Fact Check

Man Takes Selfie Moments Before Deadly Shark Attack

Photograph shows a honeymooner taking an underwater selfie moments before he was killed by a shark.

Published Aug 8, 2014

Claim:   Photograph shows a honeymooner taking an underwater selfie moments before he was killed by a shark.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, August 2014]

I would like to know if the article and picture about a man taking a selfie under water moments before a shark attack is true.


Origins:   On 7 August 2014, the World News Daily Report web site published an article positing that a honeymooner in Florida snapped an underwater selfie moments before he was killed by a shark, showing the deadly creature looming behind him:

An Oregon couple’s honeymoon vacation in Florida took a dramatic turn of events as the newly wed took a selfie of himself just moments before he fell victim to a deadly shark attack.

The 34 year old insurance salesman died in a gruesome fashion, losing great quantities of blood as he was being transported to South Miami Hospital, his right leg being torn off by the beast. Local lifeguards were still able to bring the man onto a boat and to the shore before an ambulance took him off to the emergency room. Tragically, the man that had been married only a few hours died in the arms of his beloved one on the way to the Hospital.

Soon afterwards links and excerpts referencing this item were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered it mistaking it for a genuine news article. However, that article was just another spoof from World News Daily Report, a fake news web site whose stock in trade is publishing fantastically fictional stories. The site's disclaimer page states that:

World News Daily Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within worldnewsdailyreport.com are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction.

The hapless "honeymooner" photograph shown above is a year-old tumblr post that combined a photo (taken in a swimming pool, not the ocean) of Fall Out Boy frontman Pete Wentz (who is still very much alive and uneaten) with an image of a shark:

Last updated:   8 August 2014

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

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