Fact Check

Real 1930 Pic of 'Hoggie,' Legendary Hogganfield Loch Monster?

"Finally, something with a mouth bigger than my wife’s," one Threads user commented.

Published May 6, 2024

 (Imgur user @iceage2012)
Image courtesy of Imgur user @iceage2012
Claim:
A photograph shared in early May 2024 was captured in 1930 and showed "Hoggie," a legendary Hogganfield Loch monster.

In early May 2024, a photograph?allegedly captured in 1930 and purportedly showing "Hoggie," a legendary loch monster in Scotland, went viral on social media. "The famous photo taken on this day in 1930 of 'Hoggie,' the legendary Hogganfield Loch monster which was finally captured after many years of folk doubting its existence," a post?shared on Threads read. "Lochness Monster," one 9GAG post captioned the photograph.

(Threads user @historicillustrations)

The photograph also spread on?Facebook, TikTok,?Imgur, and?iFunny.

However,?the image was generated using AI software, so we have rated it as Fake.?

TinEye reverse-image search results indicated that users didn't begin sharing the image in October 2023. Moreover, the viral photo had numerous tell-tale signs of being AI-generated. For instance, when we zoomed in the photograph, we noticed the people's faces were blurred and deformed.

(Threads user @historicillustrations)

The more we zoomed in the photograph, the more evident it was that it was created using AI-powered software.??

(Threads user @historicillustrations))

A tool designed to help detect AI-generated imagery,?Is It AI?,?indicated the image was highly likely to have been created using artificial intelligence. Hive, another?AI detector, concluded with 100% certainty that the image was AI.

(Hive AI Detector)

Beyond the fact that the image was fabricated, we weren't able to find any evidence that "Hoggie, the Loch Hogganfield monster," even exists as a myth in Scotland (like "Nessie," the infamous "Loch Ness monster").

We have fact-checked many other viral AI-generated images.?In April 2024 we debunked a vintage, black-and-white photo allegedly showing members of the Rothschild family standing next to a "demon." We have also investigated whether a picture that went viral online in May 2024 authentically showed an abandoned McDonald's restaurant in Pripyat, Ukraine, near the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster.

To avoid being tricked by AI-generated images, check out our advice here.

Sources

Hardinges, Nick. "Rothschild Family Posed with 'Demon' in B&W Vintage Photo?" Snopes, 1 May 2024, //fact-check/rothschild-family-demon-photo/.

Lee, David Emery, Jessica. "4 Tips for Spotting AI-Generated Pics." Snopes, 16 Apr. 2023, //articles/464595/artificial-intelligence-media-literacy/.

Liles, Jordan. "Real Pic of Abandoned McDonald's Near Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant?" Snopes, 3 May 2024, //fact-check/abandoned-mcdonalds-chernobyl/.

Aleksandra Wrona is a reporting fellow for Snopes, based in the Warsaw area.