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By on April 9, 2007, with 90 Comments

While ago, reader Bart Wouters sent me this photo of a Goat family that climbs trees in search for food. Bart says it’s no illusion – it’s real. I also received a link with an explanation. What made me think. Internet as a medium can push a story as unbelievable as this one, and we believe it without thinking much about it. I checked the website, and have to say it gave good explanation, but am still not sure what to think. Can you help me? The second photo of lions on a tree is probably real. But I can’t figure how those goats climbed up there? They don’t appear much athletic. The explanation says: “In drought-ridden conditions when there is little else to eat, goats will climb up a variety of trees in many of the warmer countries in the world (Morocco). Some holidaymakers to the Mediterranean countries come back with amazing photos of goats grazing in trees. The most spectacular of these pictures originate from South-West Morocco, where there is a unique habitat of semi-desert Argan Forest, which is sadly declining. Nearly half of the forest has disappeared in comparison with Victorian times. ” This is probably, why they have to climb trees – to eat and survive! I’m still doubtful…

Goats and Lions Tree Photo
Goats and Lions Tree Photo

Comments

90 Responses
  1. Anonymous says:

    if it’s no illusion then what the hell is it doing as the illusion of the day. pfft.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Um..they look kinda okay to me except for the 2 white goats. It looks a bit photoshopped..
    But thats only one man’s opinion =D

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not to burst your bubble, but it really could just be photoshopped….

  4. FoolsConvert says:

    It’s no illusion. I’ve seen goats climb trees. Hell I’ve even been chased up a tree by a goat who was trying to eat my shoelaces, but it climbed right up after me. Stupid goat.

  5. Anonymous says:

    it basically is an illusion – since it sorta deceives us into thinking that goats can actually possibly climb up a tree considering the circumstances…and even if it isn’t why are u such a spoilsport, it looks cool even if it wasnt an illusion.

  6. Anonymous says:

    loook, the picture could be true, but at the same time it can be an easy photoshop job, so itts the way you see it !!!!

  7. galindorf says:

    Ah, I am someone who does photo manipulations on a regular basis for various things…. Both of these are definitely photoshopped. :)

  8. sydneyy says:

    well i think its cool and im sure goats can climb trees. if they tried hard.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Have you ever seen mountain goats? They can climb cliffs that make climbing trees look like a walk down the street. It is not surprising at all to see goats climbing trees.

  10. Parasane says:

    Of course it’s Photoshop’d. First of all, it’s nearly impossible for the goat to defy gravity (and other laws of physics) and its own body design to get to the top of the tree as he is. He would have had to balance on his front hoof while carefully raising his rear hooves, then dropped down on what appears to be a roughly two-inch diameter branch point sticking up.

    Secondly, note that, no matter how heave the goats are, no branches sag the slightest bit.

    Finally, there are no shadows on the branches.

    It’s pretty good, but certainly not real.

    …. or so I’m guessing. ;-P

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s real. Goats climb trees. And of course mountain goats can climb cliffs. I’m a biologist — the example of tree-climbing goats is often brought up in discussions of adaptations. As in, you can’t argue that that fossil bird could not possibly be arboreal based on its foot structure, when we know that even goats can climb trees well.

    And yes, I’m being serious.

  12. alex_can_fly says:

    It is blatantly fake (the goats one) and the fact that the branches don’t even bend with the weight of the goats is an obvious giveaway. I certainly believe the lions one though, mainly because the tree has the potential strength to hold something more that a ferret.

  13. Slare12563 says:

    ok all of you people
    1.)who cares if its photoshoped
    2.)its this guys site he can put what ever he wants on it dont like it leave
    3.)it looks cool so to bad
    4.)I have seen weirder things that were REAL.
    5.)the lions can climb trees but i see they wouldnt look like that they would be drowsy
    6.)dont comment “photoshopped!!!” we can tell we are not all (__fill_in__)like you are. k?

  14. Anonymous says:

    the goat one looks too fake. im not going to by it.

  15. Slare says:

    OMG CAN YOU SEE THE BLACK GOAT ON LEFT HAS NO HEAD!!!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I also noticed that the goat to the wayyyy left <—– the brown one in the tree, he has no head. on either sides of his body. Dosnt that just prove that its fake? I meen, come on, what goat would stand on the tree with no head? think about it people, its fake.

  17. Anonymous says:

    totally bogus. you know it’s not real because none of the goats are eating. besides the whole ‘common sense’ thing.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think its real except for the very top one…he looks like he was definitely photo shopped, the reset look real its just he stands out and looks like hes fake or something his fur doesnt look real…he looks llike a stuffed animal in my opinion.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The brown goat does have a head, he’s just looking the other way so you can’t see it in the photo. I have seen lions in trees like that before but never goats…. O_o

  20. Shauzia says:

    Its a goat….in a tree……a lion…..in a tree……..remind me again, what about this is even half interesting?

  21. Tiny says:

    Geez people, it’s real! The black goat on the left is looking away from the camera, so the head is behind the body. There are no shadows because the sun is behind the ca,era and goats are amazingly agile animals, so they could probably stand on top of a flgpole if they really wanted to. All of you who are shouting FAKE, look before you leap, check everything carefully, because some perfectionist like me might just come, prove it true and make you look like a FOOL!

  22. Not At School Anymore says:

    I do have to agree with tiny cuz its amaizing wat animals can do! Exactly one dat you’ll see it for your self and feel like n IDIOT!

  23. Frank J says:

    Hasnt anyone seen the piece on Current TV?

    One of the hosts has been to this area and interviewed a local as the goats climb up the trees.

    It is real. I am not sure if it is on their website or not.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I am not certain about the ability of any viewer to prove or disprove the goat in trees picture. I happen to own goats and sheep. Sheep aren’t the brightest animals and group mentally that can land the domestic version to slaughter. While my goats are much more curious and independent. I have domestic goats that climb rolls of fencing, strung fence, rabit hunches, and feeders. I used to go to a kids park where the goats climbed planks and into the trees and all for a handful of alfalfa pellets! And they were in real tall fir and pines. I guess what I am trying to say is its more than possible and highly likely in my experience that the goat picture is real, but one can never be sure of such things unless you were there.

  25. Anonymous says:

    this is sooo photoshopped. you can tell because the goats arent real, and besides, that tree has no food in it. oh, and another thing, the goats on the ground dont even seem to notice that there are goats in the tree about to fall on them.

  26. Anonymous says:

    As I said before — this is well-known in biology. Goats can climb trees. For those of you who think you’re so smart, check out these:

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Goats+in+trees

    http://www.the-tree.org.uk/SpecialBranch/InTree/goats.htm

    http://lexicorient.com/morocco/tamri.htm

    http://www.neatorama.com/2007/01/08/tree-goats/

    and here is the San Diego zoo saying that goats climb trees:

    http://www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/t-goat_sheep.html

  27. Anonymous says:

    I have seen goats climb trees. Goats have some of the best balance in the world. Whose to say that the tree limbs are not bending. Do we know what the limbs look like when they are not deflected?!?!?

    For those non-believers…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwhBYKLFZAU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI3xgLr70Ss

  28. Anonymous says:

    The photo’s are real – check out this picture: http://www.the-tree.org.uk/SpecialBranch/InTree/goats.htm . Also try a google image search using “goats in trees” Silly Goats.

  29. Anonymous says:

    this is true. this is just like how mountain goats are able to keep such balance in rocky areas and high altitudes.

  30. Tootsy Cute says:

    Hey Anonymous. Are you a teacher at WES? ‘Cuse if you are, the I think I’m in your class. The Monkeys class.

  31. Anonymous says:

    If anyone watches Jeff Corwin on animal planet, you will see an episode with goats climbing trees. Jeff actually gets peed on by a goat standing on a branch above him. It looks crazy, but it’s true. Some goats climb trees.

  32. AK says:

    i dont think its photoshopped, but it is definetely suspicious as none of the goats have any overlap with the tree, so its a very easy cut and paste job. The lions one is almost definetly true.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Been to that Argan forest (road to Essaouira – Morocco) – seen them. It is a tourist attraction. To the point where the kids in charge of the goats carry some up on the branches in the hope a tourist will stop to take a pic (and leave a few dihrams behind).

  34. Anonymous says:

    Goats can actually climb trees, and in extreme cases they may feel inclined to do so. Nevertheless, I sincerely doubt that, especially the top white goat, some of them made it up there. Again, it’s not impossible for them to climb a tree. The lions, on the other hand, have an absolutely feasible setup. Lions can climb trees, end of story.

    On a side note, are most of the posters uneducated, young, or foreign? I can’t get over the fact that 80% of the posts on so many various “illusions” are so dimwitted. Not gonna point fingers, but wow…

  35. galindorf says:

    Oh! I wanted to add that Yes, goats can climb trees, I’ve seen them do it (especially the kids, they are lightweight and totally crazy, lol). Lions also climb trees but not very well they’re very very HEAVY, so they dont’ get up very high. So while these photos bear hallmarks of photo manipulations, and look really fake to me, these things actually do occur. :)

  36. Anonymous says:

    why in the world would anyone waste their time photoshopping animals in trees…that’s original…
    It’s real, I guess not a lot of people here watch discovery channel.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Guys, google goats in trees…there are many more pictures than this and many other more credible looking sites talking about this. There’s no way someone would waste that much time photoshopping goats in trees…please, do a little research next time before making accusations against the wonders of nature.

  38. cow says:

    the goats on the tree are bigger than the other ones I think so it could be photoshopped but it looks pretty real, I’d believe a goat in some strange country would climb trees and eat leaves while they’re at it. goats are weird.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Why would only some of the goats be real. Either it is all photoshopped or not. Whoever took this picture would not photoshop anything in if it was real. It is either all photoshopped or not. And this picture might be fake but goats might actually be able to climb trees. If you google image search “goats on trees” you will find some amazing pictures of goats on trees. Try it.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I have travelled in Morrocco and have many photographs of goats in trees. It is not an illusion.

  41. Red. says:

    “there’s no shadows”
    ITS CLOUDY.

    “the branches arent giving way”
    It’s pretty impossible to tell with a still picture. I mean, if goats can climb trees they’re going to climb sturdy ones aren’t they?

    Plus, that tree is pretty bendy and weird so it’s hard to tell anyway..

    I still don’t get why some people go on here and do nothing but whinge.

    Find something else to do people.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Goats are very stubborn so i do believe that they can climb up trees

  43. Lost says:

    Hey you guys, stop saying its fake! Just because it seems weired doesn’t mean its fake! Did you know there is a type of fish that could actually fly?! This is one of those things that you have to see it to believe it. And the black goat with “no” head, DOES have a head, its on the left side of his body, infact you could even see the horn allittle! Ignorants.

    P.S. I forgot to mention, but there is a type of goat that could fit ALL four hooves on a U.S.A. dime!

  44. Ange7 says:

    Hi everybody.

    I don’t really understand the need for certain people to just add a negative comment.
    Anyway… I lived in the (beautiful) Sultanate of Oman for 3 years and I often saw goats in trees, “defying” gravity, just like these. I don’t recall being lucky enough to see that many in the same time but goat there, DO climb in these tiny trees.

    Please, webmaster, keep up the good work, I enjoy everyday my widget.

    Peace.

    NB : the black goat on the left has its head turned, not removed ;-)

  45. Ange7 says:

    Hi everybody.

    I don’t really understand the need for certain people to just add a negative comment.
    Anyway… I lived in the (beautiful) Sultanate of Oman for 3 years and I often saw goats in trees, “defying” gravity, just like these. I don’t recall being lucky enough to see that many in the same time but goats there, DO climb in these tiny trees.

    Please, webmaster, keep up the good work, I enjoy everyday my widget.

    Peace.

  46. oscar says:

    Look at the rightmost goat, the white and black one, swinging on a very looong, loooong branch. There was a law, I think I remember, the “momentum” one, that says: M = F x D. It means that a force on a large lever will create a much bigger force on the smaller side of the same lever (remember Archimedes?). So this big, big goat on the extreme of a looong, looong thinny branch must be creating an incredible force on the inner extreme. The goat should be flying straight to the floor right now, and the broken branch should fall straight to the photoshopper head!!!
    ;-)

  47. Vick D'Mental says:

    This is stupid. I have the Illusion of the Day on my Google Home page and thus far it’s been average at best. This is coming off my page altogether because crap like this gets mixed into the fray.

    I want illusions– not cleverly photoshopped photos.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Shadows: The sky is misty, so shadows are weak, look on the ground.
    Missing heads: A fake would not contain a goat with it’s head turned away, then you would choose an other goat.
    Branches: The goat is standing on the branch. Only when it leaves could you tell how much the bransh is bent. The trees could be very strong.
    Not eating: Since there is leaves left at all, thay are probably not very tasty, so the goats look for new leaves, and today they have eaten all. But it does not hurt to look.

    Sum: It’s real, and I have seen it my self.
    –HB

  49. Elliexx ANIMALS ROCK!! says:

    i think its kl! but yeh i agree with Slare – the black/brown one on the left has no head! how strange…

  50. Anonymous says:

    Who cares, we all still look at it! and argue like gays, if you don’t like it u dnt need to tell everyone, they just will think ir a grumpy old git!!!

  51. Bee says:

    Goats climbing Trees??? i highly doubt it- unless they are mountain goats =\

  52. Anonymous says:

    That lion picture looks like a rainforest to me… And do lions live in rainforests?

  53. Anonymous says:

    Jesus christ people why do you not think its real? In warm, dry countries particularly in the Mediterranean this is perfectly normal behaviour as the goats want to get to the water and nutrients provided by the leaves.
    Nevertheless still an awesome photo and who cares if its not an illusion? I enjoyed it

  54. Nivaldo says:

    I couldn’t believe in what I saw, but now I have no doubt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwhBYKLFZAU

  55. Fared says:

    it is true..i’ve seen them on National Geographic…both pics are true..no photoshopped been done here…

  56. BALLER77 says:

    FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE FAKE TINY FAKE

  57. Anonymous says:

    wtf the lions r like posing for a camera…

  58. Anonymous says:

    Yes the picture is real ~ if any of you have ever cared for goats you would know that just like cats you find them in the weirdiest places – like up in a tree, they are great climbers and it makes you crazy trying to figure out how they climbed up there – and then you help them down and they will climb right back up there again! It’s not a fake

  59. Jesse says:

    hmm… here’s a great explanation 4 u…

    it’s called PHOTOSHOP!!!

    i thought this was optical illusion of the day, not crappy photoshop job of the day…

  60. Erynn says:

    Wild goats (and assumingly any goats) definately DO climb trees. Strange and rather hart to believe, but true. I watched some animal special on the Discovery Channel a while back with Jeff Corwin – those bloody goats were leaping off the branches all around him!

    The goats on the highest branches look a little odd though… I’d say that this picture might be photoshopped to some degree – but the concept is real.

  61. Taylor says:

    I have personally been to places in the Northern African area (Morroco and Tunisia). In Fact, the goats there (and in other places) do climb trees. It is an adaptation they have evolved with because ground vegetation is scarce, and as a way to evade predators. Goats do this often in these coutries. Not everything in the world is photoshopped. Just because it doesn’t seem possible doesn’t mean it isn’t. And the lions are obviously real too.

  62. Jesse says:

    people who said it was photoshopped (including me) were wrong. check out this site…

    http://www.the-tree.org.uk/SpecialBranch/InTree/goats.htm

  63. T says:

    hey, photoshop could do this, however I have seen video footage of these or similar type goats up tiney trees. They have really small hooves because they developed in mountains, and areas with hard conditions requiring odd skills like these. Sheep are also from high ground, which is why they can eat very short grass and they get foot rot easily because they arent evolved to cope with low, wetter ground.

  64. Anonymous says:

    I am veary doughtful about the goats, especialy since the picture looks like it could have been photoshoped.

    However, I know as a fact that lions can and will clime trees.

  65. Vance says:

    ok the goat one is so obviously shopped it’s not funny.
    or interesting, I wouldn’t say a goat couldn’t do it, but they should just get a real picture next time.

  66. Anonymous says:

    There’s videos on youtube of goats climbing trees. I know youtube isn’t a particularly reliable source of biological knowledge, but its hard to photoshop video.

  67. Pablo Herrera says:

    I think this photograph is genuine. Goats are very good climbers. What is interesting about this is that it DOES function like an illusion. We are presented with an image that our brain is unused to process, so it interprets it as something else. Our inflexible adult minds tell us goats do not climb trees, so we interpret this as a hoax.

  68. Anonymous says:

    ok, dont be bloody stupid of course its fake, firstly the branches are 2 thin to hold a goat, secondly the tree is dead and does not provide anyshad so the goats would not go there for shade!!! and also there is no way that goats can climb the not monkeys. but then again thats just me ;)

  69. PrincezzWannab says:

    the goat on top is photoshopped. but goats do really climb trees for food. the picture may be photoshopped but there are others similar rthat arent
    ♥♥♥,Shy☺☺☻☻xoxox

  70. Anonymous says:

    neither of these photos are fake. In africa both goats and lions climb trees. Have you tried looking it up on youtube… these heaps of videos there that show goats climbing trees… Its actually really amazing….

  71. Anonymous says:

    wonder how the goats got on that tree i hope its not photoshoped becouse an illusion isnt an illusion if something is photoshoped :(

  72. Anonymous says:

    i have seen goats in trees before in jamaica…

  73. Tuuli says:

    Enough evidence for the goats, provided by… google.

    Google -> Pictures -> keywords “goat in tree” -> enjoy.

  74. Joshe[h says:

    its not a goddamn photo shop its real

  75. sizwe says:

    GOATS DONT CLIMB TREES
    THE BRANCHES ARE TO THIN TO AND WILL SNAP

    FAKE!!!!!!!!!!

  76. sizwe says:

    unless they got a leg up :/

  77. coolez says:

    all goats can climb stupid :P

  78. Jackie says:

    The goat photo is real. There was a special with live video on Animal Planet about them a few years ago. I believe these are the same goats that, when frightened, will lock up and have a seizure. Could be wrong about that — but there is a species of goats that do. :)

  79. Riskboy says:

    haha the goats photo is real, well atleast i think so cos i have seen a couple of photos of those goats, the Lion photo is real, and FYI thats not a rainforest thats a savanna, look at the background, my source? I live there (Southern Africa) and no matter what you have heard, lions back here do climb trees, so if u got 1 on ur tail and u dnt have a “big” gun u srewed…

  80. ZL123 says:

    If this is real life, what illusion is there?

  81. gk says:

    The goats are real. check YouTube for “tree climbing goats”, or google it. They were in a National Geographic sometime during 2008 but I can’t find it atm. It wasn’t a full feature story but a one page thing under “Health” because the tree’s nuts are used for argan oil. The goats eat the nuts.

  82. guduru narasimha rao says:

    yes goats climb trees and rock mountains inthe hotest summer season for survival to fed himself most of the regions are valleys dry places of the countries. Lions use to climbs trees after their brunch dinner or etc., they go for long rest untill they are hungry its true

  83. LymePretz says:

    Er… They’re both real, no illusions here… Most farm goats can climb trees.

  84. Jon says:

    Yes, Goats can climb. But look at the white one up top. how the… NINJA GOATS!!!!

  85. Amazing says:

    that i really get there hanging on strings

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