FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims To Show A Russian River Frozen Like The ‘Scream’ Mask

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows the Irtysh River frozen in a formation that resembles the mask from the movie “Scream.”

Verdict: False

The picture has been digitally altered.

Fact Check:

The Irtysh River runs 2,640 miles from China through Kazakhstan to Russia’s Siberia region, where it feeds into the Ob River. The rivers together constitute the world’s seventh longest river system. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show A Jaguar Being Rescued From The Amazon Wildfires?)

A viral image falsely alleges in a post that the Irtysh river froze in a formation that resembles the mask in the “Scream” horror movie franchise, with the caption reading, “The Irtysh river in Russia froze over in a very interesting pattern.”

The photograph has, in fact, been digitally manipulated. Found through a reverse image search, the original image does not feature holes in the ice that form a ghoulish face but rather a single large gap in the center of the ice. Photographer Andrei Kudryavtsev posted it on his website and the Russian social media website VK.com in March 2012.

Snopes found the earliest iteration of the photoshopped version posted on the Russian website Pikabu.ru in March 2015. It appears to have been digitally altered for Friday the 13th, per a Google translation of its caption.

People cut artificial holes in the ice of the Irtysh River near Omsk, Russia, each year so that local winter swimming club members can swim in the river’s frigid water, according to Reuters.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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