The fakes just keep on coming, and it’s hard to keep up with all the internet-fuelled deception. Today, we’re taking a look at a few more dubious images that you may have seen floating around the web recently. Punking Putin? Aeroplane selfies? Rocket to Uranus? Fake, fake and definitely fake.
1) Is this a photo from the International Space Station?
No, this isn’t a solar eclipse as seen from the International Space Station.
Space photo researcher @FakeAstropix keeps debunking this one, but it keeps popping up in every corner of the internet. Which is why it’s earned our top spot today. It’s actually a rendering from DeviantArt user A4size-ska. Beautiful, but totally fake.
Fake image via @planetepics
2) Did these women cause an accident wearing shorts in 1937?
According to Twitter accounts like HistoricalPics, the sight of two women wearing shorts in public for the very first time in 1937 was scandalous enough to cause the car accident above. Except that it didn’t. And it wasn’t the first time women wore shorts in public.
I contacted the City of Toronto Archives, and asked them about the image. They confirmed the date of the photo (1937) and said that it was not only staged, but that they have plenty of other photos of women wearing shorts that predate this one. Shorts weren’t common quite yet, but they were certainly around.
And if you spend even half a second looking at the image, you’ll notice plenty of clues that it’s a staged photo. The car doesn’t have a single dent. Those cheeky Canadians could’ve achieved a much more authentic look by plowing that car into a light pole at high speed. Go big or go home, historical photo spoofers!
Inaccurate photo description via @HistoricalPics
3) Did Steven Seagal give Vladimir Putin bunny ears?
No, Steven Seagal didn’t actually give Vladimir Putin “bunny ears” at a recent press event.
Despite getting to the front page of Reddit — an internet website that men’s rights activists keep telling me is the “front page of the internet” itself — this is a poorly done Photoshop job. The original image is from Getty and was taken back in March of 2013. But yes, Steven Seagal really does hang out with his bro Vlad. I bet they’re big fans of Reddit.
4) Is this Marilyn Monroe and JFK in a private embrace?
If it feels like we’ve been down this road before, it’s because we have. There are no known photos of JFK and Marilyn Monroe in a tender, romantic embrace. The photos above were taken by Alison Jackson, an artist well known for using lookalike models for photo-fakes of everyone from the Queen of England on the toilet to Bill Gates using Apple products.
Fake photos via @ClassicPix
5) Is this a security camera outside George Orwell’s house?
No, that’s not actually a CCTV camera outside George Orwell’s old house. It’s a photoshopped image by Steve Ullathorne that first took the internet by storm in February 2012. And it’s making the rounds yet again.
Ullathorne has an entire series of these photoshopped images that juxtapose buildings of historical significance with modern day flourishes — like that image on the right, showing a Che Guevara shirt hanging near a plaque about Karl Marx.
Inaccurate image representation from @PharmaGossip
6) Is this 1950s “Rocket to Uranus” album real?
No, this isn’t a 1950s album cover for “Rocket to Uranus” made by oblivious people of a more earnest and naive era. It’s a fake.
Kids of the 1950s couldn’t get enough Tom Corbett record was released called “Space Cadet Song and March.” But that “Rocket to Uranus” version on the left is a modern day Photoshop job.
7) Is this real candy that was branded by the Nazis?
In the 1930s and 40s, the Nazis put swastikas on everything. But this image actually isn’t a photo from that period. It’s from a 1983 movie.
To investigate this image I first contacted Dr. Nicholas O’Shaughnessy at Queen Mary University of London, who has studied the Nazis’ use of the swastika as a branding tool. He explained that he’d never seen this particular image but that, “it is quite possibly genuine as German businesses outdid each other in excesses of kitsch, including the Horst Wessel song in barbershop harmony and a butcher who sculpted Hitler out of lard.”
I was ready to call this photo “probably authentic” and move on, until Twitter photo sleuth Joe Kname uncovered the real story behind this image. Kname discovered that it’s a film still from the 1983 movie Eine Liebe In Deutschland (A Love in Germany). It’s still plausible that Nazi-branded candy was produced, as O’Shaughnessy notes that they really did put swastikas on everything. But this particular image isn’t from that era, as so many historical photo accounts online claim.
Inaccurate image description via @HistoryInPics
8) Is this a Captain America war bonds poster from World War II?
It wouldn’t be a fake viral image round-up without a visit to Retronaut, and this time we have a real doozy. No, that Captain America war bonds poster from their site isn’t real.
Captain America first debuted in 1941, which makes it possible that he would have helped with the war effort through various propaganda posters. But no, the image on the left isn’t from World War II. It’s a 21st century artist’s interpretation of what a faux-retro Captain America war bonds poster might look like. The big give-away — aside from the style itself — is the ScorpioSteele.com logo right next to Captain America’s boot.
The image on the right, however, is real and comes from a 1943 cover of the “A.Hippo for pointing out the fake.
9) Is this a real pilot selfie?
No, this isn’t the world’s greatest selfie. Though it might be if it were real.
As you can see from the original untouched photo on the right, this selfie is totally fake. It literally says “perspective” on the plane, so despite the fact that so many people are taking this as real, one has to believe that the creator clearly made it as a joke not to be taken seriously.
10) Is this a real giant grasshopper from 1937?
Thankfully, the image on the left doesn’t show a real grasshopper from 1937. Pre-Photoshop fakes showing impossibly large food and animals were incredibly popular on postcards and tongue-in-cheek promotional materials in the early 20th century. But alas, Montana doesn’t have grasshoppers that big.
Now that woman riding a rabbit, on the other hand…