The Hurricane Shark Is Real

After a decade of hoaxes, a shark has been spotted in the streets of Fort Myers, Florida, during Hurricane Ian.

For more than a decade, whenever a massive storm or flood has hit some part of the world, you could be sure of one thing: Hurricane Shark would be there, swimming down that endless highway.

You can feel its presence as the fall breeze beckons. You know that it’s lying in wait, ready for a clout-chaser to propel its photoshopped form to social media once again. For the true power of Hurricane Shark is that some people will always believe in it, like a watery Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy with fins.

Reporters and fact-checkers greet the shark as a friend.

There’s a calming sense of constancy to Hurricane Shark. Neither pandemics nor changes in presidents will stop its appearance. It is ever-present, waiting for the next water-filled weather disaster to strike so that it can reap the retweets and shares.

No, Hurricane Florence does not contain sharks https://t.co/bPid2QOCaP

Twitter: @washingtonpost

Its appearance is welcomed with a familiar sigh and a roll of twinkling eyes. “This [redacted] shark again!?” jaded internet old-timers whisper, even as the naive and innocent — those lucky fools who have never heard of reverse-image search — marvel at its coming.

Hurricane Shark, like its Mall Shark brethren, has always been a dream.

This shark hoax is another Photoshopped image created years ago using a picture of flooding in Toronto. https://t.co/1dWG4UleAB

Twitter: @billdmccarthy

But on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, it became a meme-made manifestation. For the first time in known history, we have a Hurricane Shark. A Street Shark, as it were. A miracle akin to Moses’s parting of the Red Sea, but with more sharks.

After over half a decade of debunking this hoax every time there was a flood or hurricane, I can't believe I'm looking at an honest-to-god street shark. Good to finally meet you, pal. https://t.co/hwMWX4Peqo

Twitter: @JaneLytv

In a feat of journalism that will undoubtedly make them the frontrunner for this year’s Pulitzer Prize, the Associated Press has confirmed that the latest viral shark sighting — which had been shared by three Twitter accounts on Wednesday and garnered more than 12 million views — IS REAL.

Not just another fish story: A video of a shark or other large fish thrashing around an inundated Fort Myers backyard amid Hurricane Ian is real, the AP has found. https://t.co/RTpnlT5Okp

Twitter: @APFactCheck

Humankind owes a debt to Fort Myers, Florida, real estate developer Dominic Cameratta, who risked the fury of Hurricane Ian to film this priceless footage on Wednesday morning — a true game-changer for social media and storms.

“I didn’t know what it was — it just looked like a fish or something,” Cameratta told the AP. “I zoomed in, and all my friends are like, ‘It’s like a shark, man!’ ”

But is it a shark, man? According to the scientists consulted by the AP, the answer is…probably. It could be a big fish (Cameratta guessed the creature’s length to be approximately 4 feet).

And yet, I ask you, what could this majestic, flopping creature of the deep be but a noble Carcharodon carcharias? This is the closest that humanity has come to an honest-to-god Hurricane Shark — and we choose to believe.

There are two kinds of people: those who have #faith that Hurricane Shark is real, and ... the Deplorables. https://t.co/644fmJLHTv

Twitter: @alexheard

We salute you, Hurricane Shark. A meme no more. Free at last from internet purgatory, may you swim through suburban Florida and find your way back to the blue waters where you belong.


Topics in this article