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One fake, two fakes. Red fakes, blue fakes. Today we've got more fake images that you may have seen recently on Twitter, Facebook, or wherever else you get your daily dose of pixel-based newstainment.
No, that supermoon isn't real. No, that's not what happens when sand is struck by lightning. And no, that's not a sex-ed class from 1929. Join us as we spoil all the fun and show you which recent viral images have been total lies
Buzzfeed even included it in a sponsored post titled "20 Amazing Photos You Don't Want to Miss." Feel free to miss this one. The original photo of Rio de Janeiro at night (seen below) is from 2008 and was taken by Mexican photographer Horacio Montiel. It's a gorgeous photo. Too bad somebody had to ruin it with a goofy supermoon
Yes, Bill Murray and Hunter S. Thompson used to hang out—especially during the lead-up to the 1980 movie Where The Buffalo Roam. And yes, this photo is real. Well, except for all the photoshopped parts.
The real photo is on the right. The photoshopped image is on the left, and it shows Thompson wearing a t-shirt with a naughty word and Murray asking for some hypothetical person to purchase him a brunch-time meal under the threat of gun-based violence. Not very nice at all
As Scientific American points out, this photo doesn't actually show what happens when lightning strikes sand. It's an art project designed and photographed in Puerto Rico by Flickr user SandCastleMatt. Interestingly, it's only the left half of a much larger sand sculpture that can be seen in context below
When lightning strikes sand it can form what are called fulgurites. But they tend to be much smaller and penetrate into the sand, rather than pulling sand upward, as this art project might imply after getting run through the great internet confusion machine a few dozen times
As one photo-sleuth from Reddit points out, this isn't a photo from a sex-ed class in the 1920s. It's actually from a 1929 movie called The Wild Party, directed by Dorothy Arzner and starring Clara Bow. It's unclear precisely what's going on in this shot from the film (sadly, I've never seen the movie) but you can watch clips from it on YouTube
As a pre-Code film, it probably does have more than its fair share of sex and debauchery. If anyone finds a link to where we can pick up a copy of The Wild Party, please do share it with the class. The movie appears to be unavailable in any form
You can read more about the dead elephant and its exploitation on Facebook and Twitter over at Snopes. People are commonly asked to pray for this "newborn" elephant, or are claiming it's the smallest elephant ever born. But for the record, the photo on the right is a baby elephant that was very much alive when the photo was taken: two-year-old Nayan at the Chester Zoo in England back in 2012. Sadly, Nayan died last year
No, these babies aren't being put up for sale by desperate parents. But as HoaxofFame points out, they're part of a series of postcards from the turn of the 20th century that were intended to be humorous. Poor kiddos don't look too happy to be participating in the joke
No, these aren't sunken ships washed up on a sandbar near the Bermuda Triangle. The photo actually shows the Tangalooma Wrecks in Queensland, Australia. The 15 boats were intentionally sunk back in the 1960s to create an artificial reef and are now a tourist attraction
No, that's not actually Alfred Hitchock floating down the Thames. It's a dummy that was used to film the trailer for his 1972 film Frenzy. On the right we see the real Hitch holding his own fake head
They've posted fake photos of Audrey Hepburn, a few of JFK, and lots of fake Marilyn Monroes. At this point it's clear that many are just treading water until they're eventually sold to the highest bidder for their follower counts
No, there isn't a deadly, pregnant tarantula missing in Park Slope. As Gawker's Antiviral points out, lots of sites (including Gawker) fell for this prank poster. Let's just hope this doesn't turn into one of those boy-who-cried-tarantula situations.
People love taking photos of the pyramids in Egypt. They've aged so gracefully they deserve their own mansplained Esquire profile or something. But that picture you may have seen recently of the sun setting behind the pyramids is a total fake. As internet photo-fakes sleuth @PicPedant points out, the original photo is most likely by Mario Moreno
"At last! A veggie burger that contains REAL BEEF!" Well, no. Slate points to Reddit detectives who have determined that as much as the internet wants this one to be some hilarious mix-up, it's actually a fake ad from the British humo[u]r magazine Viz. Oh, those cheeky Brits
#5 being passed off as a horrified girl in Sex Ed is actually kind of funny when you know the scene it's from; in the film, Clara Bow is a wild girl who parties a lot and attends an all girls' school. Prior to the new semester she gets drunk and accidentally shares a bed with a man, which she then has to try and hide for fear of ruining her reputation. That's her realizing her handsome new anthropology professor is that man on the first day of class
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