Picture of Two Headed Alligator Spotted in Tampa, Florida: Fact Check


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About Picture of Two Headed Alligator Spotted in Tampa, Florida
Picture of Two Headed Alligator Spotted in Tampa, Florida

Story:

Two Headed Alligator Spotted in Tampa, Florida

Other Versions

1. An alligator with two heads found in Florida

2. A guy spotted this two headed alligator in Tampa, Florida along the Hillsborough River

Fact Check:

An unusual picture circulating on internet space purports to show a Two Headed Alligator spotted in Tampa, Florida. Allegedly, a guy found the strange alligator along the Hillsborough river. No, the claims are not true – the alligator in picture is not real.

About the Picture of ‘Two Headed Alligator’

The picture in question appears to show an Alligator with two heads crawling onto a riverbank. However, the skin color and tail of it appear unusual. As we searched for its origins, we found the same claims back in year 2014 creating a sensation at the time. A person named Justin Arnold posted the photograph on his Facebook, Tumblr pages with below description and publicized it.

Two-headed alligator spotted in Tampa, Florida along the Hillsborough River in the Seminole Heights neighborhood. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, this alligator has been reported by several people. They explained that failed separation of monozygotic twins is common in reptiles and amphibians but they rarely reach this juvenile state.

The unusual picture and claims became so popular even Florida Wildlife officials looked into it seriously. Below is a video report of the incident and the claims in mid-2014.

Not Real

Deformities in animals including Alligators do occur, but the hatchlings do not survive long unless they are given extreme good care. In this case, contrary to the claims of Justin Arnold, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they did not receive any calls about two headed alligator. Later, it turned out Arnold is an artist, who creates paintings and sculptures of unusual creatures and posts them on a Tumblr blog. Below is another picture of the ‘alligator with two heads’ from different angle.

Image of The 'Two Headed Alligator' from another angle
The ‘Two Headed Alligator’ from another angle

Note, its limbs on both sides are slightly above the ground and the skin also looks dried and dead. It confirms the alligator with two heads in picture is some kind of taxidermy piece. In 2015, the artist Justin Alan Arnold accepted he has done faux taxidermy in past. Later also, with the help of community program Urban Arts Attack, Arnold installed a six-foot-tall two-headed gator sculpture standing upright in front of Folkart Cafe at Southern Brewing and Winemaking.

Although the two-headed alligator in picture is not real, the old hoax story keeps surfacing online. Sometimes it also appears in memes.

Hoax or Fact:

Hoax.

References:

Two-Headed Alligator Spotted In Florida River — Or Was It?
Two-headed alligator spotted in Florida?


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Prashanth Damarla
Debunker

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