Last week two Russian submersibles descended to the seabed beneath the North Pole and planted a flag, as a symbolic gesture of staking a claim to much of the Arctic Sea. When Reuters ran the story it seemed to have scooped all of its rivals by obtaining an actual photo of the Russian submarines beneath the North Pole. It ran a picture with the caption: "Russian miniature submarines are seen under water in the Arctic Ocean in this image taken from a television broadcast yesterday." The image was subsequently reproduced by many newspapers around the world.
But a 13-year-old Finnish schoolboy who saw the picture thought there was something strange about it. He had seen it before. And then he remembered where
. It was a scene from James Cameron's Titanic. He contacted his local newspaper to share his realization.
Turns out that it was a film still from the movie. Reuters had simply lifted some images that appeared on Russian State TV, and the Russians were, in turn, using stock footage of submersibles searching for the Titanic (footage that Cameron evidently also used in his movie). Most news sources now seem to have pulled the image, but Canada.com
is still running the story with the incorrectly captioned Titanic footage. In case they yank it soon, see the screenshot below.