Monster great white for real-ish
Earlier today I wrote a post titled “Monster shark photo is a fake/legit?” and based my initial suspicions on this photo.
What initially threw me off was the the odd torque of the fish’s body, from its tail, where its underside is visible, to the angle of its head, which almost appears to be moving. But what really got me was what looked like a visible line just behind the gills — as if two different images were united, giving the body its odd twist. If that wasn’t enough, The Sun had slugged this image as “Fake shark photo” (an item brought to my attention by a sharp-eyed reader of this blog).
However, then there is this photo, which definitely does look real and true, as noted by another reader. You can still see the line behind the gills, and the change in color on the shark’s skin, but this might be due to the fact that this shark was caught on a drum line, apparently not far from a place named Deadman’s Beach. Perhaps a cord or cable wrapped around its head and caused that very straight line.
Then there are these Australian TV reports:
Given those interviews, I’d say that at the very least, this whole, 10-foot “white pointer” is actual, the photos are accurate and untouched, and something took a very big bite out of this shark while it was on the drum line. Some reports put that predator at “up to 15 feet,” (the “big” bracket) while others say “6 meters,” or pushing close to 20 feet (“monster” territory).
My initial assessment was off, but when such an image surfaces in the age of Photoshop then skepticism should rule, at least in part, until better photos arrive, as they have in this case.
Keep your eyes peeled for what I hope will be reports of the bite radius, data that should give a more accurate sense of size about the “monster shark” and if that over-heated appellation does truly apply. And, dear lord, don’t go swimming at Deadman’s Beach. What a freakin’ name. . .