Repurposing or Fake News?

Why you shouldn’t swim after a hurricane

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 people not to go swimming in flood waters after a hurricane. Sharks go where fish go, and fish go where water goes, and if that water (and those subsequent fish) happen to be right outside your front door, then guess where that freakin’ shark’s going to be?!

Fake News - Shark

This image, purportedly showing a shark swimming down a street in Puerto Rico, was originally circulated just after Hurricane Irene hit that island in August 2011.  Since then the same image has been recirculated several times over, most recent iterations assigned it to Houston after heavy rains pounded portions of Texas in 2015; Daytona Beach after Hurricane Matthew approached Florida in October 2016, and Houston in August 2017 after Hurricane Harvey caused massive flooding throughout the city.  On each occasion, the photograph is a digital hoax with the image of the shark being lifted from a 2005 photograph of a kayaker being trailed by a great white shark and pasted into a photograph of a flooded street:

white-shark-kayak-peschak03.adapt.1900.1Tom Peschek (2005) White Shark Kayak

Peschek’s photograph was the result of several months of patience and determination with the resulting image launching his career, but shark lives on in isolation recurring in repurposed viral posts and fake news on social media.

white-shark-kayak-peschak02.adapt.1900.1Tom Peschek (2005) White Shark Kayak – A developed roll of slide film shows the moments leading up to the picture photographer Tom Peschak refers to as “the ultimate shark scientist picture.”

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