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Hoax Alert

Fake News: NO 5-Meter Tall Human Skeleton Unearthed In Australia

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 26 Aug 2019 12:28:47 Z)

Was a 5-meter tall human skeleton unearthed In Australia? No, that's not true: the story was made up in 2015 by a Canadian entertainment website that makes a living by publishing fictional stories often involving weird crimes, bizarre sex acts or strange accidents. It is not real. Since then the story has been copied by a variety of unreliable websites with some of them adding more (digitally manipulated) images to it.

The story originated from an article (archived here) where it was published byWorld News Daily Report on July 28, 2015 under the title "5-meter Tall Human Skeleton Unearthed In Australia". It opened:

Alice Springs | What could be the largest human skeleton ever discovered has been unearthed by a team of archeologists from the University of Adelaide at the Uluru archeological site near Ayers rock in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, reports the Adelaide Herald this morning.

The gigantic hominid specimen that measures an incredible 5.3 meters tall (17 foot and 4 inches) was discovered near the ancient ruins of the only megalithic civilization ever discovered in Australia, which makes the discovery twice as puzzling admits professor Hans Zimmer of the University of Adelaide.

"The discovery of the Uluru archeological site last year already took us by surprise, but this new find is just jaw-dropping" he admits, visibly dumbfounded.

"Theoretically, a five-meter-tall hominid cannot exist. How did this occur? How is this possible. Although this discovery is fascinating, we are left with more questions than answers" he concedes.

Screenshot of https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/5-meter-tall-human-skeleton-unearthed-in-australia/

There is no newspaper currently in publication (or in 2015) named the Adelaide Herald so there is no sourcing for this report.

The website World News Daily Report is a humor website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

On March 20, 2019 the site added a new header that included the slogan "Where facts don't matter" to make it clearer to casual visitors the published content is fictional:


The site often uses images stolen without attribution from real news websites, sometimes showing real people who have nothing to do with the story, for example here:

Woman Says Newborn Photo Stolen for Satirical Fake News Story

The images for this particular story were stolen from a 2012 Reuters report about a mammoth skeleton being excavated in France:

Reuters Pictures - FRANCE-MAMMOTH/

FRANCE-MAMMOTH/ - RTR3A63M A French archaeologist works to finish up the excavation of a preserved mammoth skeleton at a quarry site in Changis-sur-Marne, East of Paris A French archaeologist from the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) works to finish up the excavation of remains from a preserved woolly mammoth skeleton, nicknamed 'Helmut' by the excavation team and estimated to date from 125,000 to 200,000 years ago, at a quarry site in Changis-sur-Marne, East of Paris, November 8, 2012.

A copied version of the story that appeared later (archived here) uses a different image:

5-meter Tall Human Skeleton Unearthed In Australia!

The gigantic hominid specimen that measures an incredible 5.3 meter tall (17 foot and 4 inches) was discovered near the ancient ruins of the only megalithic civilization ever discovered in Australia, which makes the discovery twice as puzzling admits professor Hans Zimmer of the University of Adelaide.

That image is a digitally manipulated version of this image from an archaeological dig in Iran in 2010:

Skeleton of a female warrior

World News Daily Report is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes worldnewsdailyreport.com as:

A website that publishes hoaxes and made-up stories that are often widely shared and mistaken for news.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

About Lead Stories

Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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