The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
Hoaxes Throughout History
Middle AgesEarly Modern1700s1800-1840s1850-1890s
1900s1910s1920s1930s1940s1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s21st Century2014
The Fake Photos of Hurricane Irene
Reality Rule 4.2: Should a suitably dramatic picture of a major event not exist, one will be created.

This rule was in full effect during Hurricane Irene, as twitterers by the thousands shared fake hurricane photos with each other. The NY Times Technology Blog has collected some of the more popular ones:

Widely claimed to show Irene approaching North Carolina, this is really a photo of a storm approaching Pensacola, Florida around three weeks ago.

An image of the East River flooding was an old image taken during a previous storm (though I don't know which previous storm). Someone scanned and posted it.

A shot of the Times Square subway station flooding was, again, an old image recycled to become Hurricane Irene. It was actually taken in 1996 when a water main burst and flooded the station.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 29, 2011

You also get outright 'shoppery, such as:

That shark was lifted from an older photo of a shark following a kayaker.

One has to wonder about the though process that goes into such deceptions. Oh, I can see it being folks craving attention or the like, and perhaps wanting things to be that awesome might make it so..
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Tue Aug 30, 2011  at  02:00 AM
That first one is really cool.........even though it wasn't from Irene! I'd have been terrified seeing that coming toward me!
Posted by hulitoons  in  Abingdon, Maryland  on  Tue Aug 30, 2011  at  07:08 AM
The sad thing is, there are so awesome photos out there actually of Irene, it's sad that people need to substitute them!
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Tue Aug 30, 2011  at  08:20 AM
With most storm photos, forces of nature are always awe inspiring.

On a lesser note, as a Louisiana resident, I got to laugh whenever New York newspeople panicked about a little water in the city's streets.

New Orleans anyone?

Posted by Sherlocke  on  Thu Oct 20, 2011  at  03:59 PM
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.