Feb 20, 2009 | 36
Grainy images of a large snake in Borneo's Baleh River have some locals afraid the mythical Nabu snake is back. Is Borneo's 100-foot river snake—reported yesterday by London's Telegraph and captured in photographs (one appears to the left)—real?
Like the Loch Ness Monster, countless UFOs and Bigfoot, it's hard to say, says Hany Farid, a computer science professor at Dartmouth University, because it's been captured in such low resolution. "It's as if you took a blood sample," he says, "threw away 99 percent of it and asked me to do a forensic analysis."
An expert of digital photography forensics, Farid notes that with so few pixels to analyze, there's much less evidence to weigh in one way or the other. At a high resolution—say, 1,000 by 1,000 pixels—tampering gets tougher. At that level, he says, "It's really hard to do. You've got to get it all just right."
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