Photo Fiction

Photo Fiction is a site that shows you various photos and lets you vote on whether they're real or fake. In other words, it's basically like a hoax photo test, only it never tells you the right answer. You only get to see the voting results, which is a bit frustrating. Most of the images I recognized (a number of them obviously come from my site). But there were a few I had never seen before, such as this one of the ship on its side. I voted that it was fake.


Posted on Mon Apr 11, 2005


Looks too much like some of the pictures I saw of the Tsunami aftermath. I would vote on it being the real thing.
Posted by martinelli  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  12:24 AM
It does appear to have been gutted by fire, and the fire seems to have gone 'upwards', i.e. towards the top of the image, rather than the top of the ship. The keel looks odd, though.
Posted by Ashley Pomeroy  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  06:27 AM
Some time ago, I read (on the web, probably the New York Times) an article about how the shipbreaking trade (i.e.: breaking down and recycling old tankers, cargo ships, etc.) has moved to some of the least regulated and most impoverished parts of the world, such as Alang, in the Indian state of Gujurat. (A Google search will find a number of articles.)

From what I recall of the article I first read, a ship to be broken up would be driven as fast and as hard as it could be towards the shore at high tide in order to get it as close as possible to the workers who will take the ship apart.

The ecological consequences of this kind of activity are rather severe, especially as many of these ships still contain a great deal of toxic materials when this is done.

China is now getting into this trade as well, so the people of Alang in Gujurat are feeling threatened by the competetion.

In June, 2004, The Guardian had an article about this. See:,12559,1244396,00.html

In July 2001, The Hindu Business Line had an article (with a photo). See:
Posted by Richard Conto  in  South East Lower Michigan  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  08:04 AM
I think the reason that Photo Fiction don't display whether or not these photos are real is because they can't be arsed to actually research it!
Posted by Nick  in  Merrie Olde Englande  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  09:42 AM
I got the pic of the cat with 8 legs. Lol. Most people think it's real.
Posted by Dany  in  Waco, Texas  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  10:27 AM
I've been in the Coast Guard for seven years and I don't see any reason to believe that picture is fake. If a ship runs aground at high tide it will tip over like that when the tide goes out because the bottom of the hull is not flat. It's hard to tell from this angle, but it looks like the stern may be sitting in deeper water.

The shipbreaker articles are very interesting, but I don't think that's what is going on in this picture. Notice the yellow thing floating in the water? That is an oil containment boom. From the sound of things in that article, shipbreakers would be unlikely to use that kind of polution control. I would guess that the ship in the picture caught on fire and was abandoned, then either drifted into shallow water, or was pushed into shallow water so it would not sink.
Posted by sombrero11  in  Cleveland, OH  on  Mon Apr 11, 2005  at  03:09 PM
a ship to be broken up would be driven as fast and as hard as it could be towards the shore at high tide

... which sounds like enormous fun. Sod the environmental implications - it'll probably grow back - and let's film this, place bets on which tanker tips over first.
Posted by Ashley Pomeroy  on  Tue Apr 12, 2005  at  02:53 AM
If you want to know more about the whole running aground of ships, check out Iain Banks's The Business: it's fictional but there's a part in it where a ship is run aground in the same way. He manages to sandwich a fair amount of information about the process through the narrative.
Posted by Mike Lietz  on  Wed Apr 13, 2005  at  02:46 PM
Posted by Somu  in  India  on  Sun Apr 24, 2005  at  03:49 AM
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