According to the World Wildlife Fund, a couple of Thai fishermen caught a 646-pound catfish back in 2005. The picture came round again in Yahoo News, attached to a story about a dam project that could endanger the giant catfish.
But that’s not what I’m writing about. I’m more interested in the picture itself. It uses the same technique we saw in the “Hogzilla” and "Monster Pig" pictures to make this fish look larger than it really is. It’s a perspective trick that works with photographs because your depth perception is fooled in flat images.
I’m not necessarily saying that the fish isn’t as big as it appears, mind you, but it may not be. The fishermen are posed behind the fish, and with the right composition of the photo, it’s impossible for us to know how far behind it they are. The farther back they’re posed, the more our perception of the fish’s size is inflated.
I’ve no doubt this is a very big fish, of course, but it wouldn’t be the first time a fish story got exaggerated a bit in the retelling.
Update: If the photographer wanted to clear up all doubts about the size of the fish in the picture, he should have one of the fishermen (or just his hand, or something) in front of the fish, so we could be sure that the men weren't posed well behind their catch.