23

There's this photo that keeps popping up, most typically in the "Suggested Articles" section on various news sites (you know, the section where all the linked "articles" are actually from external sites and basically just ads):

enter image description here

In context, the photo can be found in on sites using 'Sponsored Links by Taboola', where it presents alongside other outbound links, like this:

enter image description here

The caption that accompanies the photo is always "20 Rare Historical Photos Declassified", however if you click it (yep, I clicked it even knowing it's probably an ad...because I really want to know what the story is behind this particular photo) the article that you're taken to does not display or mention the photo at all.

(I've also seen a smaller instance of the same photo in 'Outbrain' links, however I haven't been able to get that one to reappear yet. Will grab it and append if/when it pops up again.)

Is this a photo that used to be classified? I wonder if it is just click-bait, perhaps lifted from an old horror movie or something similar (or just plain photoshopped into existence).

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    It's a typical clickbait. Title (and the associated picture) are intentionally way more exciting than the content itself. – sashkello Oct 4 '16 at 5:05
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    "Russian Sleep Experiment" seems like a good lead. Snopes, at least, debunks it and cites 2010 as the likely publication date. – aroth Oct 4 '16 at 5:17
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    @Oddthinking I've seen this photo on many popular Youtube videos and I've also seen it on clickbait advertising quite a lot. Perhaps OP could demonstrate this. I'd say the people "making the claim" are the people behind the clickbait advertisements. I suppose mere exposure and numbers probably indicates that a many people end up believing the image is real. – Revetahw says Reinstate Monica Oct 4 '16 at 20:44
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    @Aroth: Part of our Be Nice guidelines are assuming good intentions. It would be helpful if you could consider that my goal is to improve this question. – Oddthinking Oct 5 '16 at 8:07
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    Finding, screenshotting and quoting some adverts would be very helpful in establishing notability. Then we will be able to remove all the current speculation in the question, and focus on what is actually claimed. – Oddthinking Oct 5 '16 at 8:08
28

This could easily be a manipulated photo of a "Spazm" Halloween doll.

Here's an image of one recently sold on eBay:

enter image description here

And a slightly different newer model on Amazon:

enter image description here

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    Actually, I agree that the photo is most likely that of this prop or one like it. If you look at the background of the photo(easier to see in somewhat higher-res versions on Google Images), the "person" is sitting on what appears to be an outdoor bench covered in snow. It seems far more likely to be a Halloween prop left outside. I mean, would a radiation victim really be sitting in the snow like that? Maybe... – Ravenstine Oct 4 '16 at 5:13
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    Seems plausible. Amazon indicates that this product went on sale in 2007. So far I can't find a reference to the photo from the OP dated any earlier than 2010. Good chance that the doll came first, and the photo came after. – aroth Oct 4 '16 at 5:19
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    Well it's not this exact doll, as the head is leaning the wrong way from the photo. – Tom.Bowen89 Oct 4 '16 at 7:52
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    @Tom.Bowen89 Easily explained: On the Amazon listing you'll find that the doll is animated. I don't know the precise details of this animation, but a shoulder/head rocking thing seems likely, and likely to bring the head into the desired position. Looking at the doll it appears to be a cloth full-body straightjacket over some kind of mechanism, so differences in how the clothing is creased is also to be expected (especially considering how the photo appears to be of a snowed-upon specimen). – Williham Totland Oct 4 '16 at 8:29
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    Apparently there have been several different models of this doll. The one in your answer does look similar to the picture, but this one on eBay is much closer (notice the eyes, the teeth, and the goo in the corner of the mouth). – Reinstate Monica iamnotmaynard Oct 4 '16 at 17:52

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