Catfish Hoax
  19. 'Interesting Fact' About August 2010 - 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays
  20. Cindy Hogman (or Hogan) Prayer Request Email