Well, "real" in the sense that it seriously portrays a slaughtered animal. It IS real in the sense that it is an actual photo, which shows director Steven Spielberg on the set of "Jurassic Park," posed next to one of the animatronic dinosaurs used in the film.
Facebook user Jay Branscomb posted the photo last week. His caption is seemingly a reference to Kendall Jones, a cheerleader who angered the public by posting photos of herself with trophy kills in South Africa.
Branscomb's caption reads:
"Disgraceful photo of recreational hunter happily posing next to a Triceratops he just slaughtered. Please share so the world can name and shame this despicable man."
Since Branscomb's post, a myriad of websites have claimed that "gullible" people on the Internet were "outraged" after believing that Spielberg had actually killed a Triceratrops. Fox 8 declared the photo "outraged the Internet," LAist claimed the photos "sparked massive outrage," and Buzzfeed asserted that "a whole bunch of people" believe Spielberg really downed a Triceratops.
Intrepid HuffPost Weird News reporters took a deep dive into the thousands of comments on Branscomb's photo, and found that in reality, a miniscule number of Facebook users -- if any -- believed the photo shows a real dinosaur.
The vast majority of "outraged" commenters were clearly in on the joke:
Even some of the examples specifically cited by other outlets as gullible morons did not hold up to close inspection.
But Smith was almost certainly kidding. He made DOZENS of comments on the post, including "At this rate triceratops will be extinct in -6 million years," and "Hollywood killed all the dinosaurs." He also stated he "likes BBQ triceratops."
Commenters themselves pointed out that most of the "outraged" posts were actually in on the joke:
We have to admit, though, there was at least one comment that we truly weren't sure about:
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) July 11, 2014
If this woman was trolling, she did a great job.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST:
Level up. Read THIS and be the most interesting person at your dinner party. Learn more