Fake News: Two Great White Sharks NOT Found Swimming In Laurel Lake Near London, Kentucky

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Two Great White Sharks NOT Found Swimming In Laurel Lake Near London, Kentucky

Were two great white sharks found in Laurel Lake near London, Kentucky? No, that's not true: someone uploaded a fake story making that claim to a prank website and it went viral but it is not true. The same site has been used several times in the past to fool people with shark sightings in unlikely places hundreds of miles inland from the ocean.

The story originated from an article published on React365 on July 9, 2018 titled "Two Great White Sharks found swimming in Laurel Lake Near London, Kentucky" (archived here) which opened:

While it is not entirely impossible, it is incredibly uncommon for salt water dwelling creatures to stay for lengthy periods of time in fresh water. However, two Great White Sharks have managed to survive the trip and make their way up the Laurel River somehow and is now in Laurel Lake. Believed to have started as a mating couple, the two are assumed to have swam the 920 mile journey from the mouth of the Mississippi River that is connected to the Gulf Of Mexico. Officials in London have contacted the Kentucky Conservation Department and will likely have a team on the lake soon to capture the two lost sharks.

Last year we debunked a similar hoax from the same site that was using the same photo:

Fake News: Great white Sharks NOT Found In Illinois River | Lead Stories

Prank website react365.com published a fake article on March 29th 2017 titled "Morris, IL- Great white sharks found in Illinois River". It opens: While it is not entirely impossible, it is incredibly uncommon for salt water dwelling creatures to stay for lengthy periods of time in fresh water.

The original photo dates back to 2008 and can be found here on Flickr:

Bull Shark - Rio Sirena River Mouth

Explore nt_mantha's photos on Flickr. nt_mantha has uploaded 155 photos to Flickr.

The website React365 carries a disclaimer that reads:

This website is an entertainment website, jokes are created by users. These are humourous jokes, fantasy, fictional, that should not be seriously taken or as a source of information.

We wrote about react365.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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