Florida residents who remained behind as Hurricane Ian pummeled the central gulf coast may have gotten more than they bargained for if they ventured outside — the storm surge was so powerful that it apparently sent sharks swimming down residential streets.
Video taken in Ft. Myers, Florida, on Wednesday showed what appeared to be a shark attempting to navigate the flood waters of the massive storm surge — just feet away from someone’s fenced-in yard.
@Gutfeldfox somehow a shark ended up in a Fort Myers neighborhood during Hurricane Ian.. 😬 pic.twitter.com/l3WbzgNQHj
— Brad Habuda (@BradHabuda) September 28, 2022
The immediate response to the clip, as it quickly circulated on Twitter, was a slew of references to the campy made-for-TV flick “Sharknado” — which features a massive storm that sucks sharks up into a waterspout and proceeds to drop them into populated areas.
“Oh no. Sharknado was real,” South Dakota meteorologist Tyler Roney tweeted in response to the video.
“Where is Ian Ziering when you need him?” @themitchellfink added, referencing the film’s protagonist.
Gerald Butts noted that this was not the first time someone had claimed to have video of a shark swimming down a residential street as the result of a storm — and suggested people would have a hard time believing that this time it was real.
“The internet has cried shark so many times during a storm nobody’s going to believe this,” he said.
“Per hero debunker @JaneLytv, one of the internet’s most durable hoaxes has become literally true,” Sam Thielman tweeted.
USA Today published a fact-check debunking the original “shark on the street” photo, which was determined to be a hoax, but still managed to circulate through a number of major storms.
The photo originally appeared in 2011, after Hurricane Irene hit Puerto Rico, shared along with a post that read, “This picture was taken in Puerto Rico shortly after Hurricane Irene ravaged the island. Yes, that’s a shark swimming down the street next to a car, and this is exactly why authorities in NYC are warning people not to go swimming in flood waters after a hurricane. Sharks go where fish go, and fish go where water goes, and if that water (and those subsequent fish) happen to be right outside your front door, then guess where that freakin’ shark’s going to be?!”
The hoax reappeared on several subsequent occasions — during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and again in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey, Snopes reported, noting that the original image had been cut and pasted from a photo taken by a kayaker.