Fact Check

Satellite View of Indian Ocean Tsunami

Does a photograph show a satellite view of the Indian Ocean tsunami?

Published Jan 3, 2008

Claim:   Photograph shows a satellite view of the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Status:   False.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

Satellite view of a tsunami

Hurricane(Click photograph to enlarge)

Origins:   We don't know how anyone could mistake a photograph of a weather phenomenon (a hurricane) in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida with a seismic/oceanic phenomenon (a tsunami) which occurred in the Indian Ocean and struck the coasts of several Asian countries, but here we have it.

Even if we knew nothing else about this photograph, we could eliminate it as a picture of the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, because it has already been circulating for months as a satellite photograph of Hurricane Frances, a storm that struck Florida in September 2004. In fact, the picture is even older than that — it's a satellite image of Hurricane Floyd from September 1999.

Last updated:   13 January 2005


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

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