Snake Rigging

Do photographs show snakes driven to an offshore oil rig by Hurricane Katrina?

Claim:   Photographs show snakes driven to an offshore oil rig by Hurricane Katrina.

Status:   Real photos; inaccurate description.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, 2005]

An oil company here in Houston and their EI7 rig received some damage from the hurricane. There are a couple of pictures of that. But the other pictures are of some water moccasins that got taken to sea out of their marshes.

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Origins:   These photographs began hitting our inbox several days after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005. The text descriptions that accompany them in e-mail forwards claim the images depict snakes driven out to sea by Hurricane Katrina, variously identifying the locale as "Houston" or the "Mississippi River" and the snakes as water moccasins, vipers, or copperheads.

We don't know exactly when and where these pictures originated or whether they were all taken at the same time and place, but they clearly have no connection to Hurricane Katrina, as they were posted on web sites well before that storm hit the Gulf Coast.

Last updated:   8 September 2005

 

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