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No, viral photo of a ‘rare’ shark is not real

2 mins read

Claim: A real and rare photo of a shark out of water.

This is an edited photo of a shark out of water and not a real shot captured by anybody.

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Facebook users have expressed joy at discovering a rare photo of a massive shark out of water. The photo has been shared on various Facebook pages like this, this, this and this and has elicited from some Facebook users amazement and awe at the ability of the photographer and the beauty of the image.

Image source:

Although this image is quite beautiful and a thing of wonder, Dubawa set out to find out if it is a real photographed image.


Dubawa ran a reverse image search using Tineye reverse image search  and got over 1,500 hits.

We traced the photo to have been posted by segosegosego on Reddit three years ago

The image was posted into a group, photoshopbattles, into which Reddit users post photoshopped content. The ‘About Community’ section of the group page which was created on January 19, 2012 indicates that it is ‘a place to battle using image manipulation software…’ among others.

“Photoshop contests on reddit. A place to battle using image manipulation software, play photoshop tennis, create new images from old photos, or even win reddit gold,” it reads.

Image source: Reddit

Further investigation using Fotoforensics suggests that the image has had some edits done to it. The JPEG% in the Fotoforensics tool also shows a mass repetition of numbers. This is a red flag. This suggests that the image has been opened and layered and closed, possibly multiple times.

Image source: Fotoforensics


The image is edited and not a real-life capture.

Roselena Ahiable is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Roselena has years of demonstrated work experience in advertising, sales and marketing, having worked with some of the leading brands in Ghana. She has completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, with specialisation in Public Relations and Advertising. She has also received advanced training in print and broadcast journalism. Roselena also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana. As a trained journalist with interest in research, Roselena provides the team insight in news and media trend analysis.

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