At first glance, this image, which is currently circulating the Interwebs via social media, might make you do a double-take. It appears to show a very large cockroach right inside a person’s chest, captured via x-ray.
The description that travels with the image claims that it depicts a chest x-ray of a man in Zimbabwe who went to a hospital suffering chest pain. Supposedly, after taking and examining an x-ray, doctors discovered that the man had a live cockroach in his chest. The man went abroad to seek further medical aid at great expense, but a second x-ray revealed that there was no cockroach in his chest after all. Alas, claims the story, the cockroach must have been inside the Zimbabwean x-ray machine, not the man’s body.
An Example of the Message
A patient in Zimbabwe had serious chest pains, after taking x-ray at Rusape General hospital the image showed that he had a live cockroach in his chest moving about. Doctors recommended that he goes abroad preferably India.So patient had to sale his house and a few contributions from relatives. When he got to India another x-ray was taken and was told there was no cockroach in his chest but the cockroach was in the x-ray machine they used in Zimbabwe.
Surprise, Surprise — The Story is Just A Prank and The Image is Fake
Of course, the story is just a joke aided and abetted with a bit of fairly dodgy photoshopping.
How do I know? Because a quick Google image search pulls up the source picture used in the fake image. Unsurprisingly, the source image is missing the massive cockroach and, in fact, it depicts a chest x-ray of a woman, not a man. And, not just any woman’s chest but that of an iconic and much loved US actress.
X-Ray Actually Depicts Marilyn Monroe’s chest
The image reportedly shows an x-ray of Marilyn Monroe’s chest taken by a doctor at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in 1954.
Other Versions of the Story Are Also Circulating
While this story and manipulated x-ray image no doubt began life as just a prank, at least a few people have apparently believed it to be true. In fact, the same tall tale, set in different locations and minus the photoshopped picture, has been published via other websites and social media posts since at least April 2016.