Some truly believed Jaws was terrorizing the floodwater of Houston, but it has been revealed as a photoshop prank that scared too many people. Tropical Storm Harvey developed into category 4 hurricane and brought devastating amounts of rain to the state of Texas. At least 5 people have been killed and dozens more have been injured, but it spite of the tragedy, someone was able to inject some fake news into the consciousness with a picture of great white shark swimming down a Houston freeway. The picture soon went viral as many believed that the shark was cruising along after being displaced from the powerful hurricane.
Mashable points out that the image of the shark is actually from 2005 and that it was taken in South Africa. Somebody just photoshopped the image into the flooded Houston freeway. And it's not the first time that the image has been used to fool people. Someone photoshopped the great white into a pool in Puerto Rico in 2011 after Hurricane Irene paid a visit. After the picture of the great white made the news, it went viral. Next up, the same great white mysteriously traveled to New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy. This shark definitely gets around and has had her passport stamped many times.
The original photograph was taken by Thomas Peschak and published in an issue of Africa Geographic. Peschak was compiling a book on great white sharks at the time and the shot was kind of a bit of luck. Peschak says that he initially saw the shadow and trained his camera there, firing off shots until the dorsal fin popped out of the water. As it turns out, Peschak's friends and family like to send him the photoshopped images of his shark and all of the crazy places it has ended up. The photographer explains.
"I always look forward to receiving emails from friends and family who have spotted the same white shark in a different context. While I will probably never become a legend in my own right, at least my white shark is well on her way."
While this particular great white shark is not a native of Texas or even the United States for that matter, Texas residents have spotted alligators as the floods continue to wreak havoc on the state. Though the sightings have been legitimate, people once again are either photoshopping images of alligators out and around Houston or straight up using old photos in hopes of viral sensation of their own. As it turns out, The National Weather Service has not mentioned a threat of sharks or alligators, but they did offer a warning to stay away from flood waters as it could be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
So, there you have it. The image of the great white shark cruising down the Houston freeway is not real, just a joke in poor taste along with the pictures of alligators chilling on driveways. The good residents of the state of Texas can surely use a laugh right now, but they would probably appreciate some donations in lieu of humor at this time. Head over to Redcross.org and find out how you can help. In the meantime, you can check out the images of the traveling great white shark below.