Viral photos sometimes seem too shocking to be true. And that’s actually the case when it comes to these fake viral photos. They captured the public’s imagination when they spread across social media and circulated across emails, but in each case they were shown to be Internet hoaxes. It’s relatively easy to alter an image in this day and age of Photoshop. Scam viral photos can look incredibly convincing. But the experts can debunk the myths and get to the truth.
Animals are hugely popular subjects of viral pictures online. But some of the most eye-catching animal photos aren’t real. If it looks too crazy, it probably is. Sometimes images are staged by people for a bit of fun amongst friends. And then the Internet gets a hold of them and they take on a life of their own. A simple case of using a stock image of an animal and dropping it into an unrelated scene can do the trick nicely. Like adding a bear to a set-up shot. Or splicing two genuine images together to make it look like a shark is in familiar waters. Famous landmarks being attacked by extreme weather are another favorite photo hoax. Sometimes the pranksters don’t even need to do much editing to get the desired effect. They can just grab a film still and overlay classic media logos to fool many into believing it’s a real-life Hurricane Sandy scene.
Conspiracy theories can gain extra weight when they’re accompanied by apparent photographic evidence. But this can be misleading too. Especially when a professional trickster like artist Alison Jackson is involved. Her fake photos using celebrity lookalikes fool many before they’re revealed as set-ups. They can be used to comment on current events or past controversies, like the rumored affair between JFK and Marilyn Monroe. And then there are real-life news stories like Sandra Bland’s death that are affected by Photoshopped mug shots supporting the claim she was already dead when the photo was taken.
Historic and famous figures are often the subject of fake photos that have gone viral. We all want to get a glimpse into their past, or a look behind the scenes. And to see an apparent baby photo of Charles Manson already sporting his trademark crazed grin certainly works with the narrative of his life. But experts are able to debunk the fake photos and shed light on why these hoax images aren’t the real deal. And then there are the medical conditions that look so convincing but are total nonsense. Check out our pick of 10 viral photos that turned out to be fake, and let us know which ones fooled you!