It became the subject of huge interest and debate, with some saying it was an ancient statue and others saying it was a petrified human giant from days of old. Eventually it turned out that the Giant was creation of an New York tobacconist named George Hull, who spent $2,600 having the Giant carved and buried, but who sold the creation for $37,500. It was moved to Syracuse, New York for exhibition, where it was revealed to be a fake.
Surprisingly, the revelation didn't reduce the Giant's popularity. It drew such crowds that showman P.T. Barnum offered $60,000 for a three-month lease of it. When he was turned down he made a plaster replica and put it on display, which led the Giant's owners to sue him.
The Cardiff Giant is still on display at the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, New York.