Jul 30 2012

A public service to koalas and skeptics

An image has been circulating recently throughout the intertubes depicting a wet koala looking absolutely terrifying with its hideous fangs:

Turns out that’s a fake.

The real image shows grumpiness, but not viciousness. Some wags apparently ‘shopped in a wolf jaw or something. Mind, koalas aren’t very sociable even if they’re not befanged. Don’t pet them. They have long claws.

Funny how many people got suckered in by that meme.


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  1. 1
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Fake? Yeah, sure, you go on with that whole “There’s no such thing as Drop Bears” denialist schtick. If you get eaten, don’t blame me.

  2. 2
    'Tis Himself

    That’s not a koala, it’s a drop bear.

  3. 3

    Really? Even though that lower jaw would stick out a good inch beyond the nose? The things people fall for astound me.

  4. 4

    When I was in New Zealand I was warned never to trust an Aussie. And a Kiwi would never lie to a Canuck.

  5. 5

    They also apparently have extremely high rates of chlamydia. New colleague just joined my lab once had to dissect out ovaries from roadkill for research…

  6. 6
    Alyson Miers

    Yeah, that jaw looks awfully long and narrow to be on a koala’s face.

  7. 7
    Kylie Sturgess

    … you didn’t know and had to find out? Seriously, next time ask your resident FTB Australian!

  8. 8
    'Tis Himself

    They also apparently have extremely high rates of chlamydia.

    Koalas or Australians?

  9. 9
    Jason Thibeault

    Tis Himself @8: Ba-dum-tsssh!

    Kylie @7: were you already all over that meme? Heh. Sorry to go stomping on your territory. I only heard about it last night.

  10. 10

    ‘Tis Himself: Koalas have chlamydia! (Yes, it is true – a very large percentage of Aussie koalas have it)

    When I first saw the photo, I immediately thought “someone has shopped a Tasmanian Devil’s jaw on the koala”

    Of course, getting a photo of a Tasmanian Devil’s jaw like that isn’t easy anymore – there is an infectious cancer-like illness ravaging the devil population (their jaws actually look hideous when infected – most die of the complication “starvation”, as they can no longer eat with half their jaw missing – google it if you really need to)

  11. 11

    I still go with the idea that some Aussie schoolkid has photoshopped up a drop bear image. Giving nightmares to US visitors is a traditional Aussie pastime.

  12. 12

    Personally, I find the unphotoshopped version scarier. The photoshopped koala is showing us its scariest aspect and…well, they’re just fangs. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to get bitten by one, but they’re just big teeth. Unphotoshopped koala looks like it’s trying to decide whether to blast you with its rocket launcher or say heck with it and nuke Sydney from orbit.

  13. 13

    you need to search your name on youtube

  14. 14
    Jason Thibeault

    xjustos: It’s Dave Mabus. He’s decided I’m a big shot because I blog on the same network as PZ.

  15. 15
    Jason Thibeault

    And by “It’s Dave Mabus”, I mean “you’re Dave Mabus”. http://www.geoiptool.com/en/?IP=

  16. 16
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Grumpiness is only apparent if you swap in a human brow for the wet hair.

  17. 17

    To be honest, the original photo looks far more menacing.

  18. 18


    Personally, I find the unphotoshopped version scarier.

    No kidding! My mind immediately conjured up gruesome visions of just what that… that thing was going to do to me.


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