Photoshopped Image of “Big Fish” Exposed as a Fake
by James Tabor
Scientists have determined the following image of a man supposedly being swallowed by a large fish, much like the biblical story of Jonah, has been totally computer enhanced, altered, adjusted, and manipulated to give it a decidedly icthyomorphic appearance. Presumably the creator of this deception wants to somehow validate the biblical story that most scholars take to be a myth or legend. The fish image is in fact a blue vase such as the one pictured below, heavily “Photoshopped” to make it look like a fish, but notice, turned horizontally so that no one would imagine it could be a vessel, then tail altered, and fins shaped and added. Then water and ripples were added to give a decidedly aquatic appearance, and a kind of stick figure was drawn in to represent the legs of a human–but oddly, coming out of the pointed base of a jar, that has now become the mouth. The key giveaway was the creator decided to use the same color hue on this vessel for the water, which obviously would not be the color of any kind of fish of this type.
This just goes to show the truth of the old slogan: “If reality won’t do, try Photoshop.” There is nothing wrong with enhancing, altering, or otherwise editing photos, we do it all the time. Filmmakers now use CGI images to create total scenes–witness the opening of the new film Hugo with the breathtaking scene of Paris. The difference is Scorsese is not trying to fool anyone with his creation. It truly looks like Paris and he did not take a photo of London and change it into one of Paris. That is essentially what is happening here. The creator clearly wanted this to be a scene that would remind one of the biblical story of Jonah and the “whale,” or as the text actually has it, “the big fish.” That is fine but anyone who has any sense of reality would know that this scene, as shown here, is obviously faked–and the layers in the photo itself can be easily stripped off, revealing nothing more than an nicely shaped blue vase from antiquity, turned on its side so as to cause no suspicion as to its true identity.
What one could hope is that those who want to support their imaginations or will fulfillments when it comes to biblical stories could move beyond a Sunday-school literalness and come to appreciate the deeper metaphorical meaning of some of the more legendary stories of the Bible.