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Are There Sharks in the Hurricane Florence Flood Waters?

Record-breaking rainfall has lead to some big assertions.


With record rainfall and flooding in multiple areas of the East Coast, Hurricane Florence is scary enough — but are there also sharks looming in the flood water?

If you ask Twitter, the answer is yes.

But fear not, there aren't sharks floating down the streets of the Carolinas. Just like there weren't sharks in the streets of Texas or Florida or New York or Puerto Rico or any of these other hurricane-hit places over the years who fell victim to the shark-in-the-street hoax.

Because that's what this viral photo is, a hoax.

According to Snopes, the image originated online after Hurricane Irene hit Puerto Rico in 2011.

Since then, it's been reposted for just about every hurricane.

Like for Hurricane Sandy in October 2012:

And Hurricane Matthew in September 2016:

Most recently, Hurricane Harvey in August 2017:

Snopes reported that the fake image is taken from a 2005 photo of a real shark swimming in the sea with a kayaker. Then it was later Photoshopped onto a street.

Here's the real image.

It's unlikely that the fake photo will go away any time soon. As Huffington Post reported, for people like Scottish journalist Jason Michael McCann, it's all a big joke.

He's shared it for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Florence. After his Harvey tweet went viral, he told BuzzFeed, "Of course I knew it was fake. It was part of the reason I shared the bloomin' thing."

But other people online have shared the image apparently under the assumption that it is real. And sharks in hurricanes has become such a popular meme, that other fake images have started to pop up.

Like these from Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

BuzzFeed reported that the top-left image comes from a 2006 photo of a shark in the South African waters taken by Flickr user Scott.

The unedited image can be seen here:

There's also a new image to contend with because of this most recent storm. It comes from a Photoshopped breaking news alert, according to another Snopes article.

Florence now contains sharks, apparently.

Only it definitely doesn't. Hurricanes are scary and dangerous, but they don't carry sharks along with them.

Leave that impossibility to the "Sharknado" movies.

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