MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – No, sharks are not invading our flooded highways, and the photoshopped image circulating around Facebook purporting to show this has been used and debunked multiple times since August 2011.
An image appearing on the image-sharing site Imgur.com with the caption: "Nothing special, just a shark swimming in the flood waters on Ocean Boulevard in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina" has been shared multiple times on Facebook in the last 48 hours. The fake image first surfaced in 2011 and originally claimed to show a street in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irene hit.
According to Snopes.com:
Since then the same image has been recirculated several times over, typically localized to some big city in the United States that has just experienced a hurricane or other weather event producing heavy rains and floods. Its last iteration assigned it to Houston after heavy rains pounded portions of Texas over Memorial Day weekend in 2015.
The Snopes article deconstructs the image, showing how the shark was taken from a 2005 photograph of a kayaker in a tropical setting and photoshopped into a photo of a flooded street.
This is not the first Facebook hoax to spread virally across newsfeeds this year, and not even the first shark-related hoax to hit our area.
Earlier this year, a photo of a swarm of sharks claiming to originate from the Garden City area was debunked after reaching hundreds of thousands of people.
If it looks or sounds unbelievable, it just may be. Check sites like Snopes.com before you perpetuate potentially-dangerous misinformation.