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Last updated: July 4, 2012
First published: July 4, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer
This image, which depicts a beautiful golden horse with a shining coat along with two human companions is circulating via social media websites, blogs and email. The image's caption suggests that the animal comes from Turkey and may in fact be the most beautiful horse in the world.
Many commentators have suggested that the image is a "Photoshopped" hoax. It is possible that the image may have been digitally altered to increase the perceived beauty and attractiveness of the horse. (As happens constantly with images of human models). However, although the image may have been enhanced somewhat, there is no reason to doubt that it depicts a real horse. The horse has been identified as an Akhla-Teke, a breed renowned for its beauty and shining coat. A great many images of the breed can be found on the Internet, many of which show horses with a similar shiny, or metallic sheen to their coats. A Wikipedia entry on the breed notes:
The Akhal-Teke's most notable and defining characteristic is the natural metallic bloom of its coat. This is especially seen in the palominos and buckskins, as well as the lighter bays, although some horses "shimmer" more than others.
Moreover, other photographs of the same horse that clearly come from the same sequence can also by found online. The submarine in the background of one of the pictures identifies the location where the photographs were taken as the D-2 Narodovolets museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Other photographs of the D-2 Narodovolets museum show the very same submarine depicted in the photograph below. Thus, it is clear that the pictures were taken in Russia, not Turkey as implied in the message.
Where the horse is now, or who his owners are remains unclear. And, although he is certainly a very attractive animal, of course, his status as "most beautiful horse in the world" is entirely arbitrary.