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Fake Three (Or Seven) Headed Snake Image

Outline
Circulating message claims that an attached image depicts a three headed (or seven headed) cobra found on a roadway somewhere in India.



Brief Analysis
The image does not depict a real three headed snake. A photograph of a normal, one-headed snake has been digitally manipulated to create the fake three-headed version. The original photograph used in the manipulation can be seen in the detailed analysis below. A later variant uses the same source image to depict a snake with no less than seven heads.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.





Last updated: 9th August 2012
First published: 2nd March 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Three Headed Cobra

Three Headed Snake Found Live In India
This snake was found somewhere in India...but what type of snake is this? This is scary



Detailed Analysis
This message, which circulates via social media websites, and email, claims that an accompanying photograph depicts a three-headed snake found on a roadway somewhere in India.

However, the image does not show a real three-headed snake. In fact, the image is a digitally manipulated version of the following photograph that depicts a normal, one-headed snake:

Source Image - Cobra on Road

Clearly, some prankster has simply taken the above photograph and added the extra heads using Adobe Photoshop or another digital manipulation tool.

The original image can be seen on the Canvas image sharing website and elsewhere on the Internet.

Such digital tomfoolery is not unprecedented. Several other fake multiple-headed snake images have circulated in recent years, including ones supposedly depicting five headed cobras.

Animals, including snakes, are indeed sometimes born with more than one head, a condition known as Polycephaly. However, the fake picture included in this hoax message does not depict a genuine case of Polycephaly.

Update:
Some months after the above image began circulating, yet another image appeared online, this time featuring the same Cobra with seven heads rather than just three. The new version uses the same source image as shown above and, of course, is as equally fake as its predecessor:
Fake Seven Headed Snake


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Original Cobra Image
Five Headed Cobra Hoax Images
We' the 2-headed snake's long odd life ends
Polycephaly



Last updated: 9th August 2012
First published: 2nd March 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer