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Viral fake images of Sydney weather make a return during thunderstorms

By Peter Marsh, Thursday November 29, 2018 - 13:45 EDT
ABC licensed image
The weather in Sydney yesterday was wild. Not this wild though. - ABC licensed

It didn't take long for incredible pictures of the wild weather that lashed Sydney on Wednesday to start popping up on the social media feeds of millions of Australians.

But because it's 2018, that means it also didn't take long for fake pictures to start popping up either.

Amidst of Sydneysiders attempting to make their way to work in the thunderstorm, two fakes quickly started doing the rounds.

One showed Harbour Bridge transformed into a waterfall

Not only is this one a fake, it's an old fake.

It .

In case you were wondering, here's what the Harbour Bridge actually looked like Wednesday during the storm.

The other showed sharks in train stations

It's also one that's been doing the rounds for a while.

The original picture first was taken in 2014 during — you guessed it — another round of wild storms that hit the city ().

One version of the image, taken at Sydney's Lewisham train station, had crocodile instead of a shark when it blew up on social media in 2015.

In fact, sightings of sharks in floodwaters after major weather events have become such a common fakery that since it first appeared in 2011.

Here's what Hany Farid, a computer scientist and digital forensics expert at Dartmouth University in the US told the ABC earlier this year:

"Every time there's a natural disaster, people circulate the same silly images of sharks swimming down the street. Images of sharks are almost always fake."

How can I tell if an image is fake?

Aside from abiding by the old adage of "if it looks too good to be true, it probably is"?

A quick reverse image search will uncover the laziest fakes like the ones above. You can also see if the

If you're after some .

Or, you can check the replies or the comments and have a laugh with everyone else:


© ABC 2018

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