Fact Check

Was a Giant Skeleton Uncovered in Saudi Arabia?

Gas exploration in Saudi Arabia reportedly uncovered human remains of gigantic proportions.

Published Jun 21, 2004

The skeleton of a giant human was uncovered during gas exploration in Saudi Arabia.

Although the scriptural writings of many religions include tales of races of giant men who lived long ago, a viral message and its accompanying photograph are not examples of archaeological proof of those accounts:

Recent gas exploration activity in the south east region of the Arabian desert uncovered a skeletal remains of a human of phenomenal size. This region of the Arabian desert is called the Empty Quarter, or in Arabic, 'Rab-Ul-Khalee'. The discovery was made by the Aramco Exploration team. As God states in the Quran that He had created people of phenomenal size the like of which He has not created since. These were the people of Aad where Prophet Hud was sent. They were very tall, big, and very powerful, such that they could put their arms around a tree trunk and uproot it. Later these people, who were given all the power, turned against God and the Prophet and transgressed beyond all boundaries set by God. As a result they were destroyed.

Ulema's of Saudi Arabia believe these to be the remains of the people of Aad. Saudi Military has secured the whole area and no one is allowed to enter except the ARAMCO personnel. It has been kept in secrecy, but a military helicopter took some pictures from the air and one of the pictures leaked out into the internet in Saudi Arabia. See the attachment and note the size of the two men standing in the picture in comparison to the size of the skeleton!!

The image displayed above was taken from Worth1000 (now DesignCrowd), a site devoted to hosting contests in which entrants show off their skills at manipulating photographs using digital editing programs. This particular picture was an entry from one of the site's "Archaeological Anomalies" competitions, in which entrants vied to create the most realistic archaeological hoaxes: "Your job is to show a picture of an archaeological discovery that looks so real, had it not appeared at Worth1000, people might have done a double take."

The basis for this image was a real photograph of an excavation site near Hyde Park, New York, where scientists were working to uncover the skeleton of a mastodon. Someone then linked the altered version of the image used for the Worth1000 contest entry with a fictitious backstory based on the Islamic account of the Prophet Hud, creating the hoax quoted above — which spread especially far after being published as a seemingly real news article on the web site of The New Nation, described as "Bangladesh's Independent News Source."

A May 2007 blog entry entitled "Bhima's son Gadotkach like skeleton found" (and attributed to a 22 April 2004 Times of India article) repeated the hoax, with the locale switched from Saudi Arabia to northern India and additional skeleton photos included.

In early 2010, the same basic theme was recirculated with more hoax photos of a similar ilk, usually some version of a 1993 photograph of a University of Chicago dig for dinosaur bones in Niger, into which someone has added an image of a large human skull and accompanied by some variation of the following text:

Nephilim Found?

Giants found in Greece? (PHOTOS)

Gen. 6: 4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. (Greek gods of mythology?

Numbers 13:33 There we saw the GIANTS (the descendants of Anak came from the GIANTS); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."

In any case, we don't need to know the specific origins of these photos to definitively determine that they're fakes. The square-cube law makes it a physical impossibility that humanoids of the size represented by these bones could ever have existed.


Owen, James.   "'Skeleton of Giant' Is Internet Photo Hoax."     National Geographic News.   14 December 2007.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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