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​The Harpy Eagle Is So Terrifyingly Huge That Some People Think It’s A Person In Costume

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​The Harpy Eagle Is So Terrifyingly Huge That Some People Think It’s A Person In Costume

For anyone who's not had the pleasure of setting eyes on a harpy eagle before, the first thing you need to know is that they're absolutely huge - so much so, in fact, that many people over the years have been convinced that what they see in a photo isn't an animal but a human dressed up in costume.

It's a topic that regularly crops up on social media, as all it takes is for one person to have that 'WTF?!' moment before passing it on to swathes of others.

A harpy eagle in Panama, featured on BBC's Ultimate Killers. Credit: BBC
A harpy eagle in Panama, featured on BBC's Ultimate Killers. Credit: BBC

Not too long ago, one person posted a viral photo on Twitter, saying they thought it was 'fake'.

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The same picture had also been posted on a Reddit thread from a few months back, where many of the 3,000+ comments focus on just how terrifying the bird looks.

Others were so freaked out, they thought it must have been a human wearing a bird costume or a giant puppet.

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One commented: "It looks like a person wearing a costume."

Someone else agreed, saying: "I first thought it was a person in a costume."

Another added: "This looks like something Jim Henson made... mildly creepy."

Stock image of a harpy eagle. Credit: PA
Stock image of a harpy eagle. Credit: PA
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As a caveat, now feels like the appropriate time to whip out a reference to that famous Father Ted gag, in which our titular priest has to explain to his slow-witted pal Father Dougal that cows in the field appear smaller because they're further away, whereas the model one he's holding seems bigger as it's closer.

The same logic should probably be applied to the picture of that harpy eagle sitting in the foreground on a log.

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That said, they're still pretty gigantic as birds go; as they're the world's largest eagles they can weigh up to 25 pounds, according to National Georgraphic.

San Diego Zoo also says that, like most eagle species, the female harpy is almost twice as large as the male.

"The harpy eagle's legs can be as thick as a small child's wrist, and its curved, back talons are larger than grizzly bear claws at 5 inches (13 centimetres) long!" its website explains.

"The harpy may not be the largest bird of prey (that title belongs to the Andean condor), but this extraordinary creature is definitely the heaviest and most powerful of birds."

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

Topics: Viral, News, Reddit, Animals

Jess Hardiman
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