It’s happened to all of us at some point. We’ve all been scrolling down our social media feed when something so mind-blowing and unbelievable popped out that we just had to share it with our friends. What we don’t always know at that point is the fact that the amazing picture which simply blew our mind was actually fake and that we were just one of the pawns that helped make it viral.
However, when millions of people share the same news, some of them, usually sooner or later, get the urge to double check the facts. Surprise! The thing you have been talking about with your friends for the whole day was nothing more than yet another internet hoax.
It is quite important to be sort of a skeptic when searching for news on the internet. Keep in mind that almost everybody can post basically anything they want, so it doesn’t come off as such a big surprise that people sometimes post fake news in order to get some attention. If you don’t enjoy being fooled, you should always dig deeper and double check the facts, but don’t worry, we’ve all been there! Here are 15 fake viral photos that fooled us all!
15. World’s Biggest Dog
There have been many cases of people photoshopping their pets. The key to a cool pet picture is either to make the pet as small or as huge as possible. However, this particular picture had everybody fooled when it was published alongside the article about Hercules – world’s largest dog. According to the article, Hercules was an English Mastiff weighing 282 pounds and he was the world’s biggest dog ever according to Guinness World Record. And while the story about Hercules is completely true, somebody thought that the best way to make the article as spectacular as possible was to throw a photoshopped picture into the mix. As you can see, the dog in the picture is almost a size of a full-grown horse and, while the real Hercules is indeed one huge dog, he is nowhere near that big.
14. Everybody Needs A Baby Dog Costume
Do you have a dog but you still have that void in your soul that only a baby can fill? Have no fear! The MommyMaker Lifelike Baby Costume for Dogs is here! According to this picture, fools up to 30% of pediatricians, it has a bark-to-baby-wail voice modulator as well as 75% real baby hair, and it comes in five sizes so no matter if you own a Chihuahua or a mastiff, you’re good to go. Sounds too good to be true? Yeah, you’re right. It’s completely made up and you can’t actually buy it, but people found it highly amusing to this fake advertisement went viral pretty fast. Most of the people were certain it was real. Let’s just hope they weren’t too disappointed when they found out that they will not turn their dog into a baby after all.
13. Fake Alan Rickman Quote
Many people loved Alan Rickman, some for his amazing acting talent, some for his unusual voice reading poetry on tape, but most of the fans fell in love with his great work in the Harry Potter movies where he portrayed professor Snape. Unfortunately, Rickman passed away in 2016 and just a couple of hours after the news of his death spread all over social media, everybody seemed to be sharing one of his quotes where he talks about his love for the Harry Potter books. Sure, the quote is really beautiful and it gave watery eyes to almost every Harry Potter fan out there, but the truth is Alan Rickman NEVER actually said that. As far as we know, according to some of his statements, he never actually read the books.
12. You’ve Got Mail, It’s Your Kid
Remember the time when you got your mail actually delivered to your door by a postman? Those were the days… Sure, the mail often got lost on the way, but the expectation was especially thrilling. And you wouldn’t believe the things people used to send to each other! Homemade cookies, colorful postcards from all over the world, their children… Yes, you got that right! Or at least, that’s what millions of people believed after some photos of mailmen delivering children went viral. And while countless different things have been mailed through the US Postal Services, the kids definitely never were one of them. Of course, the pictures got quite an attention and went viral pretty quickly, mostly because of how bizarre the whole idea was. People have found themselves shocked. At least until they figured out it was all one big joke.
11. Dispose Of Your Ugly Children Here
To most people, it was pretty clear that this whole thing was a joke, but you wouldn’t believe the number of people who actually fell for it. This picture went viral instantly, accompanied by comments of people who found it to be super inappropriate, as well as of people who took it seriously and were outraged. However, although this picture was photoshopped, the part showing the kid in a trash bin was actually real. The original photo differs from this one only by the text on the sign. The original text was: “Keep off the grass”. Vintage photos like this one almost always get a lot of media attention because they often remind us of the things from the past we’re not particularly proud of. However, the assumption is that the original photo was nothing more but a joke as well.
10. Mother Antelope Sacrifices Her Life
You probably remember the heartbreaking story about a mother Impala antelope who offered herself to hungry cheetah to save her babies. The antelope, allegedly, saw the cheetah approaching them and she sacrificed her life to give her babies a chance to flee the scene while she was being eaten. It makes for such a great story it is almost a shame none of it is true. The antelope is alive and well, it wasn’t being attacked by the cheetah at all since the pic wasn’t taken in the wild but in captivity where the animals grew up together. What you see in the picture are the animals playing together and no one was eating anybody in this particular case. It seems that somebody found the truth to be simply too boring and had the urge to spice things up.
9. JFK And Marilyn Monroe
Everybody has heard the rumor about the romantic affair between John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. Some even believe that the affair was a reason why the government had Marilyn killed to prevent her from telling the truth to the world. Of course, people mostly agree that seems a little bit far-fetched, but conspiracy theorists did their best to prove that theory. The truth is there has never been any physical proof of the two having an affair (except maybe for Marilyn singing Happy Birthday Mr. President) so people went nuts when these pictures surfaced. However, before you go: “I told you so”, you should know that those aren’t actually pictures of JFK and Marilyn Monroe but of two actors who just look really similar to them. They were taken by a photographer who has often recreated scenes of famous people.
8. Syrian Boy Sleeping Next To His Parents’ Graves
This picture is a living proof of how easy it is to fabricate a story and make it go viral if you just hit the right strings. Basically, the recipe to make something go viral is to play a strong emotion card and people will just go crazy. In the case of this photo, it was supposed to be capturing a young Syrian boy sleeping next to his parents’ graves and it made people just go on and on about life’s unfairness. Of course, life is unfair, but it is also unfair to feed people such heartbreaking stories if they are not true. The boy in the picture wasn’t Syrian nor an orphan and those graves were nothing more but two piles of gravel. In fact, the author stated it was simply an art project.
7. Another Not-National Geographic Photo Of The Year
People have found a great way to make their craziest photoshopped creations go viral – they just label them “National Geographic Photo of the Year”. Hey, you know what they say? It ain’t stupid if it works. But all jokes on the side, this was one of those cases. Someone took two photos – the photo of a great white shark taken by Charles Maxell, and the photo of the USAF helicopter by the Golden Gate Bridge taken by Lance Cheung – and they combined them into one new photo capturing a shark attacking a man who was trying to climb back into the helicopter. Millions of people were fooled by this picture and if you’re active on any kind of social media, you have probably seen it on your friends’ walls countless times.
6. 9/11 Victim
This picture seems to be capturing the last moments of a man who found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time. People have been assuming that he was one of the victims of the horrible attack on the World Trade Center towers and his camera somehow survived the collapse of the buildings and it was found with this pic saved. However, once you take a better look at this photo, you will notice that a couple things are off. First of all, why is the man in the picture dressed in such warm clothes when it was a warm and sunny day? And secondly, the south tower was the only one with an observation deck (where this picture was taken), yet the other tower was hit first. What is the chance that this guy would be posing and smiling for the picture if a tower right next to him had been attacked and collapsing?
5. Giant Squid In Santa Monica
Capturing mysterious and scary creatures is definitely a good way to have your picture going viral. This pic was shared all over the social media a couple of years back when a guy claimed to have taken a photo of a giant squid washed ashore in Santa Monica. It really doesn’t seem like something you’d like to cuddle with. If stuff like this gives you nightmares, we have both good and bad news for you. The good news is nothing like this has ever been found laying on a beach in California, the squid was photoshopped over a picture of a whale washed up in Chile. The bad news is, squids like this really do exist and one of them was found washed ashore in Spain. There is also much more of them where that one came from.
4. Hunting Grasshoppers
The only good thing about grasshoppers is how easily you can throw them out of your apartment (assuming you are not the type to squash them) because of how small they are. Imagine what it would be like if they were so huge you’d had to hunt them down with a shotgun? This picture was used as (the only) proof of how large grasshoppers were back in the mid-1900s and, although it is so hard to believe, plenty of people have been fooled by this pic. Let’s assume for a moment that such grasshoppers existed in the past. How is it possible that there is absolutely no evidence of their existence? Sometimes it really seems like people will believe anything as long as it makes its way on the internet.
3. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Lion
If you have watched more than one film in your life, there is a 99% chance you have seen the MGM logo. You know, the one with the lion roaring. And while it is pretty obvious the studio didn’t have the lion strapped down with his head going through the rest of the logo, some people claimed that was exactly the way the MGM logo was created. Somebody used a picture of a sick lion strapped down for some medical scans and made it look like the twisted process of making the company’s logo. Of course, there are many people who wouldn’t fall for a photo like this, but once it’s on the internet, you can bet that millions of people will see it and be fooled by it without even thinking twice.
2. A Mental Institution?
Imagine seeing this picture accompanied by an article about a horrifying Soviet mental institution. It doesn’t get much creepier than that, does it? It almost looks like a bunch of possessed girls trying to climb up the walls of some girl orphanage or something even more disturbing. No wonder people all around the world were pretty shaken up after seeing such a terrible image. Now forget everything you have heard about this picture so far because none of that is true. There is nothing creepy about this pic. Not even a little. It is just a bunch of girls practicing their jumping routing during a ballet class. The pic was just taken at the right moment to look scary since the girls were leaning against the wall for some extra support.
1. John Lennon Jamming With Che Guevara
In case you haven’t heard, John Lennon left The Beatles to make a new band with Che Guevara. It was probably Yoko Ono who talked him into that. Or maybe it was Che who thought it would be cool to abandon his revolution and turn to rock and roll. It would be pretty awesome if those two recorded Imagine together, don’t you think? However, none of that actually happened. While both of them led their own separate fights against the system, they never actually sat down and sang about it together. This picture of the two jamming together is nothing more than just another photoshopped celebrity pic. It seems that pictures like this one somehow get viral on a daily basis so it is a good idea not to believe everything you see.
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