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Viral Photo of a Giant Squid Found in California is Fake

image widely circulated on the

Image widely circulated on the Internet. Originally, it appeared io lightlybraisedturnip.com on January 10, 2014. Image used under fair use.  

This fake image of giant squid has been circulating widely on social media across many languages. Originally found on Lightly Braised Turnip, which appears to be a satire news website, the photo was accompanied by the description that a “giant squid was discovered on California coast and scientists suspect radioactive gigantism“, blaming the Fukushima nuclear accident for the existence of the large sea creature.

Giant squid (genus: Architeuthis) is a large, deep-ocean dwelling squid that can grow up to 13 meters (43 feet) naturally. Japanese blogger Piyohiko, suspicious of the photo, investigated [ja] the image online and quickly debunked it.

He searched for images of a “giant squid” on Google and found the original giant squid photo: 

image of giant squid posted in Xinhua news

Photo of a giant squid posted on Xinhua News. The photo was taken by Enrique Talledo [es], who specializes in documenting the ocean

10秒ぐらいで見つけてしまいました!!
なんだか似てると思うのですが、気のせいでしょうか?

It took only 10 seconds for me to find !!
The image looks very similar to me, don't they?

Photographer Masahiro Ariga [ja] also noticed that the image was fake. He noted that the spectators of the giant squid image coincide with those of the photo below, uploaded to 4thmedia.org in 2011:

image from 2011 on

Photo taken November 3, 2011, which appeared on 4thmedia.org's reporting a whale found dead in Chile.

Ariga commented [ja] how quickly the fake image was circulated on Facebook:

このフェイク写真、驚いたことにフェイスブックで物凄い勢いで拡散している。
9日のお昼頃にネット新聞のページを見たとき、いいね!は1300だったのに、その夜にはなんと2万に達していた。イカが放射線によって巨大化したことを信じて不安になる人も多いようだ。
このでたらめ記事が、冗談で書かれたのかそれとも悪意があるのかは分からないが、事実として受けとっている人が少なくない。ネットという空間で嘘と不安が拡大されて、世界中に広まっていくのを、現在進行形で見ているところだ。

The fake photo [of a giant squid washed ashore along the Santa Monica coastline] is spreading at amazing speed. When I saw the online news at noon on January 9, it only had 13,000 Facebook likes. However, overnight, it was already reaching 20,000 likes. Looks like many people believed the news of a squid growing enormous due to radiation and became anxious.

It's not clear whether this fabricated news was written as a joke or with vicious intention, but many people accepted the news as fact. I'm observing how lies and anxiety are amplified on the Internet throughout the world. 

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