Skeptics doubted video of ‘flopping’ shark in flooded Florida backyard — but it’s REAL!

In a story that calls to mind the iconic fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf, it didn’t take long after Hurricane Ian blew ashore in Southwest Florida for the image of a shark seen swimming down a highway to surface online.

This same debunked image has spoofed many a people, showing up after every catastrophic event of late to suggest the most extreme results imaginable.

“Shark seen while driving down I-4 between Orlando and Tampa! Stay safe out there guys,” tweeted a merry prankster.

Of course, most folks are onto the ruse by this point so when ANOTHER video showed up featuring a shark well inland, skepticism prevailed.

But a video from Fort Myers, which appears to have taken the brunt of the storm surge from the massive hurricane that made landfall at more than 150 mph and left a wake of destruction in its path, appears to be real.

Local real estate developer Dominic Cameratta confirmed to the Associated Press that he filmed the clip from his patio Wednesday morning after seeing something “flopping around” in his neighbor’s flooded yard.

“I didn’t know what it was — it just looked like a fish or something,” Cameratta said. “I zoomed in, and all my friends are like, ‘It’s like a shark, man!’ ”

Whatever it was, it appears to be about four feet in length and George Burgess, former director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s shark program told the AP that it “appears to be a juvenile shark.”

Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, director of the University of Miami’s shark conservation program, countered that “it’s pretty hard to tell.”

Leslie Guelcher, a professor of intelligence studies at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., took to Twitter to question the timing of the footage — it’s not clear how she would have known what conditions were like on the ground:

For others, it is on the internet so it must be real… but don’t believe everything you see.

The image below features sharks swimming in “the Tampa subway system” during Hurricane Ian — the first clue that this is a fugazi may be the fact that the city DOES NOT have a subway system.

Tom Tillison


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