Fact Check

Did a Killer Whale Snatch a Beachgoer?

No actual humans were harmed in the creation of this television commercial.

Published Sept. 29, 2011

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
A video captured an unwitting beachgoer being snatched by a killer whale.

A video clip passed around via social media seemingly captured an innocent beachgoer being snatched by a killer whale:

Here's a guy walking on the beach at surf breaking on the sand and he gets snatched in an instant. No blood no struggle ... just gone!

Very graphic! He happened to be waving at a friend taking a film of him, and it was his last wave!

If his friend hadn't been filming, or even looking in that direction there would have been no proof. He was just gone in less than a heartbeat. Too scary ...

However, as indicated by a graphic overlay on the original, this clip originated as a television commercial created for the Dominican Republic-based chain of La Sirena retail stores. The wording of the caption, "No todos los lápices dan suerte, sólo el lápiz la suerte de La Sirena," roughly translates as "Not all pencils give you luck, only the Lucky Pencil from La Sirena."

The mention of a lucky pencil references one of La Sirena's earlier campaigns, a back-to-school promotion featuring a Lucky Pencil that offered consumers the chance to "aprende un mundo" (i.e., learn the world) through winning prizes such as laptops, cameras, iPads, and vacation trips.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.