Humor Urban Legends The Nephilim Skeletons Hoax Share PINTEREST Email Print GreeceViral images, origin unknown Urban Legends Rumors & Hoaxes Urban Legends in the News Classic & Historic Legends Animal Folklore Scary Stories By David Emery David Emery is an internet folklore expert, and debunker of urban legends, hoaxes, and popular misconceptions. He currently writes for Snopes.com. our editorial process David Emery Updated May 29, 2019 Images and tales of giant fossilized human remains known as the Canaan or Nephilim skeletons have been circulating on the internet since at least 2004. The viral stories usually announce some version of a "major discovery" of a giant skeleton or skeletons in the Mediterranean or the Middle East—something the mainstream media somehow has failed to report. That's because the images—convincing as they may appear—are fakes. Who Were the Nephilim? According to the Old Testament, the Nephilim were "sons of God," a race of gigantic beings who were the offspring of human women and fallen angels. They lived in the ancient land of Canaan—which today stretches from Lebanon to Israel—and were wiped out in the Great Flood. Giant Skeletons Tales of giant remains are no recent phenomenon. More than 100 years ago, businessman George Hull barnstormed the U.S. with his Cardiff Giant, the alleged petrified remains of a 10-foot man. Cotton Mather, a noted Puritan minister and writer in the late 1600s, touted large bones as evidence of the Nephilim that later proved to be the remains of a mastodon. Reports of such discoveries, like the viral email below, often cite the Bible as evidence that giants once walked the earth: "GIANT ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIND IN GREECEThese astounding photos are from a recent archaeological discovery in Greece. This totally unexpected find furnishes proof of the existence of 'Nephilim.' Nephilim is the word used to describe the giants spoken of in biblical times by Enoch as well as the giant David fought against (Goliath). It is generally believed that most of these Giants came about when the fallen angels had union with earthly women. Note the incredible size of the skull...There were giants on earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bear children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. -Genesis 6:4And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. -Numbers 13:33 But there's a reason this "news" hasn't been reported widely. The photos circulated as "evidence" of the Nephilim giants have all been debunked. A Giant Skull Unknown, circulating via email Digital technology like Adobe Photoshop has made the practice of altering photos relatively simple. However, it's still fairly easy to spot a doctored photo. A blow-up of this image with brightness and contrast enhanced reveals unnaturally dark "shadows" around the large skull. Also, the shadows from the skeleton fall more or less toward the camera, while the worker's shadow falls due left, suggesting that elements of two different photos were combined. An Excavation Unknown, circulating via email The skull in this image is marked by incongruously bright highlights on the teeth and the edges of the gaping temple wound. Although Photoshop can bring out details that are hidden in shadow, such clarity in this very dark region of the skull would be impossible to capture under such harsh daylight conditions. Gigantic Remains Unknown, circulating via email This viral image serves as clear proof that Photoshopping took place. It was created by inserting an outsized human skull into a photo of a 1993 University of Chicago dinosaur dig in Niger. If you look at a blow-up of the doctored image, the skull appears flattened and unnatural (and one of the workers actually appears to be standing on it!). A Map of Greece Unknown, circulating via email This image of a map purporting to show where the remains of the Nephilim giants were found began circulating around 2010, according to Snopes.com. In fact, this is merely a map of the region around Nafplio, a town in the Peloponnese region of Greece. The village that's underlined is Prosymna. Sources "The Cardiff Giant." The Museum of Hoaxes.Rose, Mark. “When Giants Roamed the Earth.” Archaeology, vol. 58, no. 6, 2005.