If you frequent social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, chances are you've come across a photo of a giant squid that allegedly washed ashore along the Santa Monica coast line in California.
If you thought the photo was too bizarre to be true, you were correct.
On Jan. 9, the satire website Lightly Braised Turnip published an article saying a giant, 160-foot squid was discovered on the California coast. The gigantic size was reported to be caused by mutations from radioactivity.
The squid was allegedly the second giant sea creature to wash up in California in recent months, both reportedly coming from the waters near the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in the Futaba District of Japan.
Snopes.com has confirmed that the report is false. Links and excerpts from the article have circulated around the web and social media, with many mistaking it for a genuine news article.
The article was actually fictional humor, done as a follow-up to a false report about a giant oarfish discovered on the California coast. Other fictional articles from Lightly Braised Turnip include "Serena Willams Swings for Fences by Playing Iron Mike In New Biopic," and one about MLB commissioner Bud Selig saying Red Sox fans are the most annoying in baseball.
About.com writer David Emery, who writes about Internet hoaxes, reported that the photo of the giant squid is photoshopped.
An actual giant squid was found on the shore of La Arena beach in Cantabria, Spain in October 2013, but that squid was only 30 feet long.
Sometimes it can be hard distinguishing what is and isn't real on the Internet. Along with the picture of the squid hoax, the gallery above shows actual giant creatures that were discovered or caught, including giant alligators, snakes and sea creatures.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun