Debunking hoaxes and exposing scams since 2003!

Jump To: Example    Detailed Analysis   Comments   References

'Blue Tiger' Picture on Facebook

Jump To: Example    Detailed Analysis   Comments   References


Circulating picture depicting a blue coloured tiger is described as a "semi-hypothetical coloration morph of a tiger" known as a Maltese or blue tiger.

Brief Analysis

The tiger in the picture is not really blue. Deviantart user silentjustice has taken an image of a normal colored tiger and changed its colouration in an image manipulation program. Sightings of the possibly mythical Maltese or blue tiger have occasionally been reported over the last century, but there is yet no compelling evidence that the tigers actually exist. And, as the caption clearly notes, the picture is an artist's impression.



Bookmark and Share

related Links

Related Links

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. Learn how to stay safe online with Hoax-Slayer's comprehensive eBook:


Blue Tiger

The Maltese tiger, or blue tiger, is a semi-hypothetical coloration morph of a tiger, reported mostly in the Fujian Province of China. It is said to have bluish fur with dark grey stripes. Most of the Maltese tigers reported have been of the South Chinese subspecies. The South Chinese tiger today is critically endangered, and the "blue" alleles may be wholly extinct. Blue tigers have also been reported in Korea, home of Siberian tigers.

(artists impression)

Detailed Analysis

This rather compelling image of an intensely blue coloured tiger in water is currently circulating rapidly via social media posts. The image comes with a caption which describes the pictured tiger as a Maltese or blue tiger, "a semi-hypothetical coloration morph" that has been reported in China and elsewhere in Asia. Despite the fact that the description clearly identifies the picture as an "artist's impression" many people have asked if the depicted tiger is real.

Actaully, the pictured tiger is indeed real. But, as the original picture (shown below) reveals it is certainly not blue:

Original tiger picture
The same picture has been posted on a great many websites and has even graced the cover of a Zoology science book. The altered, blue version of the tiger picture was created by Deviantart user silentjustice and posted on the deviantart website. silentjustice clearly identifies the picture as being the result of photomanipulation and links to the source image, but, as often occurs, the image has escaped out of its original context and circulated elsewhere.

But, picture manipulation aside, do blue or Maltese tigers actually exist? Supposed sightings of this quite possibly mythical beast go back to 1910, when American missionary Harry R. Caldwell reported spotting a blue coloured tiger while in China's Fujian Province. Other sightings have been occasionally reported in the years since in Fujian Province and in Korea. However, the existance of the tiger is based entirely on eye-witness accounts. There are no known pelts or legitimate photographs of a blue tiger in existance.

And, if such tigers do exist, they would almost certainly not be the intense shade of bluish purple depicted in silentjustice's artwork. They would more likely have the sort of blue/grey colouring that some domestic cat breeds exhibit.

This lovely blue puss is not the only alternatively coloured Deviantart picture of a big cat to circulate of late. Another widely circulated photomanipulation supposedly shows a black lion. Again, a picture of an "ordinary" lion has been digitally recoloured.

Last updated: June 16, 2015
First published: September 27, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

Laboratory Studies in Zoology
Blue Tiger
Wikipedia - Maltese tigers
The myth of the maltese tiger
Maltese Tiger
Black Lion Facebook Hoax

More stories!

'Internet Capacity Warning' Phishing Scam
According to this email, which claims to be from the 'Support Department' at 'Information Technology Services', your internet capacity is 70% full and you therefore need to contact support to avoid problems.
Published: July 6, 2015

Kroger 'Free Coupons' Survey Scam
Message being distributed across Facebook claims that users can receive free coupons from American retailer Kroger just by sharing a message and visiting a third party website to claim their prize.
Published: June 16, 2015

Pointless Facebook Warning - Hackers Posting Insulting Messages or Sexual Content In Your Name
'Hacker' alert messages circulating on Facebook claim that, without your knowledge, hackers are posting insulting or sexual messages that appear to come from you onto your Facebook Timeline.
Published: June 3, 2015