Social Media Claim

Dingo and shark on the beach with mating snakes pic is fake

This Facebook post from April 30, 2018 claims to show a dingo eating a shark on a beach next to two snakes in a "fight".

The Statement

AAP FactCheck examined a Facebook post from April 30, 2018 by MIPT (Made In Poor Taste) showing a picture of a dingo next to a dead shark on a beach and in the foreground are two mating copperhead snakes near a roadside. The image carries a caption which reads: “Australia is f***ing mental this is an actual photo of a dog eating a shark while two snakes fight to the death (sic)”.

The post has been shared more than 72,000 times and attracted more than 17,000 comments and 15,000 reactions on Facebook. MIPT describes itself on its Instagram account as a “meme dealer” based in the United Kingdom.

The image has been shared widely on Facebook including Fishing Around Western Australia, American adventurer Tom Miranda and federal MP for the Tasmanian seat of Lyons Brian Mitchell. It has also been tweeted by British comedian Ricky Gervais.

The top image, showing a dingo and a dead shark, has been shared widely since 2011 while the lower half was posted as a seperate image in 2012.

The Analysis

AAP FactCheck examined the image and found it dated back to at least October 16, 2011 where it appeared on the photo sharing site Imgur. The source of the Imgur post links it to the same photo uploaded on Reddit by user u/BeefPieSoup on the same day.

The dingo and dead shark image was also used in an article on Australian dingoes published in Russian on Storia website six years ago. The site was registered with a domain from Montenegro.

The bottom half of the photo shows two copperhead snakes mating by the side of the road. A University of Melbourne information page lists three species of on copperhead snakes in Australia - pygmy, highlands and lowlands. They are described as a cool climate snake and can be found near water in Victoria, Tasmania and parts of NSW and South Australia. Copperhead snakes are venomous and feed almost exclusively on lizards, frogs and occasionally on reptile eggs.

AAP FactCheck traced the photo of the copperhead snakes to an Imgur post on February 9, 2012 with the title, “Took a rare photo of 2 Copperhead Snakes in Australia”. The photo’s source is linked to a Reddit thread posted by u/pretty-little-angel on the same date.

The Verdict

Based on this evidence, AAP FactCheck found the Facebook post showing a dingo next to a dead shark on the beach while two copperhead snakes mate by the roadside to be fake. The photo is two separate images, which have been combined to create one picture.

  • False - The Facebook post is false.

First published Friday July 12, 2019 17:55 AEST