Fake photos of shark swimming in floodwaters at the bottom of escalators are circulating on social media, Discovery News reported. The photo was originally Photoshopped of a Toronto flood early this month, but is currently being passed off as being from Kuwait.
The photo now claims to show "Shark Tank Collapses at the Scientific Center in Kuwait!" but it's actually a "flooded subway station in Toronto" that was also has Photoshopped-in sharks, according to Discovery News.
BuzzFeed, for example, has a June 15 post claiming the photo is from the Kuwait Scientific Center, but carries an editor's note that "This community-submitted post is FAKE FAKE FAKE!" That editor's note links to a Snopes post debunking the photo as a phony. We have written to BuzzFeed asking when this editor's note was appended. Mashable noted that a tweeter, Jamie King, owned up to faking the flood photos for the real Canadian flood.
Toronto's Union Station subway station was shut down June 1 due to "severe flooding." Canada's the Globe and Mail also weighed in on the Photoshop, noting June 1 that the area pictured in indeed "filled with reeking water" but not sharks. The Toronto Sun noted that the Toronto Transit Commission's spokesperson Jessica Martin said the commission was getting phone calls about the shark pictures.
A Google News search for Kuwait Scientific Center doesn't produce any results indicating why it was roped into this Photoshop.
The fake photos have gone viral, but so have spoofs of the photo that edit in recognizable images like Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet from "Titanic." Discovery News noted that this blog BlogTo posted "a roundup of Union State flood funnies" from the original Photoshop of the June 1 Union Station flood.
Discovery News suggested a reason for the Photoshop's believability, writing: "I guess a lot of people believed that the image was legit because the flooding part is for real, giving the photo some sense of veracity."
Last year, we wrote about another fake shark photo. In August, news outlets including the Miami Herald and Miami TV Channel 7 published a fake photo purporting to show a shark swimming in Puerto Rico floodwaters after Hurricane Irene. However, the shark in question wasn't in those Puerto Rico waters but from a 2005 Africa Geographic.
Hat Tip: Mathew Ingram