Giant New Orleans Crocodile Pictures
Netlore Archive: Emailed pictures of a gigantic crocodile purportedly captured in the flooded streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Description: Viral images / Email hoax
Circulating since: Sep 2005
Status: Images are falsely labeled
Email example contributed by Debbie S., Sep. 16, 2005:
FW: What a crock!-- New Orleans
This crocodile was found in New Orleans swimming down the street. 21 FT long, 4,500 lbs, around 80 years old minimum.
Specialists said that he was looking to eat humans because he was too old to catch animals. This crocodile was killed by the army last Sunday at 3:00 pm, currently he is in the freezer at the Azur hotel. The contents of its stomach will be analyzed this Friday at 2:30pm.
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Analysis: The pictures are real, but the caption is false. Contrary to what is claimed, these photos weren't taken in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina flooded the streets of the city in 2005. Rather, they were taken in 2003 and document the capture of a 16-foot crocodile in Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo. The incident was covered in the July 17, 2003 edition of La Semaine Africaine. (Some versions of the above message identify the beast as an alligator, making it doubly erroneous.)
After Katrina struck there were rumors of sharks and alligators swimming in the streets of New Orleans, but very little in the way of hard evidence that any such thing actually occurred.
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Sources and further reading:
The Monster Crocodile of Pointe-Noire
Netlore Archive, 22 March 2005
Are Sharks Prowling the Streets of New Orleans?
Urban Legends blog, 3 September 2005
Hoax Quiz: Real or Fake?
Take the Urban Legends Image Quiz
The Urban Legends Slide Show
Weirdest collection of pics on the Internet!
Last updated: 09/19/05