Thailand Creature Makes a Comeback

A series of photographs depicting a strange seemingly anthropomorphic white creature being worshiped has been circulating around Internet forums and chat posts that seem to depict a mysterious creature being prayed over by residents from one small Thai community.  This photograph series is actually from three years ago and is catching a second wind thanks to a viral rebirth through social networking sites.

The images are shocking, and seem too genuine to be a hoax.  As you look at the grief in the eyes of those surrounding the creature it’s clear something very real and emotionally significant is happening here.  With the previous round of photographs so far away, it’s difficult to pin down exactly where it originated, but several sources depicting the photograph seem to contain the same caption that mysteriously omits the name of the village the incident took place in.  Still, this doesn’t seem to be an outright hoax as far as most people examining the photos say.  One indicator of hoaxed photography is only one copy of the image.  A single hoax requires a great deal of work to create, and every part of the image must be studied extensively if the hoaxer wishes to put forth a genuine effort at fooling everyone involved.  Even models often show telltale signs of fakery from different angles, and only very specific angles can depict the alleged creature exactly how the hoaxer wishes.  For that reason, this image seems unlikely to be a model.

But what is it?  By studying the extremities we can see clearly that at the ends of the “arms” and legs are cloven hooves.  There is no face, but the head seems to be quite large.  In addition, the arms do not seem to jut out from shoulders, but do hang at its sides.  I think the real clue to the origin of this creature lies in the strange fin or ear coming from the rear side of its head.  The ear almost seems similar to a cow’s or goat’s.

Interestingly, the story has even caught the attention of the forums at snopes.com, where some members suggest the creature could be a deformed animal likely suffering from a form of encephalitis or some other developmental disease that caused massive developmental problems.  The long tail could be from a calf.  The two toed hooves seem in keeping with this theory.

But why is it being prayed over?  The original caption suggests the creature is being preserved by a fan for scientists to study, but this seems unlikely as no scientific inquiry has been documented regarding this case.

Other theories point to the strange qualities the creature possesses, suggesting it to be human-like or even some form of alien or supernatural being.  Aside from the calf-like tale and lack of hair the creature does almost resemble a modern interpretation of the mythical Satyr of Greek legend.

Perhaps the final word on the creature’s identity is the actual staging of the pictures themselves.  There are several pictures of the crowd standing or kneeling around the creature, incense in hand and yet only one of the creature itself.  Whatever this series of photographs was intended to document, it was not the biology of the strange object they were gathering around.  This may suggest the photographer was aware of where the creature came from, and considered the crowd’s reaction more noteworthy than the creature itself.