Is This a Photograph of a ‘Rainbow Butterfly’?

If this were a new brand of candy, we'd definitely give it a try.

  • Published 8 October 2018


A photograph shows a multi-colored 'rainbow butterfly.'



The world is full of amazingly beautiful and colorful creatures, yet for some reason social media is overflowing with photographs of fakes rather than the real thing. We’ve come across doctored images, for example, of faux animals as diverse of stocky giraffes, baby dragons, and impossibly large snakes.

Another entry in that list dates from October 2018, when we encountered a photograph purportedly capturing a vibrant, multi-colored “rainbow butterfly”:

This image was shared by “Pictures in History,” a social media account that frequently posts doctored or miscaptioned images. In this instance the picture was presented with the caption “A Rainbow Butterfly. Wow!”:

Of course, this image doesn’t actually portray a real “rainbow butterfly.” This is a digitally manipulated picture created by adding different hues to the wings of a slightly less colorful and common monarch butterfly:

Although we’re not sure who snapped the original photograph, it has been online since at least 2008.
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