Claim:   Photographs show the streets of Thailand after a heavy rain deposited fish on them.


REAL PHOTOGRAPHS; INACCURATE DESCRIPTION


Example: [Collected via twitter, April 2015]




Origins:   In April 2015, a series of photographs showing hundreds of dead fish on a street in China began circulating the Internet. Although the pictures were initially shared along with a news report involving a fish truck accident, subsequent reports claimed that the scene depicted in the images was the result of a heavy fish rain.

Some media outlets tried to give a scientific explanation for the fish rain, claiming that “Monsoon winds lifted the fish from the river and the Indian and Pacific ocean,” while others used the photos to prove that the apocalypse was near:



This story may sound like it was created by one of the many online satirical publications, but two of the first web sites to share the “Raining Fish” story — Spy Ghana and SA Breaking News — claim that they only aggregrate real news stories. Although this confusion may have not resulted from a deliberate attempt to fool the Internet, something was clearly lost in translation.

The photographs were first published by The People’s Daily on 17 March 2015 along with a story about a truck spill in the Guizhou province of the People’s Republic of China:


A large truck was carrying 13,600 pounds of catfish through the Southeast Guizhou Kaili City Development Zone when the cargo door accidentally opened, causing catfish to scatter along the highway.


While these images really do show hundreds of catfish lying on the road in China, the scene was the result of a truck accident and not “fish rain.”

Last updated:   16 April 2015