FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Shark Swimming On A Florida Highway?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A photo shared on Facebook allegedly shows a shark swimming in a flooded Florida highway during Hurricane Ian in September 2022.

Verdict: False

This photo has been digitally edited. The image has been falsely attributed to multiple natural disasters.

Fact Check: 

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida Sept. 28 as a Category 4 Hurricane near Fort Myers and Cape Coral, according to NBC News. President Joe Biden declared that the storm “could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history,” CBS News reports.

The Facebook image appears to show a shark in a body of water on a Florida highway that was flooded with storm surge from Hurricane Ian. The image with the same caption was also posted to Twitter, where it garnered over 46,000 retweets.

“There are sharks on the highway in Florida. Unreal,” the image’s text reads. (RELATED: Does This Image Show A Shark Swimming In A Sydney Train Station In July 2022?)

This image is digitally edited, however. Multiple fact check outlets have debunked the same image over the years. 

The shark appears to be originally photographed by Thomas P. Peschak, which shows a shark swimming in the ocean behind a man in a yellow kayak. Peschak writes on his website that an image of the shark edited onto a flooded street went viral in Aug. 2011 during Hurricane Irene and again during Hurricane Sandy. 

“I always look forward to receiving e-mails from friends and family who have spotted the same white shark in a different context,” Peschak wrote. “While I will probably never become a legend in my own right, at least my white shark is well on her way.”

Check Your Fact has reached out to Peschak for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

This is not the first time a manipulated image depicting a shark swimming in an urban area has spread online. Check Your Fact previously debunked a claim that an image featured a shark swimming in a flooded train station in Sydney, Australia.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter

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