Fact Check

Does This Photo Show a Real Zebra with Menorah Stripes?

Zebra stripes are cool ... question is whether they're THIS cool.

Published Dec. 23, 2019

Image Via Imgur
A viral image shows a real zebra that has stripes in the shape of a menorah.

The start of Hanukkah on Dec. 22, 2019, arrived online with an altered photograph of a zebra bearing stripes in the shape of a menorah.

This image has been on the internet since at least 2012, and though the underlying photograph of a zebra is real, the pictured zebra doesn't have menorah-shaped stripes. The original image (sans menorah) can be found on iStock, a stock image provider. It was taken at Kruger National Park in South Africa. The altered version has circulated widely throughout the years, with a tendency to resurface prominently around Hanukkah.

Lighting candles is central to the celebration of the eight-day Jewish holiday, during which a candle is lit each night to commemorate what is known as the Miracle of Hanukkah. As NPR reports, "Jews celebrate their victory over a tyrant king and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. As the story goes, a small quantity of oil to light the Temple's menorah miraculously lasted eight days."


Marticke, Emma. "Your Burning Hanukkah Questions, Answered."   CNN. 23 December 2019.

National Public Radio. "The Oil that Fueled the Hanukkah Miracle."   25 December 2005.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

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