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For Your Entertainment

Pinterest’s Viral Purple Trees Debunked

On 13, Sep 2012 | 29 Comments | In For Your Entertainment, Photography/Creative Tips | By Jacqueline Boss

Today’s post goes out to all of you pinterest lovers like me. If you’ve ever searched the travel section you’ve more than likely come across the picture of the purple trees that is often labeled as the “Isle of Skye, Scotland” or the “Fairy Pools, Scotland.” And for some reason, most pinners believe that these vividly purple evergreen trees grow wild on the banks of a foreign river and many “like” or re-pin the photo onto their travel boards.

I now feel that I must de-bunk this myth and burst your bubble, so here is the photo with some mark-ups so you can take a closer look at the photo-shopped evidence.

  • In circle 1 some of the purple color leaked over onto the mountains after the trees have stopped.
  • In circle 2 some of the original color of the pine trees shines through dark and green.
  • In circle 3 a random blob of purple seems to be infecting the rocks and the water.

Not enough evidence?

the purple fairy pools is the shotover river, NZ

The actual place pictured isn’t even in Scotland; it is the “Shotover River” in New Zealand (which, of course, isn’t actually purple.) Herp-derp.

However, who ever originally photoshopped and pinned this, I think it is hysterical. I don’t know if you intended for people to think it was real, but props to you.

So there you have it. Re-pin the evidence!

And, for education’s sake, here is the real Fairy Pool in the Isle of Skye, Scotland, from my post “The 100 Most Beautiful Places in the World.” Pretty nice, even without purple trees.

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  1. la 3 pueden ser hojas caídas de los mismo arboles, seria muy tonta decir que fue un error de retoque por que no tiene sentido hacer semejante imagen y no darse cuanta de semejante error tonto no ?? al igual que con los demas 1 y 2…

    • Jacqueline Boss

      No, those definitely aren’t leaves. It’s not a good retouching as far as photoshopped pictures go-it’s actually pretty poorly done- it doesn’t look like much effort was put into making it look convincing. I doubt the person who made it was trying to trick anyone.

  2. Ha! This guy on Instagram is claiming this isn’t photoshop and it’s in Scotland.

    Thank you for this blog post!! I promptly posted a link under the photo.

    • Jacqueline Boss

      Haha, good catch! That’s pretty funny. I wish I knew the original source, though.

      • Anonymous

        New zealand

    • He must be on psychedelic drugs if he thinks that’s real. It’s a shabbily executed fake – any half-decent photographer will see the obvious faults. I actually LIVE close to the location he CLAIMS this is – and I’m a landscape photographer, running photo workshops on Skye – so I think I might just know what I’m talking about. I just feel sympathy for anyone fooled by this fake, travelling to the Fairy Pools, and being disappointed that they cannot find this view. That’s a shame, because the location is delightful and stunning in its own right.

      • Anonymous

        well it did trick me I guess I just don’t know any better but I’m not a photographer either. how many fairy pools are there and what do they really look like since you live there could you please give me some info on this? my daughter is named after the Isle of Skye and I would really like to take her to see some of the beautiful places on the island. my email address is

  3. It’s photoshop, and it’s making me sad, ’cause I wrote a tutorial of how to do something similar some years ago… (I called it “the magic forest”)

  4. OMG! Thank you so much for posting this! Here I am trying to find a way to fit the Isle of Skye into my itinerary for Scotland and England (I’m already pressed for time) to see the purple trees at Fairy Pools. Foolish, gullible me! I would’ve been pissed to have gone through all the trouble and money to get there only to find that the purple trees don’t exist!!! You sure saved me a lot of time, money, and humiliation. LOL! Thanks again!

    • The isle of Skye is TOTALLY worth the visit even without the purple trees. Do yourself a favor and squeeze it in. You won’t be sorry.

    • You seriously thought it was real??
      Life Lesson : Don’t trust the internet, it’s full of people trying to trick others like you.

    • Anonymous

      Isle of Skye is a magical place, would recommend it to anyone, one of the most beautiful, unspoiled places in the world, & I’ve seen a fair amount of it. If this is a fake picture, can’t think why anyone would want to to that, there is a lot of purple over there, the heather of corse & in some places it’s so thick & does reflect! Am too old to travel any more but if I was able to go back to one place, & I’ve seen many, it would be Isle of Skye.

      • Anonymous

        We. Have been to the Isle of Sky two years ago and it is very beautiful. So that phot was photo shopped ar’nt all the travel posters?

        • Jacqueline Boss

          They aren’t usually photoshopped to include natural elements that don’t actually exist on planet earth, no.

  5. In our imagination , we can still think purple trees exist :)

  6. The fact anyone believes this is just…. wow….
    If there was a place with purple trees everyone would know about it. You wouldnt find out from a picture on the internet.

  7. Meg O'Brien

    Shame on you all for not believing in fairies!!!

    • Jacqueline Boss


  8. Carrie

    It’s gorgeous without the purple trees!!

  9. Autumn

    The real one is prettier. ^o^

  10. South Africa

    There is actually a place with purple trees. In South Africa’s capital city Pretoria you will find the beautifull Jacaranda tree. Definetly worth seeing.

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