10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

The fakes are coming! The fakes are coming! Today we have 10 more images you may have seen floating around the internet recently. But don’t believe your lying eyes. They’re all totally fake.

1) Is this Europe and the United States at night from space?

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

No, these aren’t photos of Earth’s lights from space. As PicPedant points out, they’re actually visualizations of Flickr and Twitter geolocations. But even this assertion is hard to confirm. The red dots are supposedly locations of Flickr pictures. The blue dots? Tweets.

There’s an entire Flickr album with more images, though again it’s hard to be sure precisely how the maps were created since there’s no explanation. The only thing we can say for certain: These aren’t pictures of Earth’s lights from space.

[Update: HoaxofFame points us to a 2011 Washington Post article about Eric Fischer and his maps project.]

Fake image claims via ThatsEarth and Reddit; Real image explanations via Flickr

2) Is this Marilyn Monroe reading a book in Spanish?

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

Marilyn Monroe was a voracious reader. She had an impressive personal library and there are lot of photos of her reading. But the photo of her on the left is a photoshop job. She wasn’t reading Confesiones Silenciosas (translated: Silent Confessions).

The real photo on the right shows her reading Arthur Miller’s adaptation of the Ibsen play, An Enemy of the People. Monroe was married to Miller from 1956 until 1961.

Fake image via Open Culture and the New York Public Library

3) Is this NASA announcing that we’ll have 6 days of complete darkness in December?

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

“Comedy” sites like Huzlers have run with the story that there will be six consecutive days of darkness in December due to a “solar storm” that will cause “dust and space debris” to block out the sun. But don’t believe it.

The coming days of darkness will supposedly last from the 16th until the 22nd of December and the Huzlers story even has fake quotes from NASA officials. Other sites have claimed there will be three days of complete darkness. Neither of these claims is true (unless you live in Minnesota, where you actually won’t see the sun until April*). But the lie is spreading quickly on both Twitter and Facebook.

The freak “days of darkness” prediction is a common internet hoax and variations spread so far and wide that NASA has even had to debunk these claims sometimes, like they did in 2012.

*I kid, Minnesota. Just telling a chucklegoof, as a former Minnesotan.

Fake image via Huzlers

4) Does Monsters, Inc. really have a hidden naughty picture?

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

Have you seen that screenshot from the 2001 Pixar film Monsters, Inc showing a stick figure drawing of “uncel roger” and “mummy” having sex? Totally fake.

As the debunker website Waffles at Noon points out there’s even a YouTube video of the scene that someone has concocted. But again, it’s not real. The actual footage shows that it’s clearly not there.

Below, the original screenshot from the film sans-naughty stick figures.

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

Fake screenshot of Monsters, Inc via Reddit

5) Is this a real black lion?

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

No, that’s not a black lion. But for whatever reason you can find lots of black lions photoshopped from your standard Simba-style lion (and even albino lions) all over the internet. They look pretty badass. But sadly they’re not real.

Fake photo via @AmazingPicx and Reddit; Real lion via Serengeti Book

6) Is this manta ray captured in 1933 real?

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

Enormous manta rays like this do exist. But the photo above depicting Captain A.L. Kahn in 1933 with a giant manta is almost certainly a fake. The big clues? The manta ray pictured is far too rigid (real giant manta rays are floppy when hoisted up), there’s a seam that you can see running through the middle, and the biggest hint: the thing doesn’t have an anus.

Postcards and news photos, (like the postcard below) didn’t show the seam and whatever that little bit of light-coloured fabric might be near the tail. It’s hard not to conclude that there’s something fishy going on here. Get it? Fishy.

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

Below, a photo of an actual manta ray caught in 1932 off the coast of Hollywood, Florida by Captain Jay Gould. The June 1932 issue of the Louisiana Conservation Review also includes the photo. Notice that it looks a lot more floppy and life-like.

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

Deep Sea News has done a bit of digging to investigate the suspicious Captain Kahn photo. They discovered similar looking fake manta ray construction photos at the American Museum of Natural History from 1917, pictured below. And though they’re not the same fake manta from the 1930s, they show you just how one could construct such a thing. James Bell made all kind of models for the Natural History museum, like this giraffe in 1928.

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

My own guess is that it’s the Captain Kahn manta ray is a plaster cast of a real manta that he indeed captured. There’s sufficient evidence that people have made plaster casts of real giant mantas, like in this photo from 1964. And it’s the most logical way to put the manta on tour with a circus company, which Kahn did for at least a couple of years.

I searched through newspaper archives from the mid-1930s and found that the manta ray photos of Captain Kahn were making the rounds in 1933 and that eventually the “Great Manta” was travelling throughout the U.S. in 1934 and 35 as a sideshow act amongst “World’s Fair Freaks.”

Below, a flyer for the “Great Manta” exhibition in 1934 from Mike’s Maritime Memorabilia. Notice that the manta pictured is a bit more floppy than the photo we see getting passed around on Reddit and Twitter, and more like the manta captured in Florida.

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

Fake image via @HistoricalPics; Real images from American Museum of Natural History, the Florida Museum of Natural History, and Mike’s Maritime Memorabilia

7) Is this a photo of the Statue of Liberty during Hurricane Sandy?

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

Some people commemorated the anniversary of Hurricane (or, more accurately Superstorm) Sandy this week. But no, that image of the Statue of Liberty being inundated with waves isn’t real. It’s from the 2004 movie, The Day After Tomorrow. Shockingly, a number of reputable news sources still ran with it on social media.

Fake photo via NYCAlerts

8) Is this a bike on Vashon Island that was abandoned for 100 years?

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

The kids’ bicycle embedded into a tree is a bit of a tourist attraction on Vashon Island, Washington, just outside of Seattle. But it’s not a century old, as so many social media accounts are claiming.

It’s actually from the 1950s. As PicPedant and Snopes point out, the bicycle is believed to have been abandoned on that tree in the mid-1950s. The tree is believed to have grown around it. A local sheriff named Don Puz claims it was his bicycle, but nobody knows for certain. All that we do know is that it’s not from the 1910s. It’s almost certainly from the 1950s.

Inaccurate image description from @OldPicsArchive; Photo via the Sierra Club

9) Is this a leopard with bright blue eyes?

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

No, that photo of a leopard with bright blue eyes is a lie. Well, the blue eyes part is at least. Pedantic picture sleuth PicPedant points out that the original was most likely taken in 2010 by someone on Flickr who goes by the name Flash-Joerg — though the fact that they misspelled “leopard” as “lepard” gives me pause.

Fake image via SWildlifepics; Real image via Flash-Joerg on Flickr

10) Is this a real Halloween costume for dogs?

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

At first glance, this “Lifelike Baby Costume for Dogs” on Amazon looks horrifyingly legit. But upon further inspection you’ll clearly see that it’s an amazing hoax. It’s actually part of a much larger parody Amazon listing which may or may not have been created by Adult Swim. You can see the entire fake product listing below in all its fake Halloween glory.

10 More Viral Images That Are Actually Fake

Fake image via @pablogotobed and Adult Swim’s Tumblr

Dying for more fakes? Check out the fake founders of Harley Davidson motorcycles, fake photos of JFK and Marilyn Monroe canoodling, and the fake Ebola cures being peddled online.

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