Images of beached shark in North Carolina are not authentic

Officials in the area said they were not aware of any recent reports of beached sharks. In addition, an expert shark from the Associated Press told them that the images were not real and that there were several signs indicating this. The images, which first appeared on a Facebook account sharing synthetic images of the Outer Banks barrier islands, are not authentic.

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Recently, rumors of a beached shark surfaced on social media after a series of five images was originally shared on an account last week.

On Wednesday, a giant white great shark was discovered washed out on the Outer Banks beach in North Carolina, receiving more than 3,800 likes and over 9,700 shares. A team of onlookers was seen doing their best to push it back into the ocean, as mentioned in a Facebook post.

Some images show the shark lying in the sand while others are helping people move it back to the ocean.

The use of digital tools implies that the Etsy shop linked to the account sells prints of comparable images. However, when asked about the creation process, no response was given regarding the initial images shared on The Facebook account.

Displayed on the walls are printed artworks, which are described in detail. Each image is accompanied by a statement that explains the artistic intent. The intended outcomes are successfully accomplished through the utilization of multiple programs that I employ.

While the origin of these specific images is unclear, these artificial intelligence tools allow users to generate fabricated images that look like real photos, resulting in a wide availability of such synthetic content online, mimicking the authenticity portrayed in other examples.

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On land, if it were to happen, a significantly more injured creature would probably be a genuine shark of this magnitude. Gavin Naylor, the director of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History, informed the AP that there are also various biological and environmental factors that make it improbable for the pictures to depict an actual shark.

Naylor stated, “If this were a Caucasian shark, it would be an immensely massive one. An exceedingly, exceedingly massive one. Likely measuring 18 or 19 feet. And when they attain such colossal sizes and become stranded, which occasionally happens, their magnitude is so enormous that they somewhat flounder about and appear quite battered.”

The presence of moisture suggests that the shark appears glossy in each photograph. Considering the shark’s need to dry off, it can be inferred that the image was captured at least thirty minutes later than the rest, implying that the tide is significantly receded in one of the pictures compared to the others.

On Tuesday, off the coast of the Outer Banks, a great white shark named Breton fractured, as indicated by tracking information from OCEARCH, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ocean research. Nonetheless, in an email to the AP, Paige Finney, a spokesperson for OCEARCH, declared that the organization has no knowledge of any sharks that stranded on the shore in that vicinity.

She penned, “There exist protocols in position when a creature like a white shark arrives on the shoreline.” “To the best of our knowledge, no organization was notified regarding a sizable white shark in the Outer Banks last week.”

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The supposed incident took place, as described, however, the Facebook account that initially shared the pictures did not provide a specific date and mentioned the post’s date as March 25.

Dorothy Hester, a spokesperson for Dare County, North Carolina, also stated that she was not aware of an incident involving a beached shark in the Outer Banks area.


AP’s endeavor to tackle commonly spread misinformation, which involves collaborating with external companies and organizations to provide accurate background information to deceptive content circulating on the internet, is a crucial aspect of their fact-checking initiatives. AP is continuously striving to enhance their knowledge in this area.

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