A Facebook user named ‘Ranjana Akoijam’ shared a post on 18 June 2019. There is a photograph of an insect and a perforated palm and two fingers with holes in them. The Photograph in the post quotes “New Killer Insect (See Photo). If you ever see this Insect, please don’t try to kill it with your bare hands or touch it, this insect spreads virus to the place of bodily contact and circulates the entire human system in minutes, it was first sighted in India. Be kind enough to forward this information to be families and friends, do remember to educate the children never to kill an insect.”
The post quotes ‘Khangdba angangna pairuni’. To identify the language, we visited the user’s profile and found out that the user resides in a place called Thoubal. When we searched on Google with ‘Thoubal’ key words, we learned that it is a city in Manipur. Therefore, the chances of the language being Manipuri were very likely. Hence, we asked our Manipuri Language expert for the translations and got to know that the said phrase in the post means – ‘Kids who do not know will touch/grab’. As per this post’s claim, if you touch this insect, it will spread a deadly virus in your body. Let us see what the facts are!
NARRATIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
First, we searched the picture of the insect shown using ‘Google Reverse Image Search’. What we got in the search is below:
We got a post in ‘Quora’, which contains a query – ‘what kind of insects exist in India?’ In response to this, a person named ‘Vinutha Madale’ has shared a similar picture as shown in the above example and said that it is a male giant water bug. This water bug carries the eggs given by the female water bug on its back. With this, she shared the same picture as the above post and wrote that this water bug does not harm humans as shown in the pic. To read the entire article, please click on the link given below.
To clarify this point of view, we searched Google with ‘Male Giant Water Bug’ key words and found many similar pictures related to this insect as shown in the picture above.
With this information, it becomes convincing that the insect shown in the above post is Giant Male Water Bug.
After this we searched on Google with ‘Can Male Giant Water Bug harm humans’ key words and found a report by National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. As per this post The saliva of these insects can only cause intense pain and sometimes paralysis in vertebrates. However, is did not state any cases as per the post’s claim.
This video gives a tutorial on how to make Trypophobia hand using wax. You may see the video below.
When we clicked on ‘SFXmakeup’, we found more such pictures made by using make-up on twitter. This information revealed that the picture of the hand is fake in the above picture and is made using make-up and wax.
After this, we searched the third picture of the above post using Google Reverse Image, the result of which you can see below.
‘fr.cohomedecor.com’ posted that Several disturbing photographs with apparently damaged fingers and eyes have been distributed on various websites with claims they are photographs of real medical conditions. The list of possible word choices used in conjunction with lamprey fingers lamprey art. The lamprey is not an eel; although it resembles one and is often referred to as such. Lampreys are scale less eel like cartilaginous fish that have a round jawless mouth, which suctions onto the flesh of the fish they feed on.
To find out the truth about this, we search on Google with the key words ‘lamprey disease’. The results we found are shown below.
In this search, we found a publication of ‘Medigoo.com’, which says ‘lamprey disease’ is just a hoax and there is no such disease. Many photos are being shared on the Internet since 2007, in which people are sharing a photoshoped image of fingers, hands, eyes etc. grafted with the mouth of Lamprey and claiming it’s a real medical condition. To read the full article, click the link below.
When we searched on YouTube with the key words ‘lamprey disease’ and came across a video. The video anchor indicating the picture of the finger given in the above post said they are morphed and at 0.33 seconds of the video, you can see the video showing the script that Snopes.com also stated that such images are morphed and not true. We have given the video below.
With this information, we conclude that the photos shown in the above posts are morphed with the help of Photoshop to mislead people.
Fact Crescendo has fact checked and confirms that the photograph is being share in the post with a wrong narrative. We categorise the story as FALSE.
FactCrescendo advises its readers to refrain from sharing such misleading and communally biased photographs and do a self-check on the true narrative of such incidents before believing them.
Title:Is a new killer insect spreading deadly virus in humans? Fact Check!Fact Check By: Nita Rao