In 2014, the interwebs were all abuzz concerning an image that appears to depict a gigantic crab – quickly dubbed ‘Crabzilla’ – just offshore from the seaside town of Whitstable in the UK.
The image caused considerable speculation and was even featured in various mainstream news reports.
Come 2021, and much of the Crabzilla buzz has ebbed away. Nevertheless, the image continues to slowly claw its way around the Internet.
The giant crab image first surfaced in 2013 via the Weird Whitstable blog, which billed itself as ‘an online journal of the weird in Whitstable’. Another picture of a giant crab emerging from the water below two young fishers was published on the same blog later in 2013.
The blog is run by the artist Quinton Winter. Winter claimed that he was initially sceptical when a site visitor sent him the original aerial shot but became convinced after seeing a giant crab himself.
But, not surprisingly, the image is the result of digital tomfoolery. As hoax-debunker Craig from ThatsNonsense.com points out, the giant crab picture’s source image was taken from Bing maps.
An examination of the two images reveals that the position of boats, cars, sandbars, and other components are identical in both pictures. Clearly, someone skilled in digital manipulation has added a picture of an ordinary-sized crab to the Bing Maps photograph to make it appear that the crab was gigantic.
And, rather tellingly, there are no other photographs or credible reports about such giant crabs around Whitstable or anywhere else. Thus, the image and back-story is just a rather clever prank.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!