Hey, did you hear about this? There are apparently sharks swimming up the freeway in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Just like in Sharknado. I swear, I saw a picture of it on Twitter—how could it not be true?
Going, Going, Gone Viral
Weather disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma flood the interwebs with thousands of images as news agencies compete with each other to feed our never-ending need to know. Toss in a Regular Joe’s desire for ten minutes of internet fame, and you could be left with a lot of information to sort through in a very short interval of time. It’s easy to see how fake news and pictures go viral quickly.
Sharks Gotta Swim
Take the freeway swimming shark, for instance. This picture actually gets a lot of attention whenever there’s a big flooding event.
It first popped up in 2011, apparently showing a shark swimming in the streets of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Irene. It’s since been seen swimming in Daytona Beach after Hurricane Matthew, and, you guessed it, in Houston following Harvey. The picture itself is a complete fake; the image of the shark was lifted from a 2005 photograph of a kayaker being trailed by a great white shark.
Here’s How To Check The Facts
Before you join the thousands of other people who retweet that fake shot, take a moment to fact check it first. It’s easy to do.
Use Google Chrome or Safari to simply right-click the image and select “Search Google for Image.” You’ll then either see results with the source for the image or results with posts debunking the image. If you’re on a mobile device, it’s a bit more complicated—but still worth the trouble. Save the photo to your camera roll, then upload it to https://ctrlq.org/google/images.
Do your part to stop fake news in its tracks!