This photo shows an art sculpture in France, not a “dragon skeleton found in China”

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An image of what appears to be the skeleton of a large snake-like creature has been repeatedly shared in Korean-language online posts that claim it shows the remains of a dragon discovered in China. This is wrong: the image shows a sculpture of a sea serpent displayed on a beach on the Atlantic coast of France.

The image has been shared here on, a South Korean tabloid news site, on June 9.

“An ancient dragon skeleton recently discovered in China’s Hebei province,” read the Korean caption for the image.

Screenshot of misleading claim shared on Facebook, captured June 10, 2022.

The identical image was also shared with a similar claim on Facebook here, here, here and here.

However, the claim is false.

A reverse image search on Google found the identical image posted on July 26, 2013 in a report by Zeit Online, the online edition of the German weekly Die Zeit.

The photo caption says it shows an art installation called ‘Ocean Serpent’ created by the Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping.

The installation was displayed on the Loire estuary, which connects the French city of Nantes to the Atlantic Ocean, according to the German-language report.

Below is a screenshot comparing the image shared in one of the fake posts (left) and the image posted by Zeit Online (right):

Comparison of screenshots of the image shared alongside the false claim in social media posts (left) and the original photo posted by Zeit Online (right).

The site of the Nantes tourist office offers published several photos and a video of the work, partially financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Ocean Serpent is part of Estuaire, a series of 33 works of contemporary art in Nantes, Saint-Nazaire and on the banks of the Loire estuary with free access to the public, according to the collection’s official press release. website.

a satellite image of the structure is visible on Google Maps at the address indicated on the Nantes tourism website.

A different satellite image of the sculpture can also be seen here on Google Earth.

The work has also been referenced on various tourist sites websites and the news.

Huang was an avant-garde artist born in China in 1954. He worked in France from 1989 until his death in 2019, according to the Gallery Tang Contemporary Art.

In addition to Ocean Serpent, Huang has created several other pieces featuring serpent-like skeletons, which can be seen here, here and here.

Mildred D. Field