Alligator in viral photograph is stuffed

May 24, 2019 • 4:25 pm

by Greg Mayer

A photograph of an alligator on the back of an inflatable alligator is making the rounds of a variety of news media.

An alligator supposedly sunning itself on an inflatable alligator in Miami-Dade Co., Florida.

This is a stuffed alligator. The splayed legs, open mouth, and curled tail are typical of the poses used for souvenir stuffed alligators, and atypical of the way a live alligator would pose, especially atop a floating object. The body and tail are overstuffed, and do not look at all like a live alligator. The posterior half of the tail hovers above the float, and the coup de grace is that both visible limbs are sticking out stiffly, perpendicular to the body, and casting shadows on the float. As Monty Python would have put it, this is an ex-alligator.

Note in the enlargement below the shadow, and how you can see a spot of sunlight reaching the float behind the crook of the knee.

Enlargement of hind leg.

A surprising number of news outlets have fallen for this. I first saw it on the Amazon Alexa Home Spying Device, and a quick search found the story on UPI, ClickOrlando, Miami New Times, WTSP Tampa-St. Pete, and WPLG Miami.

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