According to Martin Le-May’s recent photograph that went viral a couple days ago, they can when they’re riding a woodpecker. I remember scrolling through Facebook and seeing the picture, but I didn’t take it seriously. There are many posts on Facebook that shouldn’t be taken seriously. We all have those friends who post everything and anything on the internet and swear it’s true. But how about National Geographic Magazine, is that credible enough? After reading the full article, and the research that went into proving it true, I am now a firm believer that it is, indeed, possible. And you?
Is the Photo Real?
As the viral video of the pig rescuing the baby goat taught us, just because something is cute doesn’t mean it’s real. But is the photo now known on Twitter as #WeaselPecker a fake?
Hany Farid doesn’t think so. Farid is a professor of computer science at Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, who researches digital forensics and image analysis.
Farid said that while the image’s low resolution makes performing a detailed analysis difficult, there are several other factors to consider. For starters, because the weasel is virtually hugging the woodpecker, forging such an image would be extremely challenging.
“This would have required a nearly perfect and coincidental alignment of the two animals in their original photos so that they could be composited together,” said Farid. “This type of forgery is therefore more difficult to create than, for example, two animals simply standing side-by-side.”
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