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Reuters Searches for the Titanic beneath North Pole
Status: Journalistic error
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 is still running the story with the incorrectly captioned Titanic footage. In case they yank it soon, see the screenshot below.

Categories: Journalism, Photos
Posted by Alex on Sat Aug 11, 2007
Comments (5)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
As Vince McMahon said on last Monday night's Raw, "What's the difference between WWE and the press? Nothing, we're both in the entertainment business."
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Sun Aug 12, 2007  at  03:51 AM
I came across an interesting and similar thing after the bridge collapse in Minnesota:

CNN is still running the flubbed video:
Posted by Mark  in  Sonoma, California  on  Sun Aug 12, 2007  at  11:27 AM
Maybe it's because I'm exhausted, but I didn't catch the flub on the bridge video from CNN....can someone fill me in?
Posted by Josh  in  Texas  on  Mon Aug 13, 2007  at  06:44 PM
If you squint, the submersible in the picture looks like one of the robots from Disney's "The Black Hole"... or Jesus with glasses, or Cartman from South Park. With glasses
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Aug 13, 2007  at  08:19 PM
-- UPDATE --

Reuters wasn't the perpetrator of this hoax it was just one of the victims. According to The Guardian (,,2146629,00.html ) the Russian state television company Rossiya broadcast the story using the footage from Titanic to make the story look a little more exciting on TV.

"Rossiya's images were distributed all over the world, appearing on television news broadcasts and websites in Britain and as "screen grabs" in newspapers."
Posted by MadRat  on  Tue Aug 14, 2007  at  10:36 AM
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