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HomeFact CheckViral Video Of A Sea Creature In Residential Area Falsely Shared As...

Viral Video Of A Sea Creature In Residential Area Falsely Shared As Aftermath Of Hurricane Ian In Florida 

Amid the flooding and devastation caused by Hurricane Ian in Florida, USA that witnessed winds reaching upto 150 miles per hour, a video of a large sea creature flopping through the streets of a residential area is going viral on social media alleging to show the aftermath of the hurricane. Newschecker found this claim to be untrue.

Twitter user @IndeedsTopOpp shared the video which has garnered 3,65,900 likes and 48,000 retweets along with 23.1 million views.

Newschecker found similar claims on Twitter and Facebook with different captions.

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Fact Check /Verification

We started our investigation by conducting a reverse image search of the key-frames of the video on Google and found a report by NDTV titled ‘Massive Elephant Seal Found Wandering Around Coastal Town. Watch’ uploaded on their website on 9th October, 2020.

According to reports, a large elephant seal was captured on camera on October 5, 2020 , ambling through a coastal Chilean village. Due to Covid-19, the community was under a midnight curfew when the event occurred.

The report contained a tweet uploaded on 6th October, 2020 which is the same as the viral video shared. A Spanish caption translate to  saying “With the support of residents of Puerto Cisnes, the Navy and the Carabineros, it was possible to bring back the elephant seal, which travelled more than 10 blocks, finally with tarps and more than 60 neighbours, it was sheltered and taken to its habitat.”

Using this as a clue, we conducted a keyword search with the words “puerto cisnes”, “elephant seal” “street” and found a video by The Guardian uploaded on their website on 7th October, 2020.

Newschecker also found a video of the incident uploaded on the official Youtube channel of the Canada based Television Network, Global News on 7th October, 2020.

The video was uploaded with the caption saying that elephant seals seldom come into contact with people, thus the sighting of a large one wandering the neighbourhood in Puerto Cisne, Chile, confused locals.

With the aid of Carabineros (the Chilean national law enforcement police) and Navy troops, a group of neighbours conducted an operation to aid the seal’s return to the water. The rescuers cheered when the animal was guarded back into its natural environment.

Conclusion

Newschecker’s investigation reveals that the video of a giant sea creature flopping through the streets of a residential area is not from the recent Hurricane in Florida, USA.

Result: False

Our Sources

Report by NDTV on 9th October, 2020.
Report by Guardian on 7th October, 2020.
Report by Global News on 7th October, 2020.


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Vaibhav Bhujang
Vaibhav Bhujang
Vaibhav is a part of Newschecker’s English team, where he spots and debunks all kinds of misinformation, making the rounds on the internet. A Journalism graduate from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, he holds an M.A degree in Philosophy and an M.Phil from Delhi University.
Vaibhav Bhujang
Vaibhav Bhujang
Vaibhav is a part of Newschecker’s English team, where he spots and debunks all kinds of misinformation, making the rounds on the internet. A Journalism graduate from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, he holds an M.A degree in Philosophy and an M.Phil from Delhi University.

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