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Fact Check: A silicone sculpture by an Italian artist is being falsely shared as a real animal found in India

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A hyper-real silicone sculpture by an Italian artist is being falsely shared as a real animal found in India

Recently, a set of images of a weird looking creature is being widely shared on social media. It is being claimed that the creature in the images is a dangerous animal that has been spotted in a field near Rajasthan. Viral posts warn farmers and request them to stay alert as the animal was spotted on the way of Gujarat to Rajasthan.

A Facebook user named Rajan Rathore shared the two images with a caption in Hindi that can be roughly translated to, "All the farmer brothers are requested not to go to the field alone and be safe. Beware this very dangerous animal that has come from Gujarat to Rajasthan."

Images of the same alleged dangerous animal were also shared on Twitter along with an image of an injured man standing in the farms. The images were shared with the same caption. 

The truth behind the claim 

In our investigation, we found this claim to be false. The creature is not any real animal but it is a hyper-realistic silicone sculpture  created by an Italian artist, Laira Maganuco.

While investigating we found that this image has been on the internet since 2018 with different claims.

In 2018, News18 Telugu had also reported that a strange creature was spotted roaming around the Gollapalli village of the Jagittala district in Telangana. However, the organization has not corrected the story or issued a clarification till date. 

With the help of reverse image search, we found a blog carrying the viral images, titled “Unbelievable Creepy Hyper Realistic Creatures By Laira Maganuco”

On running a keyword search, we found the images on Maganuco’s Facebook and Instagram pages. The artist had posted the pictures on 3 October 2018, captioning it ‘single-piece silicone armadillo hybrid'.

On her website, Maganuco says that she specializes in hyperrealism and surrealism and uses her sculpturing techniques to “give life to unique works in silicone.”

The sculpture is also for sale on the 'Etsy' website. According to the description of the product, the photo is of a hand made sculpture in acetic silicone paste.

In conclusion, a hyper-real silicone sculpture by an Italian artist is being falsely shared as a real animal found in India.

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