The claim: Giant human skeletons were found in Ohio
A new version of an old hoax has been gaining attention through an Instagram meme.
The Sept. 26 reel, which was liked over 40,000 times in two days, claims there are "giant human caucasian skeletons in Ohio that predate any known civilizations."
This isn't the first time a claim like this has spread on social media, or in history.
False claims of giant skeletons have circulated since at least 1845, the Columbus Dispatch reported. In December 2014, a satirical news site called the World News Daily Report wrote an article about the Smithsonian destroying giant skeletons that spurred confusion online.
The latest claim is also wrong. Mark Hubbe, an anthropology professor at Ohio State University, said there is no evidence of giant skeletons in Ohio.
USA TODAY reached out to several users who shared the post for comment.
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Ohio anthropologists said the claim is baseless
Hubbe said he is confident the most recent claim "is not based on any real findings."
"It would be great if there were giants!" he said. However, so far it has just been "creativity and imagination."
But at least one user who shared the post insists the giant skeletons are real.
The Instagram user @jesuschristrebornonceagain pointed USA TODAY to "The Book of Enoch," an ancient Hebrew text, as proof that such giants existed. The version of the book the user provided does mention giants, but it makes no connection to North America as the post the user shared does.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that giant human skeletons were found in Ohio. Ohio anthropologists confirmed there is no evidence of this.
Our fact-check sources:
Mark Hubbe, Sept. 29, Email exchange with USA TODAY
Scott McGraw, Sept. 29, Email exchange with USA TODAY
USA TODAY, Sept. 8, 2020, Fact check: Online post showing giant human skeletons is an old hoax
Book of Enoch, accessed Sept. 29, Book of Enoch
Columbus Dispatch, Dec. 27, 2020, Newspapers have been debunking giant hoaxes for a long time
World News Daily Report, Dec. 3, 2014, Smithsonian Admits to Destruction of Thousands of Giant Human Skeletons in Early 1900’s (satire)
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: False claim giant human skeletons were discovered in Ohio