Fact Check

Are Two-Headed Sharks Terrorizing the Ocean?

A number of outlets reported on the discovery of a two-headed shark fetus by sharing doctored images of fully-grown sharks with two heads.

Published May 4, 2018

Images show a number of mutant sharks with two heads.
What's True

Researchers have found two-headed shark embryos in various parts of the world.

What's False

Images of adult two-headed great white sharks are fake.

In November 2016, National Geographic published an article about how marine biologists had encountered a number of two-headed shark embryos over the years. When this news was aggregated and regurgitated by clickbait blogs, it was shared with images of terrifying, fully-grown double-headed sharks:

A second image purportedly showing a two-headed shark was shared in the body of the article:

Neither of these depictions are genuine.

The first image was created by manipulating a photograph of a one-headed shark:

The second image was taken from a campy horror movie that was titled aptly (if not particularly imaginatively) 2-Headed Shark Attack. The 2012 movie starred Carmen Electra and Brooke Hogan, and was not an accurate portrayal of marine life. The movie's monster can be glimpsed at the 48-second mark of the following video (but be prepared for major campiness and tiny bikinis):

Before anyone asks if it's true that sequels were made for this movie called 3-Headed Shark Attack, 4-Headed Shark Attack, 5-Headed Shark Attack, and 6-Headed Shark Attack, yes, that's true:

This is also a digital creation, not a genuine picture of a shark with six heads.


Horrorphilia.com.   "2-Headed Shark Attack (2012) Movie Review."     9 February 2012.

Learn, Joshua.   "Two-Headed Sharks Keep Popping Up—No One Knows Why."     National Geographic.   2 November 2016.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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