15 Shocking Viral Photos That Turned Out To Be Fake

In today’s world of Photoshop and clever photographers, it’s pretty hard to tell the real images from the fake ones. Sometimes they are so amazing, we almost want them to be real, our minds trying to convince ourselves that something so magical could be real. And even if they’re not real, they still look amazing! But it is kind of a problem when people Photoshop images and then claim they are real, and they might do this for a few different reasons.

They might want to make themselves famous after posting a picture of something seemingly impossible, fooling everyone into viewing their pages and making their pictures viral. But sometimes people fake images in order to prove a point, whether it’s political or scientific. These are commonly known as hoaxes.

In this article, we will examine the most convincing of these shocking pictures that turned out to be fake - the pictures that fooled everyone. Perhaps you yourself have been fooled by some of these pictures over the last few years. But now you will be able to hear the story behind the pictures, who made them, and why they decided to mess with our minds! At the end of this gallery you might end up asking yourself, “Does it really matter whether they’re fake or not?” They’re definitely cool to look at, whether or not they’re actually real!

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

15 Orca Attacking A Grizzly Bear

via hoaxes.org

This image is fake but it looks so real. Unfortunately, no Orca ever attacked a Grizzly Bear. This was all part of an elaborate April Fool’s joke played by someone living on Vancouver Island. They claimed in the post’s caption that this was a unique phenomenon to that area of Vancouver Island, where whales would migrate upstream into lakes and river as part of their spawning season. If only that were true… a lot of people actually bought this nonsense, and it’s definitely an example of something being so awesome that people try to convince themselves it’s true.

14 Fried Chicken Oreos

via hoaxes.org

People were truly disappointed when they found out that “Fried Chicken Oreos” weren’t actually a thing. If the company actually made them, they would probably sell like hotcakes… or chickencakes… or whatever. Maybe the reason so many believed this fake image was real was because there are actually tons of weird flavors of Oreos in real life. The more strange flavors include green tea, candy corn, and limeade. So why not fried chicken flavor? This hilarious fake image was first posted on Instagram by user moorestyle10. Imagine what they would taste like; sort of like chicken but sweet… actually that sounds really gross.

13 When Lightning Hits Sand

via hoaxes.org

Supposedly, this is what happens when lightning hits sand. Now, before we get into the specifics of why this image is fake, it’s important to point that something strange actually does happen to sand when it gets hit by lightning. When lightning hits sand in real life, it forms something called “fulgarites,” and they look a little like this picture, but clearly this one is fake. This is because fulgarites happen within the sand, not outside it. This structure is actually a piece of driftwood with sand piled on top of it. It was built by a guy who goes as Sandcastle Matt on Flickr.

12 Glitch Furniture

via hoaxes.org

This image is a piece of concept art for a line of furniture called “good vibrations.” This line of furniture was made by Ferruccio Laviani with special tools which allowed him to create this effect. Although the above image is fake, he actually did create furniture just like it, leading to some confusion. Since he was making furniture that looked very similar to the image, everyone assumed it was another one of his pieces. But it was just a piece of concept art. The actual cabinets are much less intricate. However, in the same way the image was created by computers, the actual furniture pieces themselves were created with the help of computer-programmed machines, so it’s pretty much the same thing when you think about it.

11 Rare Black Lion

via hoaxes.org

You see these pictures all the time. If Black Lions were so rare, do you really think there would be so many pictures of them? I’ve heard that technically, it is possible for Black Lions to be born. But yeah, this picture is fake, along with all of the other photos of this animal online. All they did was go on Photoshop and change the color of its fur. The original picture was of a white (or albino) lion, and then it was colored black and posted by “PAulie-SVK” on deviantart.com. Lions are awesome enough creatures by themselves. Did you really need to change their color to make them more interesting?

10 Moon Melon

via hoaxes.org

First of all, let me make it abundantly clear that moonmelons actually do exist. Found only in Japan, they cost about $200, and they are extremely rare. And yes, they are blue on the inside. But this is no moonmelon. No, this is merely a watermelon that has been changed into a blue color with computer software. The crazy thing about real moon melon is that once you eat it, it changes the flavor of other things. For example, after eating a moonmelon, sweet things taste sour. Where can I get one? That sounds awesome! If you live in Japan, you probably know all about this fruit already, and you could spot this fake image a mile away.

9 Sarah Palin In A Bikini

via hoaxes.org

This picture shows Sarah Palin as a hot, gun-toting, bikini-wearing babe. But alas, she will never be that awesome. The picture is fake, and it was just a simple matter of taking her head and pasting it onto the body of another photo of a random girl. It was released right after she was announced as John McCain’s vice president candidate, and they never figured out who was behind this fake image. It seemed as though someone really didn’t like Palin, and wanted to mess with her political goals by trying to ruin her image. Or maybe it was just some bored kid who was trying to have fun. We’ll never know!

8 Ngyen Khang Taksang Monastery

via gizmodo.com

Supposedly, the picture on the left is a picture of the famed “Ngyen Khang Taksang Monastery.” But no such monastery exists. Although it’s an undeniably cool image, this was Photoshopped. This was actually part of a project called “Graffiti Lab” which was done by an art collective called “Reality Cues.” The unaltered image is a part of Wulingyuan Scenic Area China’s Hunan province. But there are in fact many amazing carvings of Buddha just like the imagined one here, and some of them really are amazing. Because there are many carvings just like this fake one, you can see why it fooled so many people.

7 Super Moon

via funnyjunk.com

This image is so beautiful, it’s no wonder why so many people desperately wanted this picture to be real. But even the biggest super moons never get as big as this. And the funny thing is, this image even fooled people who are supposed to be the experts of nature! Yes, that’s right, the National Parks Conservation Association actually retweeted this image! Maybe they knew it was fake, but posted it anyway just to draw more people to their parks. This picture originally had no moon, it was just a picture of Sequoia National Park, which is beautiful enough without anything added in...

6 Space Eclipse

via gizmodo.com

This is the fake space photo that just won’t go away. No matter how many times it shows up, people keep getting fooled by it. It was not taken from space, it was created by someone in their basement using Photoshop. Still, it’s quite beautiful and well done, and maybe that’s the reason why it’s so convincing. People who first posted it claimed that it was a picture taken from the International Space Station, but a guy who is known for debunking space photos, FakeAstropix on Twitter, showed us all that it was fake. The first person who posted it was A4size-ska on Twitter.

5 Plane-Selfie

via digitalcorvettes.com

No, this never happened. I don’t know how many people it fooled, but clearly these people have no idea about how air travel actually works. First of all, he would be sucked out of the plane because the cabin is pressurized. Why am I explaining this? It’s pretty clear that this image is totally fake. Even the maker of this picture wrote “perspective” on the side of the plane, so people would understand that it’s a joke. But people will believe anything! The plane was added into an empty background of clouds, and then the pilot was added in later.

4 Lenticular Clouds Over Mt. Fuji

via imgur.com

This picture of Mount Fuji in Japan is fake, but it’s partly real. First of all, Lenticular clouds are actually a thing, and they can be witnessed all over the world. One of the most famous mountains to regularly form lenticular clouds over its peak is Mount Shasta in Northern California. In this picture of Mount Fuji, only the bottom cloud is real. All of the other clouds higher than the bottom layer are fake. Mount Fuji itself is a beautiful picture, and even with one lenticular cloud, it’s an amazing sight to behold. If you want to see real, multi-layered pictures of Lenticular clouds, look up pictures of Mount Shasta. You won’t be disappointed.

3 Space Shuttle Breaking Through The Clouds

via wallpapervortex.com

Sadly, this picture of the space shuttle breaking through the clouds is absolutely fake. First of all, you have to ask yourself, who took the picture? Even if it was another aircraft, they would have to be flying dangerously close to a space shuttle, things that we all know are prone to blowing up suddenly and without warning. Second, there would be light coming from the thrusters, and the clouds would be pushed to the side as it bursts through. No, this picture is a composite of the space shuttle launching (on the ground) and an empty picture of clouds. Still, it works great as wallpaper for your desktop, even if it is fake!

2 Kissing Islands

via weheartit.com

This picture is supposed to be a satellite image of the so-called “Kissing Islands” in Iceland. Now, if you live in Iceland, you already know that these islands do not actually exist. One half of this picture does exist, but even that half has been touched up with software in order to make it seem more like a face. Why did they even make this photo? Well, for one, it looks awesome. Secondly, it might have been a desperate attempt by the Icelandic government to entice tourists to its country. Iceland is a beautiful country, but it’s small and its tourism industry isn’t that great. Maybe there are people wandering around Iceland right now, trying to find the famous “Kissing Islands.”

1 The Alaskan Tree Frog

via reddit.com

Ah, the famous “Alaskan Tree Frog.” Reddit is famous for trolling people mercilessly, and this is one of their best trolls ever. One Reddit user posted this image, explaining that this was an extremely rare creature known as the “Alaskan Tree Frog.” He even explained that in the winter, the frog gets completely frozen, its heart stops, and it waits until summer to thaw out and come back to life. And people actually believed it! Just look at it. It’s obviously just some toy frog with ice all over it! I can’t believe people actually fell for this. Imagine how many people googled “Alaskan Tree Frog” after seeing this picture, only to find out that they had been trolled. Were you one of the people who fell for this?

Source: Gizmodo.com, Hoaxes.org

More in Most Shocking