It’s not often that the genre of nature photography becomes the subject of controversy. However, a recent scandal making headlines has proved to be so ludicrous that it caught the attention of comedy heavyweight Conan O’Brien:
For thousands of wildlife photographers around the world, one of the most anticipated events of the year is the announcement of the annual Wildlife Photographer of the year by the National History Museum in Britain. Out of thousands of submissions, one photograph entered by Brazilian photographer Marcio Cabral caught the eyes of the judges. Along with a monetary payout to the photographer, Cabral’s piece was also selected to be displayed on one the walls of the prestigious museum.
The problem? After careful consideration, a panel of experts determined that the star of the shot—a giant anteater poking its head into a grand fluorescent termite hill—was in actuality a stuffed specimen.
An investigation conducted by a panel of independent scientists, mammal experts, and professional taxidermists all came to the conclusion that beyond the shadow of a doubt, the photograph was staged. In fact, the anteater in question can be found greeting visitors venturing into Emas National Park in Brazil. Although the photographer insists that the photograph is entirely authentic, the image was recently disqualified and removed from the Natural History Museum because of its deceptive nature.
Artists worldwide appreciate the importance of a photograph’s integrity, scoffing at work that’s intentionally misleading. However, to an outsider, the situation as a whole is hard not to laugh at. Bringing the story to the public eye, Conan takes a few minutes to question the authenticity of some of Cabral’s other work…
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