Description: Viral image / Hoax
Image circulating since: Oct. 2011 (possibly earlier)
Text circulating since: Jan. 2014
Status: FAKE (see details below)
As shared on Facebook, Jan. 10, 2014:
Snakegirl Attracts Crowds of Pilgrims and Tourists in Thailand
8-year-old Mai Li Fay, from Bangkok, is far from living the usual life of a girl her age. Everyday, thousands of people gather to the front of her family’s house to get a chance of seeing and possibly touching the young girl, a gesture which both buddhists and hindu pilgrims seem to perceive as a garantee of good fortune.
According to the country’s top medical expert, Dr Ping Lao, the young girl suffers a very rare syndrome known as the Serpentosis Malianorcis or Jing Jing’s disease, which gives her lower body a distinct reptilian form and aspect. Only a handful of such cases have been recorded throughout history, so the scientific knowledge accumulated about the pathology is rather limited and there is no cure in sight at the moment.
- Full Text -
Analysis: Unsurprisingly, a search of the U.S. Library of Medicine database yields no results for "Serpentosis Malianorcis," nor for "Jing Jing's disease." There is no such syndrome. Nor is there a "top medical expert" in Thailand named Dr. Ping Lao.
As for the article excerpted above, originally published Jan. 6, 2014 on a satire website whose previous stories include "Dead Cow Brought Back to Life by Lightning Bolt" and "U.S. Donut Reserve Running Low," it's a complete fabrication.
The photo is fabricated as well, though it's been circulating a few years longer. It appeared in several compilations of "Worst Photoshop Fails" in 2013, and before that in an Oct. 26, 2011 message board post containing 30 more snake-girl hybrid photos just like it.
Who knew snake girls were a thing? (The ancient Greeks, that's who.)
Sources and further reading:
Thailand: Snakegirl Attracts Crowds of Pilgrims and Tourists
World News Daily Report, 6 January 2014
Beauty Monster Snake Head
Sobar.soso.com, 26 October 2011
Echidna in Greek Mythology
About.com: Ancient/Classical History
Last updated 01/16/14