A fake news story has been circulating on social media which claims sharks were discovered spinning around inside Hurricane Irma
The story detailed how the sharks had been ‘airlifted’ from the sea by the sheer force of the Category 4 hurricane – believed to be a ‘jokey’ reference to the disaster film Sharknado.
The fake news story, with false news ticker ‘Irma Now Contains Sharks’, has tricked some people and has caused extra confusion during what’s an already frightening time.
— RyMo (@RyanMouat) September 5, 2017
Reports from the NOAA aircraft show sharks are being lifted into the air by Hurricane Irma #sharknado
— Tom E (@teejayTripp) September 10, 2017
— Amanda Lovera (@AmandaLover15) September 7, 2017
A number of news outlets have had to step in to quell fears about the threat of airborne sharks.
Fact checking site Snopes gave the following statement:
Although there have been reports of tornados lifting (and later dropping) various animals, the scenario depicted in the Sharknado series, where a tornado causes dozens of great white sharks to rain from the sky, is far-fetched.
— AL.com (@aldotcom) September 8, 2017
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) September 10, 2017
During times of panic, it’s easy to get swept up with sensationalist news reports.
However, it’s always important to be vigilant so as to avoid being deceived by fake news.
Sharknado is not real.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.