An image of a strange creature with a human-like face has gone viral on social media as an ‘alien’ and a ‘dangerous animal’ found in India. However, no such animal exists and the pictures are of a silicone sculpture created by Italian artist, Laira Maganuco.
The images of the strange creature have been around since 2018 with different claims. Recently, it went viral as a dangerous creature having escaped from Gujarat and attacking farmers in Rajasthan.
Users shared the image with the claim,
“सभी किसान भाइयों से निवेदन है कि अकेले खेत में ना जाएं और सुरक्षित रहें सावधान रहें यह बहुत ही खतरनाक जानवर आया है गुजरात से राजस्थान के लिए रवाना हो गया है”
(Translation: “All the farmer brothers are requested not to go to the field alone and be safe, beware this very dangerous animal has come from Gujarat to Rajasthan.”)
Another user posted the image on Twitter, asking authorities to identify it and stating that the animal is called ‘दिप्डा ‘ (Dipda) in Marwari.
Another user posted the images on a public Facebook group, ‘Aliens on Earth,’ asking if it were an alien.
In 2018, News18 Telugu had also reported that a strange creature was spotted roaming around the Gollapalli village of Jagittala district in Telangana. The organisation has till date not corrected the story or issued a clarification.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
The viral image is actually of a silicone sculpture created by an Italian artist, Laira Maganuco, and not of a real animal as claimed.
A reverse image search led us to a blog carrying the viral images, titled “Unbelievable Creepy Hyper Realistic Creatures By Laira Maganuco”
The artist had posted the pictures on 3 October 2018, captioning it ‘single piece silicone armadillo hybrid.’
On her website, Maganuco says that she specialises in hyperrealism and surrealism and uses her sculpturing techniques to “give life to unique works in silicone.”
You can also find the viral images on Etsy, where Maganuco sells her artwork. She describes the sculptures as, “a piece carved entirely by hand in acetic silicone paste.”
Evidently, the Italian artist’s sculptures have been falsely shared as a real animal found in India.
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