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jbt114

Real or Shopped?

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nature, Internet, photographyJanuary 13, 2006 9:27 am

Paradise on Earth?

Where in the World are the Crescent Star Islands, aka the Moon and Star on Earth?

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Where did the "Moon and Star on Earth" photograph originate? The above image was uploaded to the flick.com photography site by Ajith Kumar on 1 November 2005. He describes himself as a communication operator working for "Indian Express", a daily newspaper. Sometime during or before 2005, Wilson Hayes included the image on a webpage entitled "What A Beautiful World." The same image, with the same title, "The Moon and Star on Earth", is also found in a collection of beautiful photographs by "Oracle Whimsical" entitled "You only pass this way once," dated September 23, 2005. A third site, "Secretopinions.com" included it also. I found it at "Gar'Z", circa 2006, where it was entitled "One of Earth's Dynamics of Unity - Moon/ Star Lake ." In January 2006, the image was uploaded to a site of predominantly Muslim themed images from Turkey: http://spaces.msn.com/members/onurhoney/.

The crescent and star are symbols of Islam, therefore, this image probably originated with a person of the Muslim faith who is skilled with Photoshop, as it appears to be a composite of two islands. "The Moon" part looks like Molokini Islet, a small chunk of land located a few miles off the coast of the island of Maui in Hawaii. Molokini is popular with tourists who go there to dive and watch fish along the reef. Notice the boats lined up, and also notice that the top boat anchored off the crescent island, Molokini, has been copied and pasted over to the left, at the bottom of the star island. I don't know where the star-shaped island came from, but it is not from the waters next to Molokini!

The original image that was obviously used to make the fake or composite "Crescent Star Islands" may have originated as an illustration for a Hawaiian newspaper, Maui News. The photograph was used to illustrate a story of the rescue of six Molokini divers in February of 2003: "MAALAEA, Maui (15 Feb 2003) ." In the news report the image is entitled "Molokini, Maui." I later found that same image entitled "Molokini" used as advertising of an Oahu, Hawaii business, Will's Condos.com, which I have copied below.

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A Google image search retrieves many pictures of "Molokini Island", which is also known as Molokini Crater and Molokini Inlet. One can also map this island on Google's satellite maps and see that there is absolutely no star island next to it.

This actual land formation is probably geologically impossible, considering the various forces that create land masses in oceans. However, the hand of man is quite creative. While Googling, I discovered another interesting picture of islands - The Palm Islands. They are also referred to as The Palm Dubai and The Palms, and are the three largest man-made islands in the world, lying along the coast of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The builders describe them as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World'.

UPDATED: 29 September 2007

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