No, a Wilmington man did not discover the skeletal remains of a pixie.
But that is what some people on the Internet would have you believe. And it’s far from the first fairy or pixie remains hoax.
A Facebook page called “Pictures In History” that claims to be an “education company,” with more than 2.5 million likes and 2.6 million followers, posted a photo of a tiny skeleton held in the palm of a hand on Tuesday.
The post says, “James Cornan of Wilmington, North Carolina, claims to have discovered the remains of a pixie in a falcon’s nest while exploring the Rocky Mountains in 2017. Scientific tests have concluded the bones are indeed real.”
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But there’s no citation for the discovery, no credit on the photo and no trace of a James Cornan in Wilmington.
There’s no news coverage of the discovery, no scientific evidence published. Nothing.
The post had more than 20,000 reactions, nearly 17,000 shares and more than 1,500 comments within 17 hours of being posted. Many of the commenters argued that the skeleton wasn’t a pixie, but the remains of a human fetus (also untrue).
The photo and description also were posted on another website.
The same photo – and others like it – were used on cryptozoological and pseudoscience websites last year in relation to a story about tiny human fossils found in Antarctica. Again, there was no citation or credit for the photos, so it’s unclear where they originated.
A reverse Google image search quickly turns up dozens of websites using the same photo or similar photos used on similar websites. But none are credible scientific or news sources.
And there was no evidence that the photo originated from a man named James Cornan from Wilmington.