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'Giant Fukushima Mutant Dog' Picture

Outline
Circulating Facebook message claims that a massive dog featured in an attached image is a mutant created in-vitro by infusing maternal cells with Fukushima irradiated male DNA. The message links to a longer story about the mutant dog presented as a news article.

Word on the button

© Depositphotos.com/ icetray



Brief Analysis
The message is a hoax. The image does not depict a real dog, mutant or otherwise. Instead, it shows a sculpture by New York based artist Peter Coffin. The sculpture was part of an exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC. Topekas News, the site that published the fake story, is known for producing utterly fanciful nonsense disguised as news articles.

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Example

Picture of a giant Fukushima mutant dog has wowed social media.  According to various sources, the dog was bred in Japan using in-vitro techniques.  The gametic maternal cells were infused with Fukushima irradiated male DNA, then the eggs were grown in vitro.


Detailed Analysis


A message featuring an image of a gigantic dog is currently generating interest as it makes its way around Facebook. According to the message, the massive pooch is a mutant born of radiation taken from the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant.  The circulating message links to a longer article published on Topekasnews.com.

Supposedly, the dog is the result of a scientific experiment in which maternal cells were infused with Fukushima irradiated male DNA and grown in-vitro.

However, not surprisingly, the claims in the message and article are utter nonsense. The dog is not a radiation produced giant mutant. In fact, it is not a real, living dog at all. The image depicts a sculpture by New York base artist Peter Coffin.  The work was part of the artist's Here & There exhibition at the  Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC.  The exhibition ran from June to October 2013.

A Washington Post article about the exhibition noted:
Some of Peter Coffin’s work is anything but subtle. The showstopper of the Hirshhorn exhibition is a lifelike sculpture of a giant Great Dane that seemingly floats one inch above the floor, thanks to hidden pins that support its massive bulk.

With the dimensions of a small horse, the oversize pooch boasts penetrating blue eyes and a glossy black pelt. Fabricated by a taxidermist, not Coffin, the sculpture is covered with pony hide stretched over a carved, dog-shaped armature. Just like a real animal, its coat must be brushed periodically to maintain its gorgeous sheen.

The dog’s visual impact is hard to overstate. Traffic jams form in the gallery from folks whipping out cellphone cameras, and the museum encourages visitors to upload their own snaps of the dog to its photo-sharing Web site.
Although it presents itself as a news site, Topekas News specializes in publishing fanciful nonsense. Giant creatures resulting from Fukushima radiation are seemingly a favourite topic for the site's fictional stories.

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Last updated: November 7, 2013
First published: November 7, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Giant Fukushima Mutant Dog Wows Social Media
Peter Coffin: Here & There - Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
‘Peter Coffin: Here and There’ at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Giant Mutant Tibetan Mastiff Found in Russia, Born of Fukushima Waters
Hoax - Picture of 'World's Largest Tortoise