17 January, 2015

Over 10 Feet Tall The Giant From Cardiff

Cardiff Giant
The Cardiff Giant being re-buried
On the 16th of October 1869 a gang of men started to dig a well in a small village called Cardiff in New York State. Suddenly one of the men's spades struck something hard. The digging continued and they discovered a big, petrified foot and, after further efforts, they uncovered a giant mummified body of a huge man. The giant was over 10 feet tall and weighed in at 2,999 pounds. He was a big one alright!

Cardiff Giant
Such a discovery was a sensation and the once obscure village of Cardiff became overrun with people wanting to see this giant. The owner of the land, William C Newell made a fortune by charging visitors but ... okay, I'd better say now that the Cardiff Giant was eventually proven to be a hoax. But many, many people were fooled. Christian fundamentalists,for example, defended its authenticity. The showman P.T Barnum offered $50,000 for the giant.

Scientists went to Cardiff to examine the giant. One of them was quoted as saying that any man who said the giant was a hoax, "... had simply declared himself a fool."

Four doctors declared that, in their opinion, this was once a living creature, Others believed the preserved corpse to be a member of a lost race.

The truth was that a member of Newell's extended family, George Hall, had planted the body where he knew it would be discovered.

Hall had the body created out of a huge block of gypsum. The appearance of petrified flesh was made by inserting hundreds of darning needles into a block of wood before hammering this into the 'body', This looked like pores within the skin. The giant was also doused with sulphuric acid to give the appearance of great age,

The hoax worked more that Hall could ever have imagined.

Money was made, a legend was created. The only people who lost out were so called experts who declared the giant to be genuine. Such is life, there are winners and losers.

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4 comments:

  1. Very weird story. Hall sure went to great lengths to do this! Too bad he didn't focus his imagination on something else. No telling what he might have produced.

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  2. Weird is right. Incredible that "experts" could be fooled although in 1869 I supposed they didn't know so much.

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