Summary of eRumor:
A man caught a 13 pound bullfrog in a fishing hole while hunting on a ranch in Batesville, Texas.
A Texas state game official confirmed that photos purportedly showing a 13-pound bullfrog caught in Texas are real — but there’s no official record of the monster’s frog’s weight.
The same Texas game official also warned that photos of the so-called 13 pound bullfrog make the frog appear bigger than it is. The man in the photo is thrusting the frog toward the camera, a technique called “forced perspective” that creates an optical illusion that makes things appear larger than they actually are.
Rumors about the 13 pound bullfrog in Texas started with a Facebook post by the South Texas Hunting Association on May 25, 2017. The post, which featured a hunter holding the monster frog, was shared more than 280,000 times and was commented on nearly 40,000 times within a week.
Media outlets in Texas quickly picked up on the 13 pound bullfrog story, and within a week, the story had spread, captivating (and disgusting) social media users across the country. The Houston Chronicle confirmed the report with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department — which also warned that the photo was misleading:
Steve Lightfoot, spokesman for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, confirmed to Chron.com that the photo IS real, but that doesn’t necessarily mean monster frogs are taking over South Texas.
“It’s not as bigly as it appears,” Lightfoot said video.” [It’s an] optical illusion created by extending frog toward the camera — similar to what you see with fishermen holding up fish to make them appear larger. Still a big bullfrog, though.”
Although the game official confirmed that the photo was real, he didn’t comment on the official weight of the frog. And, considering that bullfrogs generally only grow to be about 1.5 pounds, so it’s likely that the monster frog either wasn’t a bullfrog, or didn’t weigh 13 pounds. The biggest frogs in the world are the Goliath frog, which can reach about 7 pounds and are native to select areas of Africa.
In the end, we can confirm that photos of the monster frog caught in Texas are real. The frog’s official weight and species, however, are still in question. That’s why we’re calling this one “unproven.”
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