It has been called the Great American Hoax. The Cardiff Giant.
Was it a petrified man or a statue from some ancient unknown culture of giants?
That was the story that gripped America in 1869 when workmen, digging a well in Cardiff, New York found a nearly 11 foot tall stone figure that appeared to be that of a petrified human being.
After scientists squabbled over its possible origin, the “Cardiff Giant” became a nationwide sensation. It was later discovered that it was all a hoax perpetrated by a man named William Hull who hoped to make a fortune from selling the statue as a priceless icon of a forgotten culture.
The picture above is of the replica of the giant that was commissioned by P. T. Barnum who passed it off at his New York Museum as the original. Today you can see it at Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum in Michigan.