Fact Check

No, This Isn't a Real Bear-Shaped Island

The pic does not bear up under scrutiny.

Published Aug 29, 2022

 (Facebook screenshot)
Image Via Facebook screenshot
An island in a viral photograph has a rock formation literally shaped like a bear's head.

Fact Check

In August 2022, Snopes readers inquired about a photograph allegedly showing an island with a mountain formation literally shaped like a bear's head.

The picture above is not real, although it is a digitally altered version of a photograph of a real island. The summit of the actual formation (which bears no visual resemblance to a bear's head) is called Ayo-Dag, which, translated to English from Crimean Tartar, means Bear Mountain.

The island is located in Crimea, a peninsula that was under Ukrainian control until the Russians invaded Ukraine in 2014. As of this writing, the region is part of a bitter land dispute.

The original, unaltered photograph can be found on the website of GuiaRus, which advertises itself as a travel company. In the original image, the island's edge simply slopes into the sea.


"Discover Ukraine : Places : Crimea: Alushta : Ayu-Dag." Discover Ukraine https://discover-ukraine.info/places/crimea/alushta/734. Accessed 29 Aug. 2022.

“Mount Ayu-Dag in Crimea - What to See in Russia.” GuiaRus, 6 Apr. 2017, https://guiarus.com/en/mount-ayu-dag-gurzufe-russia/.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more