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Hoax: Picture of Shark Swimming in Flooded Street After Hurricane Irene

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Message claims that an attached image depicts a shark swimming down a flooded street in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of August 2011's Hurricane Irene.


Brief Analysis

The image is fake. The image is the result of digital manipulation. The shark was taken from a famous photograph of a shark following a kayaker and incorporated into the "flooded street" photograph.



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Wow is all I have to say....

Shark in the Streets of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irene

This picture was taken in Puerto Rico shortly after Hurricane Irene ravaged the island. Yes, that's a shark swimming down the street next to a car, and this is exactly why authorities in NYC are warning not to go swimming in flood waters after a hurricane.

Shark in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irene Hoax

Detailed Analysis

This rather striking image is currently circulating rapidly via social media websites, blogs and email. According to the caption accompanying the image, it depicts a shark swimming along a flooded street in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irene battered the island in August 2011.

For a time, the image was even published as "news" by various media outlets in the United States and elsewhere.

However, the image is not what it seems. In fact, the image is the result of some clever digital tomfoolery and certainly does not show a shark swimming along a flooded Puerto Rican street. The very same shark appears in an iconic photograph of a shark following closely behind a kayaker. The original shark behind kayaker photograph has circulated since September 2006 after it was published in Africa Geographic as part of an article by biologists Michael C. Scholl and Thomas P. Peschak. The photograph was taken by Michael C. Scholl in 2003:

Shark Following Kayak

The following side by side comparison reveals that the shark in both pictures is one and the same, right down to the shadow near the shark's right side and the bubbles on the surface of the water:

Shark Irene Hoax 1
Shark Irene Hoax 1

Clearly, the shark has been extracted from the original photograph using digital manipulation software and placed into the second image of the "flooded street".

It is currently unclear where or when the "flooded street" photograph used in the manipulation was snapped.

Last updated: May 27, 2015
First published: August 29, 2011
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

Shark Following Kayaker Photo
Hurricane Irene: ‘Photo’ of shark swimming in street is fake

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