The South Texas Hunting Association posted the photo to Facebook on Thursday of Markcuz Rangel holding the animal he said weighs 13 pounds. I for one, have never, EVER seen anything like it. I couldn't decide if it was real or not, so I put on my detective cap and got to work.
The viral images in question were shared by the South Texas Hunting Association Facebook page (below) along with the caption: “Wanted to share a monster bullfrog we got yesterday afternoon at one of our fishing ponds in South Texas ranch located in Batesville tx 13lb [5.8 kilograms] monster frog!!!” Since it was uploaded last Thursday, it’s been shared over 250,000 times and thousands of comments, most of which say something like “holy sh*t!”
Now according to Herps of Texas, the largest frog species in the US reaches between 3.5 to 6 inches and this photo is drawing a lot of skepticism. From the photo, it looks like the frog is nearly as big as Rangel so I can see why people doubt it's real! I guess that's what my question is: Is this frog really as large as it appears? , Steve Lightfoot, official spokesman for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, doesn’t think so. Read on to find out why.
“The picture optical illusion created by extending frog toward the camera — similar to what you see with fishermen holding up fish to make them appear larger,” Steve Lightfoot told the Houston Chronicle. “Still a big bullfrog, though.”
So there you have it - the photo is real, but the angle is misleading. What's happening in the picture is actually what I now know is called “forced perspective”. The forced perspective technique manipulates our human perception with the use of optical illusions to make objects appear larger, smaller, farther, or closer than they actually are.
Just for fun - I included a few more examples of forced perspective, now we know - question what you see on the internet, not everything is quite what it seems!
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