They Might Be Giants: Investigating Online Claims of Genuinely Gigantic Humans Bones

They Might Be Giants: Investigating Online Claims of Genuinely Gigantic Humans Bones

In November 1868, a 10-foot-tall mummified man crafted out of stone was planted on William Newell’s farm near Cardiff, New York. It was uncovered almost a year later on October 16 by workers digging a new well. This now-infamous hoax known as the Cardiff Giant perpetrated by tobacco dealer George Hull sprang out of his disbelief in scriptural accounts that “there were giants in the earth” thousands of years ago. But belief in ancient giants hasn’t vanished completely in our modern world. Many accounts are still touted as fact, but in reality the evidence is merely the product of modern-day hoaxers and misidentified artifacts.

You can find websites claiming photographic proof of giant skeletons unearthed around the world. One Creationist museum even has an enormous human femur on display. There has been a lot of buzz explaining these objects as proof of a race referred to as the Nephilim Giants as mentioned in the Old Testament, but if you’re looking for concrete evidence, all of these things fall flat when examined closely.

At the Mount Blanco Fossil Museum, a 47” femur bone is on display from an archaeological site in Turkey. Well, not exactly. It’s the handiwork of the museum’s curator, fossil restorationist Joe Taylor, who was “commissioned to this anatomically correct, and to scale, human femur.” That’s right: the real giant femur claimed to have been discovered is just a personal account in a letter. As for photos circulating of a man holding a similar femur bone, you can buy your own exact replica from Taylor for the special price of $450.


But wait, you say, I’ve seen photographs of whole skeletons at archaeological sites! You very well might have, and there are quite a few floating around in cyberspace. But there’s just one problem with them: they’re not real.

Let’s take a look at one of the most popular images. You can find it on many websites mentioning the existence of giants.

This photo has been around for almost 10 years now. It was an entry for the 2002 Archaeological Anomalies contest on the website Worth1000. So, what would the photograph look like before it was photoshopped? It was a Cornell University dig site in New York State where the bones of a mastodon were found.

Here is another popular image showing excavation of an enormous human skeleton. Beside it is a 1993 photograph from a dinosaur dig in Niger, Africa, by the University of Chicago. Let’s see if you can spot the difference.

2003 Kentucky newspaper article on larger-than-normal Indian bones

So, does this mean that giants of the past are all legends and myths? Not necessarily. A few dozen articles from Ohio do exist, reporting the discovery of “giant” skeletons attributed to ancient Native American cultures, not biblical superhumans. And when they say “giants,” these historical accounts mention skeletons in the range of 7 to 10 feet tall. It’s entirely possible that a tribe of Indians were taller than the average person, but that doesn’t make them giants, unless, of course, we feel like classifying most basketball players in that category.

As much as we might like stories of the Big Friendly Giant, Paul Bunyan, or even Goliath, that doesn’t mean that men and women the height of the Empire State Building ever actually existed. Like many tales, the truth can get stretched out of proportion over time. That doesn’t mean giants didn’t walk the earth in their own right. It just means that we have to be a little less imaginative when we hear the word “giant.”


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  1. Pingback: Not True: Smithsonian Admits to Destroying Giant Skeletons

  2. Jay Hall

    02/24/2015 at 11:49 AM

    I am Asst. Math Prof. at Howard College in West TX. I was a Geology major before I switched to Math and I have 53 credit hours in various fields of science.
    I have recently written a book defending a youthful planet based on history, philosophy, geology and bilology:

    Your comments (POS/NEG) or thoughts would be most welcome.
    Regards, Jay Hall M.S.
    p.s.: I saw my 1st moon rock @ the Smithsonian.

  3. William Benner

    08/29/2015 at 6:48 PM

    Thank you for helping me put things in perspective, for I have gotten so tired of people who think PhotoShop and other proven fakes are the real deal. I do believe there were giants, but not HUGE giants. However, there is bit of evidence of a GIGANTIC FOOTPRINT found in Africa, that I am not sure how to conclude if it fake or not…care to help? here is link of one of the pictures of it….

    This one really confuses me, for I have not found a way to debunk it, but IT CAN’T BE REAL! Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks!

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