Saturday, February 21, 2009
Locals fear it. Cryptozoologists marvel at it. But is it real? That's the question.
London's Telegraph newspaper reported this week about the emergence of this photo, which appears to show a 100-foot snake in the Baleh river in Borneo.
Questions have arisen about whether this image is either faked or perhaps just a shot of a submerged log or some other object.
Dartmouth University computer science professor Hany Farid, who looked at the shot and reported on his findings in a Scientific American blog, says that because the photo is so grainy, "it's as if you took away 99 percent of a blood sample and asked me to do a forensic analysis." Wise words.
As an expert of digital photography forensics, Farid also says that since there aren't many pixels to analyze, there isn't much that they can say. Photos with such low resolution are the exact reason that people such as Hany and other people are out there. But grainy or not, that photo reveals something strange, either why somebody would make a hoax like that, or what that monster is and, is it dangerous?
While there are clearly doubters, local villagers don't count themselves among them. Those who reside along the banks of the river believe in the serpent's existence and refer to it as Nabau, after an ancient magical serpent which has the powers to turn itself into different animals.
The Telegraph reported that scientists unearthed the fossil of a snake that was longer than a bus this month. The 45-foot long monster was thought to live on a diet of crocodiles and giant turtles.