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Monkey Orchid

Outline
Circulating images are claimed to depict an orchid flower that resembles the face of a monkey or baboon.



Brief Analysis
Such orchids do exist and the circulating photographs are genuine. The orchids grow in their natural state at high elevations in Columbian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian forests, but have also been cultivated elsewhere.

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Last updated: November 9, 2012
First published: November 9, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Monkey Orchid



Detailed Analysis
A number of images depicting a flower with the face of a monkey are currently circulating via social media posts and the blogosphere. Many commentators have suggested that the images have been "photoshopped".

However, the images are genuine and depict a real flower. The botanical name of the pictured orchid is Dracula gigas. Another orchid species, Dracula simia, also has flowers that resemble monkey faces. The name pays homage to the "monkey" resemblance (simia) as well as to a resemblance to the flowing cape and long fangs of the Dracula character in popular fiction.

These orchid species grow in their natural state in Colombian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian forests at high elevations are thus not often encountered by people in the wild. However, collectors have cultivated the plants elsewhere.


Another photograph of this wonderful plant
Monkey face orchid

Image courtesy: Columbus GV Team, on Flick

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References

Dracula gigas
Dracula simia
The Amazing Monkey Orchid

Last updated: November 9, 2012
First published: November 9, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen

About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer