Since photos of the “naked shark guy” have gone viral, there has been something of a feeding frenzy to find out the identity of the man. She picture has drawn the attention of animal rights groups, as well as virtually everyone because put simply, it is kind of a jarring image! Fishing for certain types of sharks is legal, but even then it is generally considered to be in poor taste to strip naked and lay on top of a shark you have just caught. But ever since the picture has gone viral, the hunt has been on to determine this guy’s identity and (we can assume) publicly berate him for doing something so incredibly dumb! Figuring it out though is proving more difficult than you may think, since no one is really that quick to raise their hand and take credit for something like this.
The photo is so wild and one may assume that alcohol was involved before the photo was taken. Some speculation as to the identity of the man has led to a few different names, but it seems the path was always a dead end. But piecing the puzzle together in recent days has led to some answers and some valuable information. So here are 15 facts that have turned up that you need to know about the naked shark guy, as well as 5 pieces of information that have proven to be completely false!
20. Speculation That The Picture is Photoshopped is FALSE!
First and foremost, do not accept any bogus claims that the picture of the naked man and shark is photoshopped. No one with any real credibility is claiming that there was any doctoring of the now famous viral picture. That is a real boat, real water, a real shark and unfortunately a very real and very naked man of somewhat generous proportions. Lots of information gathered on this picture (much of which you will learn about down the list) claims that the picture was taken and is in fact very real. So feel free to progress knowing that this is a real photo and that point is no longer disputed. We kind of wish it wasn’t though, as the fact that this is really quite disturbing, crass and downright gross!
19. Speculation That It Is Florida Gators Coach Jim McElwain is FALSE!
The man in the photograph is a heavy set, middle aged white guy. Let’s be real for just a moment and acknowledge that this could be a very wide variety of people! There was initially however, some speculation that it is Florida Gators head football coach Jim McElwain. That made the story go from semi-viral to full blown pandemic viral! The idea that the disgraceful individual in the photograph could be a famous football coach is just too juicy to pass-up. But very quickly, McElwain made it very clear that this is absolutely not him in the photograph. He is probably a little more than aggravated that the accusation went as far as it did, but nevertheless, he is putting it to bed. There’s more new information to share and we can claim this speculation as totally false!
18. Coach McElwain Is Not a Fisherman
Coach Jim McElwain has come out publicly claiming that he is not a fisherman. Not only that, but shark fishing is an incredibly rare specialty among fishing enthusiasts. In addition to this fact, he is also not known for a tremendous amount of boating activities (it is not a passion of his.) McElwain is known as a great college football coach and is seen as an inspiration to young athletes across the country. Somehow, it is a little far fetched to believe that he would allow himself to strip down to absolutely nothing and spoon with a shark while giving the goofiest grin known to man! He has been adamant that it is not him in the horrific photo and thankfully, this theory has been completely put to bed. Next!
17. McElwain Held A Very Serious Press Conference
Jim McElwain is no fool. He realizes that even though he clearly has no connection to the man in this photograph, any implication that it is or “could be” him could hurt both his reputation and the Florida Gators football team. For this reason, he agreed to meet with reporters and clear up the whole issue once and for all. He claimed that he does not know who the man in the photo is, but it is not him! He was pleasant and unafraid, but at the same time, very serious in his statements regarding the issue. McElwain may or may not care about the issue of shark hunting, but he cares about not looking ridiculous. He didn’t go into detail about the photo, largely because he doesn’t have any details to share.
16. Speculation That It Is Jimmy John Liautaud is FALSE!
So with McElwain out of the running for the identity of the naked man with the shark, the other theory is that it is none other than Jimmy John Liautaud, the millionaire founder of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches! There is perhaps a bit more of a motive here, since Jimmy John himself has been known to do a fair amount of big game hunting. He has also been known to take photographs with him smiling next to his most recent kill. Alas, despite this he has adamantly denied that he is the man in the photograph through his representatives. Given that we know some more information (I promise, it’s coming up) about the identity of the naked man, we are going to go ahead and call this one as false.
15. Jimmy John Liautaud Used To Hunt African Game
So indeed, Jimmy John Liautaud did in fact hunt large African game. He is an avid hunter and fisherman and has claimed that he or those he has hunted with have eaten the meat from his hunting and fishing with nothing going to waste or only for sport. While he does not make apologies for his participation in these activities, he has reportedly given up hunting African game. He and by extension, his company were beginning to draw criticism because of his participation in the activity. Therefore, he stopped the practice altogether in 2015. While he has taken many photographs with some of his “prize kills,” he has never been shown doing anything as distasteful or vulgar as what is in the picture with the shark. That only helps make the case that it is not him in the photo.
14. Speculation That The Photo Was Taken In Florida is FALSE!
There has been a lot of discussion online about where this photo may have been taken. Perhaps because of the speculation that is was Jim McElwain, many have assumed that it was taken in Florida. Maybe it is also the somewhat uneven tan of the naked shark guy (an image that will not soon go away unfortunately), but people have gotten the impression that this came from the Sunshine State. Why people would look at this and think “oh, this must have been taken in Florida” is still a mystery, but we can say with certainty that the photograph was not taken in Florida. Furthermore, it was not anywhere near Florida where the photo was snapped. You will soon learn however where it did originate and find it somewhat shocking!
13. Ex-NYPD Officer
So it is now known that the man in the photo is not Coach McElwain or the founder of Jimmy John’s. The truth is something of a let down, as it is no one even remotely famous. Allegedly, the naked guy in the photo is a former New York City police officer that currently lives in upstate New York. The man who has been identified as “Shawn” (or “Sean”), has been labeled and just recently identified, although his full name is not known. There is also not any additional information about the guy at this point, but with a little time, the animal rights groups may be doing some digging. It is clear that he no longer thinks of this photo as fun and games, realizing that the world may not quite see the humor he originally intended.
12. Speculation That The Picture Is Current Is FALSE!
The implication has been that this is a recent picture. Most people assume that anything that goes viral must be new or current. This picture is clearly proof that this is not always the case. In truth, the photograph is not new and those claiming that it has suddenly appeared and was recently taken have not done their homework. New information that was gathered by the person discovering that it was Shawn and not McElwain or Jimmy John has uncovered that the photo has been around for a while. It may have been sitting dormant in the guy’s Facebook photos without a second thought all this time. It is amazing how quickly something can catch on and spiral out of control! It is almost a foregone conclusion however that the photo is no longer attached to Shawn’s social media now if it ever was before.
11. Photo Taken 2 Years Ago Off Long Island
According to the source that identified the naked man, this photo is actually two years old! As said above, the photo is not brand new and has been around for a while now. Not only that, but the photo was actually taken off the coast of Long Island! Most people have assumed that this was in a more tropical location such as Florida, but that could not be further from the truth (well, there are lots of other places further from Long Island, but you get the idea). Who knows how long it sat dormant waiting on someone to leak it to the world? Furthermore, why this guy would think he could take a picture like this and no one would ever find out is also questionable. In those two years that have passed, I wonder if he’s once regretted his actions.
10. Wildlife TV Star Started the Manhunt
The photograph is about two years old, but it was not until noted wildlife television star and conservationist Anneka Svenska Tweeted the photograph and called for him to be identified and questioned why he would do this, that the photo gathered international attention. Her Tweet has been picked up by a wide variety of journalists interested in the story and got a lot of people chattering about who the man could be in the photograph. As discussed earlier, the story gained momentum because of the two famous guys that look similar to the naked guy in the photo. But thanks to Svenska for her attention to how horrible his behavior truly is, he certainly feels the need to lay low and avoid the public spotlight. Considering how a bunch of organizations want his head on a platter, that’s probably a smart move.
9. Svenska’s Original Tweet Was Re-tweeted Over 1,000 Times
The Svenska Tweet is the first one that made the picture go viral. The picture is shocking enough, but having such a reputable name in the wildlife and conservation community like Anneka Svenska, Tweet about how horrible this behavior is, gives the whole search for his identity a new life. Her Tweet was re-tweeted over 1,000 times! This caused it to spread like wildfire and gain momentum as an actual news story. We all know that social media can do some pretty amazing things and can create fame literally overnight. 1,000 re-tweets is a great way to get the message out. Unfortunately for the naked shark guy, virtually everyone of those re-tweets are absolutely furious at his behavior and would do whatever it takes to bring him public shame and ridicule!
8. Orlando Sports Anchor Gave Correct Identity
David Pingalore is an Orlando television sports anchor that happened to be discussing the photograph, and came into some good luck when he was able to find information related to the true identity of the naked shark guy. He went on a local radio show and discussed the story claiming that he had received photographs (clothed) of the guy and it is indeed the same person. He is not allowed to release the photographs at this time, nor is he releasing his source. Pingalore is well known in the Orlando area and is probably loving that he is able to identify the man through his source. He will undoubtedly milk this attention for all it is worth. I am sure that McElwain and Jimmy John are both very happy to hand him the spotlight on this issue!
7. Friend Of The Man Contacted Pingalore
An unnamed friend of the naked man in the picture contacted Orlando sports anchor David Pingalore, to provide proof of his association with the man and explain who he is and is not. Both the friend and the man who is so proud of his birthday suit have not forked over their names, for good reason. The man who has been identified in the picture is an ex-NYPD cop and originally was interested in coming forward. But after some public outrage by animal rights groups and generally anyone with some common sense and decency, he has decided that may not be the best idea. Letting the story die down a bit may be in his best interest. In the meantime, I guess the guy’s friend will continue to be the intermediary between him and Pingalore.
6. Friend Sent Photos As Proof (Clothed)
There are a lot of oddly strange people out there that are just itching for a few minutes of fame, regardless of how they can come by that fame. In this case, the friend of the naked shark guy was able to provide a little more proof than just his word. He provided additional pictures of the former New York City police officer (these have him fully clothed) and it clearly is the same person in the shark photo. He may be regretting getting involved at this point and is perhaps thinking that it was better when the world thought it may be Coach McElwain or Jimmy John the sandwich man himself. Nevertheless, the good old naked shark guy has been positively identified thanks to the photos provided to Pingalore.
5. Afraid For His Life
The naked shark guy is not really getting the kind of publicity that most people want from a viral photo. Most of the people that re-tweeted this photo are outraged at this behavior…and rightly so. Many animal rights organizations have called this guy out for this disgusting display. They have been very vocal about their desire to find his identity and publicly shame him. It seems that he was ready to possibly come forward, but decided that may not be the safest thing to do. He apparently has some concerns for his personal safety and he is even worried about people that may want him dead! There are all kinds of radical animal rights activists out there and this is just the kind of thing that would outrage them.
4. Was Going to Meet Florida Gators Coach
One of the administrators in the University of Florida athletic department was apparently communicating with David Pingalore to try to organize a meeting between Coach McElwain and the actual naked shark guy. The meeting was agreed upon, but about an hour later, the naked shark guy decided against it, fearing that coming forward and revealing his name and identity to the world could be hazardous to his health! With Coach McElwain being so adamant that he was not the man in the photograph, and with the negative publicity surrounding the photograph, it seems a bit odd that he would even agree to meet with the real naked shark guy, except perhaps to prove to the world that was truly not him in the photo. We will never know now, as the meeting was called off.
3. Meant to Be a Parody
The backstory on how this photograph came about has since been shared, not that it helps a whole lot. While it looks like a drunken prank gone wrong, it seems that there is a little more to it that just the influence of alcohol. Apparently, in the United Kingdom, there are some websites that show naked women on top of sharks in a similar way as in this photo. I have no idea how accurate this is, but allegedly, this photograph was taken a few years ago and was intended to be a parody of those websites. That certainly doesn’t mean that the photograph was a good idea, or in good taste. To be fair though, the photograph was taken two years ago and he is probably regretting the incredibly bad decision to have it taken.
2. Sports Journalists Have Picked Up The Story
Much to their irritation, sports journalists have begun to discuss the story. This is most likely because sports anchor David Pingalore became the point man on the manhunt for the naked shark guy’s true identity. Once Pingalore began talking about it, it began to get picked up by different journalists and news outlets. This has gone well beyond just social media sharing and now involves a number of real news organizations discussing the picture. These journalists probably wish they were talking about something else, but news is news. This news will stay in the cycle too as long as there is fresh information, like the man’s name and if he ultimately decides to come forward. Do not look for the story to get picked up on ESPN soon though.
1. The Guy Was Spooning The Shark (Not That It Matters)
So a whole lot of people online have complained about the naked shark guy humping the dead shark. Now, to make it very clear, there is nothing really great about what the man is actually doing in the photo, but for the purpose of accuracy, he is not humping the shark. While it may be hard to tell, if the parody of the UK naked women and shark pictures is true, he is spooning the shark and not humping the shark. It is still vile and disgusting, but truthfully, if he was humping the shark, that would take it to a completely different level. But the animal rights activists probably don’t see too much difference between humping and spooning with a dead shark. It is gross and disrespectful no matter how you look at it.