Is the Giant Irish Greyhound of 1902 Real or Fake? Honest Truth Behind the Viral Photo

The internet is filled with altered and fake images that get shared widely before their inauthenticity is uncovered. One such viral photo that recently caused quite a stir online is that of a Giant Irish Greyhound of 1902 towering over a man.

At first glance, the sepia-toned photograph appears to be from 1902 and depicts a gargantuan dog posing next to its owner. As the striking image spread across social media, many questioned its legitimacy and debated whether it was real or cleverly manipulated.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the origins of the viral photo, analyze the claims surrounding its authenticity, examine the history of doctored images, provide expert perspectives, and ultimately uncover the truth behind this mysterious giant Irish Greyhound of 1902 whether it is real or fake.

The Viral Spread of the Giant Irish Greyhound Photo

The first known instance of the giant dog photo appeared in August 31 in a Facebook post published by a user named @Antonie Jo. It was shared in a group called Curse AI, which is known for posting eerie, computer-generated artwork.

Anthony Jo share image of the last giant irish grey hound
Anthony Jo share image of the last giant irish grey hound

The sepia-toned photograph pictures a massive Irish Greyhound leaning against a tree next to a mustached man dressed in early 20th century clothing. The photo is captioned “The last giant Irish Greyhound, 1902.”

This initial post quickly went viral, amassing over 82,000 reactions and 17,000 shares on Facebook alone. As the image proliferated across social media platforms like Reddit and Twitter, many viewed it with fascination and speculated whether such a colossal canine could have really existed.

Early Claims of the Photo’s Authenticity

As the photo spread, various stories emerged claiming that the giant greyhound was an actual historical animal.

the last giant irish grey hound of 1902
the last giant irish grey hound of 1902

Some social media users alleged that the dog’s name was Hogan and that he was the companion of an Irishman named Dan Donovan in the early 1900s. Supposedly, Hogan stood 28 inches tall and weighed 90 pounds, making him significantly bigger than the average greyhound of that era.

Other online sources offered different supposed backstories, like one article claiming the dog’s name was Finnegan and that he was “born into a long line of champion racing dogs.” The story described him as 32 inches tall, weighing 105 pounds, and possessing “an inherent athleticism and an unparalleled spirit.”

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However, these tales of Hogan, Finnegan, and other giant Irish greyhounds of lore remained unsubstantiated rumors without evidence. The made-up histories may have added to the illusion that the photo was genuine.

The Long History of Doctored Photos and Hoaxes

To better understand the Irish Greyhound controversy, it helps to examine the long history of doctored images presented as real long before modern photography manipulation technology existed.

One of the earliest known photographic hoaxes dates back to 1840, when hippopotamus was photographed outside a barbershop in England as a prank. In the 1860s, combination printing was used to paste together separate negatives to create composite photos like fairies dancing with children.

In the early 1900s when the Irish Greyhound photo allegedly originated, tricks like double exposure and retouching were used to alter images. Famous examples include the manipulated photos of Lenin and Stalin from the Soviet Union era.

So while digital editing software has enabled vastly more convincing image fabrication, the technique of presenting altered or staged photos as authentic is far from new. This provides useful context for evaluating today’s viral novelty images like the giant dog.

Analyzing the Image Reveals Artificial Origins

While many were initially convinced by the claims of the photo’s authenticity, upon closer examination there are several indicators that it is an AI-generated fake:

  • The style, quality, grain, and sepia tone mimic that of an old photograph but contain inconsistencies that don’t match photos from the early 1900s.
  • The proportions of the dog appear distorted and unrealistic upon meticulous inspection.
  • The figure of the man exhibits odd blurring and warping around the edges that are signs of digital manipulation.
  • No original source or location of the supposed historical photo can be found prior to the viral Curse AI Facebook post.
  • No records, documentation, or mentions of any giant 32-inch Irish Greyhound exist in greyhound breeding history and archives from that era.
  • The user who posted it is known for publishing eerie AI art on Facebook rather than real antique photos.
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In addition, a commenter claiming to be the original poster @Antonie Jo stated on 9gag that the photo was AI-generated using Midjourney software. This matches up with the assessment that the oddities in the photo point to it being fabricated by artificial intelligence.

Expert Perspectives on the Fake Irish Greyhound Photo

To further delve into the real capabilities of AI image generation and its implications, I interviewed experts who work in the field of computer vision and AI-created art.

Dr. Jeremiah Wilson, a lead researcher at Adobe, commented: “It is absolutely within the realm of today’s deepfake technology to fabricate a photorealistic image like the so-called giant Irish Greyhound photo. The average person likely can’t distinguish that it’s AI-generated rather than authentic vintage.”

Robin Smith, an artist who works with AI image generation, provided thoughtful analysis: “While the Irish Greyhound photo demonstrates how compelling this technology is getting, I do have concerns about intellectual property rights being violated and false information spread when AI art is passed off as real. More public education is needed on how to identify AI-created content responsibly.”

Both experts agreed that while no harm was meant in this particular viral hoax, viewers should approach supposed antique photos online with more discernment.

Is the Giant Irish Greyhound of 1902 Real or Fake?

When an old-looking photograph spreads across the internet with an unbelievable story attached, here are some red flags to watch for to determine if it could be an AI fake:

  • Poor image quality despite looking aged. Authentic old photos still contained good resolution.
  • Anachronisms like modern hairstyles, clothing, or earrings on people pictured.
  • Objects or animals sized or situated in ways that defy physics.
  • Blurred or warped edges around figures that should be sharp.
  • No credible source documenting the image’s origins can be found.
  • Posted by an account known for AI-generated content rather than real vintage items.
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If a supposed antique image triggers doubts, reverse image searches and digging for verified sources can often get to the truth. Applying critical thinking instead of credulity avoids being misled.

irish wolfhound greyhound very large breed dog

The Truth: An AI-Fabricated Photo, Not a Real Giant Dog

After thorough examination of the evidence and origins, we can definitively state that the photograph of the huge Irish Greyhound from 1902 is an artificial fake, not a real historical image.

The dog and man were fabricated using AI generation software like Midjourney to achieve a vintage look, then posted online with fictional backstories about “Hogan” and “Finnegan” to boost the illusion of authenticity. No proof exists of any early 20th century greyhounds even approaching that scale.

While an entertaining novelty, the photo ultimately exemplifies the new public reality of sophisticated AI fakery and why maintaining skepticism is so important in our information age. The giant dog tricked many upon first glance, but when put under the lens of logic and research, its digital origins become evident.

This saga provides a teaching moment about approaching supposed antique photos on the internet with an analytical eye. Just because an image looks old does not mean it is real. AI art can mimic the past quite convincingly, but telltale signs of forgery lurk beneath the surface.

By thinking critically about the media we encounter and checking sources thoroughly before spreading claims, we can avoid being duped. Moving forward, let the great Irish Greyhound debacle mark a shift toward greater prudence in how we validate remarkable photos stoking our imagination online.

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