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'Crabzilla'- Giant Crab Hoax Image Has Internet Abuzz


A circulating aerial image appears to depict a gigantic crab lurking just off the coast of Whitstable in the UK.

Brief Analysis

The image is a hoax. The giant crab has been added to a photograph of the Whitstable shoreline taken from Bing maps. The fake crab image was first posted to the Weird Whitstable blog in 2013. Another giant crab image was posted to the site later in the same year. And, not surprisingly, there have been no other credible reports or images of the giant crab.


Detailed Analysis

Giant Crab Image Circulating Rapidly

The interwebs are all abuzz concerning a rather compelling image that appears to depict a gigantic crab - quickly dubbed 'Crabzilla' - just offshore from the seaside town of Whitstable in the UK. The image has caused considerable speculation and has even been featured in various mainstream news reports.

The giant crab image first surfaced in 2013 via the Weird Whitstable blog, a site that bills itself as 'an online journal of the weird in Whitstable'. Another picture of a giant crab emerging from the water below two young fishermen was published on the same blog later in 2013.

The blog is run by the artist Quinton Winter. Winter claims that he was initially sceptical when a site visitor sent him the original aerial shot but became convinced after seeing a giant crab himself. So far, Winter is sticking by his story.

Image is Fake - Source Photograph Taken From Bing Maps

But, not surprisingly, the image is the result of digital tomfoolery. As hoax-debunker Craig from points out, the source image used in the giant crab picture was taken from Bing maps.

A close examination of the two images reveals that the position of boats, cars, sandbars, and other components are identical in both pictures. Clearly, someone quite skilled in digital manipulation has simply added a picture of an ordinary sized crab to the Bing Maps photograph to make it appear that the crab was gigantic.

And, rather tellingly, there are no other photographs or credible reports about such giant crabs around Whitstable or anywhere else. Thus, the image and back-story is just a rather clever prank.

Last updated: October 14, 2014
First published: October 14, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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