Woolly, no; Mammoth, YES!: The World’s Largest Horse

A photo is being circulated on social media claiming to be the “biggest horse in history”. In fact, this photo is not real: it was created using artificial intelligence. The biggest horse in history looked completely different.

A photo of six men standing next to a huge horse, more than twice their size, is being circulated on social media, including in Poland. According to the authors of some entries, the “biggest horse in history” was immortalized in an old photograph. Others, full of admiration, wrote that it was “a piece of horse” or asked what breed it was.

⚜️ERIC⚜️ on X: "The biggest horse ever recorded was Sampson, who was from Shire  breed. He weighed an astounding 3359 lbs. Photo taken in 1859😳  https://t.co/enm0DXBok0" / X

Entries with a photo of the alleged “greatest horse in history”Twitter

Especially under the last question about the race, Internet users willingly shared their guesses. “Nordic or French”; “Shire or Percheron”; “Perscheron, but that big?”; “Shire. A breed of knight horses originating from England” – some suggested (original spelling of all entries). Many more people wrote “Photoshop Horse Race”; “Race is called Photoshop”; “The horse was supposed to be modeled on a draft horse, but something went wrong. Stop believing in images generated by AI (artificial intelligence), because it’s getting childish.”

So we explain where this photo comes from and what the horse considered the greatest in history really looked like.

Woolly, no; Mammoth, YES!: The World's Largest Horse – Northwest Carriage  Museum

Article about “fake historical photos”

In case of doubts about the authenticity of such photos, it is best to enter them into an image search engine, e.g. Google Images, and check where and with what descriptions they appeared on the web in the past. For example, one of the results after entering a photo with a huge horse is article on Historyofyesterday.com “Fake historical photos generated by artificial intelligence are taking the internet by storm.”

As the main photo of the text published on April 25, 2023, a photograph of a horse was used, signed: “Image generated by artificial intelligence to represent the largest horse in history.” In addition to him, another image of a huge horse is shown in the text, which, according to the author of the article, was created with the help of artificial intelligence.

Lubber, the World's Largest Horse - History NebraskaLubber, the World's Largest Horse - History Nebraska

Another image of a horse generated using artificial intelligencehistoryofyesterday.com

In the article, the author focused on the impact of fake, computer-generated images from the past on the perception of history. “Ultimately, AI-generated fake historical photos provide an interesting case study of how technology will shape our future understanding of the past. It remains to be seen what effects these images will have on our collective memory and how they will shape our future views of historical events.” – he wrote.

Other ways to verify such images

However, how to verify and confirm that a given image was actually created using artificial intelligence? You can try to enter the photos into applications that analyze graphics in this respect. Their results, however, are not always fully consistent and reliable. In the case of horse photography, some of the most popular apps have rated the odds of it being AI-created at 23 percent (Hivemoderation.com), 31 percent (Maybe’s AI Art Detector) and as high as 78 percent (Illuminarty.ai).

Three different results of image analysis with the ‘biggest horse in history’Hivemoderation.com, Huggingface.co, Illuminarty.ai

It is also worth paying attention to details: artificial intelligence still has problems with accurately mapping smaller and detailed objects, e.g. faces or human hands. In the case of the image with the horse, the men stand quite far away, but you can see that three of them have their right hands strangely hidden, as if they don’t have them at all. Moreover, the man second from the left seems to have both halves of his face perfectly symmetrical: this could also suggest the use of artificial intelligence.

It is also worth noting that the horse has only one eye flap, while normally two so-called eye flaps are used. blinkers. Of course, in the case of photos stylized as historical, many people may ignore such details as imperfections in an old photograph or other realities of “those times”, but it is precisely catching these inaccuracies that can be crucial when verifying the authenticity of a photo encountered on the web.

A more time-consuming and not always effective way may also be to search groups and forums where graphic designers with the use of artificial intelligence post their works. In the case of the photo with the horse, this strategy turned out to be the best: the image posted On April 8, in the “Midjourney Official” Facebook group created for the creators of works made in the Midjourney tool that generates graphics using AI.

Original post with obscured image of purportedly “greatest horse in history”Facebook

In addition to the painting with a horse, the author also boasted of works depicting unnaturally large dogs, birds, sheep and cows. Interestingly, the image with the horse itself has already been covered up after the Italian fact-checking portal Open.online qualified him as inauthentic. In this way, you can also determine that a photo you encounter on the web is not real.

The biggest and tallest horse

On the web, you can find real photos of the largest horse in history. According to the Guinness Book of Records, he was a Belgian stallion named Brooklyn Supreme. He lived in the first half of the 20th century in the United States. He weighed 1,450 kg and, depending on the source, was 198 cm or 201 cm tall.

Brooklyn Supreme, however, was not the tallest horse in history. This creator title Guinness Book of Records they attribute to a British-born Shire stallion named Sampson. His official height at the withers, measured in 1850, is 219.7 centimeters. Due to the fact that Samspon lived in the mid-nineteenth century, no photos of him have survived. This is another proof that the graphic with the “biggest horse in history” circulating on the web is only an image generated using artificial intelligence.