Tampa Bay news stations fall for hilariously fake shark fin


  • Screengrab via WFLA
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had to clarify that footage of a gigantic, and obviously fake, shark fin spotted off Tampa Bay beaches this week is indeed a stupid hoax.

Earlier this week, local television station WFLA ran a story with the headline “Multiple sightings of ‘enormous’ shark made on Tampa Bay beaches,” on September 24, which featured user-submitted videos of what appears to be a hilariously fake, giant shark fin sticking out of the water near Clearwater Beach.

This, of course, resulted in multiple outlets like Q105 aggregating the story to point it went viral and was later covered on The Today Show.
  • Screengrab via WFLA/Twitter
The next day, WFLA then made contact with a FWC spokesperson, who then clarified that the shark fin was more than likely very, very fake. “That is a huge dorsal fin and in such shallow water, you would expect to be able to see a portion of the shark’s back and/or the second dorsal or tip of the caudal fin,” said FWC Marine Fisheries Biologist Brent Winner to the station. “None of those are visible.”

Winner also pointed out that there are visible “bubbles” that come up behind the fin, which probably came from some guy in a scuba suit. But even before the FWC expert was brought in, Twitter users pointed out that the footage more than likely does not show a shark.

It’s worth pointing out that WFLA did not make a correction on their original story, rather they just updated it and changed the headline, which now reads “Videos showing ‘enormous shark’ near Tampa Bay area beaches a hoax, FWC says.”

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