This is how the internet works: a photographer takes a dramatic shot of a jackal buzzard in Africa and posts it to his Facebook page. Two and a half years later that photo is somehow found by a Reddit user, who challenges his fellow message board denizens to start a Photoshop battle with the pic. That spawns almost 1000 Reddit comments and hundreds of Photoshopped images, which in turn go out and conquer the internet, turning the jackal buzzard, freshly renamed as “badass hawk”, into the latest meme to go viral.

That photographer’s name is Clint Ralph. His original photo of the jackal buzzard was posted on March 5, 2014, and can be seen here. The original Reddit post was written on October 1, and the deluge of absurd and adorable photoshops commenced immediately, eventually making their way to Facebook pages and Twitter feeds and onto websites through posts like this.

It’s easy to see why this photo resonates so strongly: it looks like it’s ripped from an action film made by and for jackal buzzards, the bird’s tough, confident strut directly towards the camera echoing so many stereotypical movie scenes. Your brain just immediately assumes it’s walking in slow motion as soon as you see the photo. And that’s been the default template for most of the Photoshop battlers, plopping this bird down in scenes from famous action movies or videogames. There have been some clever surprises from the Reddit crew, though, along with some superb Photoshop work.

The internet soon featured the bird in an intense Photoshop battle. ‘I loved the attitude and comedy of the shot, I knew it would capture the imagination of the public,’ Clint told the Metro. If you have an awesome idea of your own, be sure to download the image and submit it’s edit below!


Whilst visiting Giant’s Castle in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa, animal enthusiast and photographer Clint Ralph turned his attention to a jackal hawk that seemed to be putting on a show for the camera. Originally there with his son to photograph a Bearded Vulture the photo that Clint took of the hawk quickly made it’s way into the hands of the internet, sparking an intense Photoshop battle.

#1 I Will Find You, And I Will Kill You

#2 Straight Outta Hawkton

#3 Explosion

#4 Trump Hawk

#5 High Noon

#6 Stephen Hawking

#7 Photoshop Battle

#8 A Real Millennium Falcon

#9 Jerry Was Never Quite Like The Rest Of The Other Birds

#10 I Heard You Like Badass…

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