Earlier today, we published a story on the doctored North Korean photo that erased, for some reason, a group of six men from a picture of deceased dictator Kim Jong Il's funeral procession. It's been our top story most of the day. So when we story the story about the "giant" showing up at the same processional, we thought we might be bringing you yet another example of a doctored photo. But after looking into it, it seems a giant man did actually show up for the ceremony.
Before we discuss the merits of the photo, take a look at it for yourself:
Note the caption associated with the photo -- it's an official Associated Press picture. Still, maybe you're not seeing the very tall man in the center of the photo. We've decided to blow it up for you to get a better look:
See him now? He's to the left of the first flag pole. Gawker lightens up the picture in case you're still having trouble seeing it:
So who is the man in the photo? Gawker, which originally thought the photo was a fake, did a good job of reviewing the possibilities behind the man they called a "giant:"
Reddit users speculate that the man is 7' 9" North Korean celebrity giant Ri Myung Hung. Once named the tallest man in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records, Ri is North Korea's only internationally famous basketball player. He tried to play in the NBA in the late 90s, but was prohibited by the State Department, probably because they knew he'd destroy all our comparatively miniature American basketball players.
If you're curious, a YouTube search turns up a little more on Hung:
There you have it. Who would have thought that the photo involving the six men and a camera crew would turn out to be a fake, while the one possibly involving a giant basketball player would end up being real. In a North Korean world, I guess it just makes sense.
Or, as Gawker writer Adrien Chen writes, the Hung theory "seems more reasonable than my first guess: a short North Korean standing on another short North Korean's shoulders under a big trenchcoat."