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Issue 125 - February 2012 (2nd Edition) - Page 8

Praying Mother and Son Rock Formation

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Email message claims an attached image depicts a rock formation in Burma that resembles a mother and son praying by a lake.

Brief Analysis
The image is not a photograph of a real rock formation. In fact, it is an illustration in a Korean children's book.

Detailed analysis and references below example.
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Last updated: 7th February 2012
First published: 12 August 2005
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer

Example:(Submitted, August 2005)

A mãe e o filho.

Esta é uma formação rochosa na beira de um lago na Birmânia. Esta foto só é possível em um determinado período do ano, devido à luminosidade pela inclinação do sol.

Para conseguir melhor efeito visual, incline a cabeça para a esquerda até ver o reflexo da imagem juntar-se à própria imagem. Agora, fala sério: é muito lindo, não??? Coisas da natureza......

Image of praying mother and son rock formation

Detailed Analysis
This amazing image accompanies an email forward written in Portuguese. The message claims that the image depicts a rock formation on a lakeside in Burma. According to the message, the image depicts a praying mother and son and can be best viewed by tilting your head to the left.

Ayub, a Hoax-Slayer visitor, has been kind enough to translate the above message into English as follows:
This is a rock formation on the shores of a lake in Burma. It's only possible to view this image on a certain time of the year, due to the reflection of the angle of the sun. To view it better, tilt your head to your left as if you want to look at the image from a 90 Deg angle turned to the right and look at the reflection in the water joined together with the rock formation. Now, seriously isn't it pretty? Amazing nature.....
Another version circulates via an email with an attached Microsoft PowerPoint slide show that includes the following description in English:
This picture shows a rock on a sea in Birmania, it is only possible to see this once a year with a special angle of the sun and special light conditions. Bend your head to the left to see how spectacular it is.
The PowerPoint version shows horizontal and vertical views of the image and urges the recipient to "send this email to at least 10 persons".

The image has generated a lot of debate and speculation, with many people believing that it depicts a real rock formation. However, not surprisingly, the image is in fact a work of art and does not depict an actual landscape. The picture is a children's book illustration by renowned Korean artist Kim Jae-hong. The image and other similar illustrations in the sequence can be seen in photographs of the children's book displayed on a Korean blog post.

Download PowerPoint Version (279kb)

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Kim Jae-hong
Korean blog post (Google Translated from Korean to English)
Korean blog post (Original)

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Issue 125 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Protest Message - Live 'Tortoise' Souvenirs Sold in China
  2. Absurd Warning Claims That Monster Energy Drink Logo Hails Satan
  3. Facebook Photograph of Man Riding Motorbike Over Children's Hands
  4. IRS Penalty Phishing Scam
  5. Hoax - Share Photo to Raise Money to Help Abused Puppy
  6. Urban Legend - Rapist Hides in Back Seat at Garage
  7. Hoax - Indian Woman Gives Birth to Eleven Babies at Once
  8. Praying Mother and Son Rock Formation
  9. Pharmacy Spam Emails Purport to be From YouTube
  10. Caged Pigs Protest Message
  11. Protest Message Rails Against New Facebook Timeline
  12. Bogus Warning - Adobe Flash Player Update Messages in Zynga Games are Trojans
  13. Refugee Monthly Allowance From Australian Government Hoax
  14. Baby With Skin Rash Facebook Share Hoax
  15. Derbyshire Fairy Hoax