No matter what part of the country you're in, it's nearly impossible not to be aware of the devastation and destruction that superstorm Sandy wrought as it pummeled the East Coast of the United States. In fact, with 24-hour news coverage, there are seemingly endless photos and videos being shared via social media. But not all the images -- nor the captions that accompany them -- are real.
At least 10 fake photos, either digitally altered or pulled from movies, have surfaced on the Web so far. One of the most retweeted and shared photos shows the Statue of Liberty with the eye of the hurricane looming above her head. Lady Liberty turned 126 years old on October 28, and the picture is not a real depiction of what it endured during the storm. The photograph is, in fact, a mashup of two photos: one is of the Statue of Liberty, and the other is of a thunderstorm over Nebraska in 2004.
An image that has been shared by many on social media is one of soldiers guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; it's purported to have been taken during the storm. In actuality, though, the photo was taken back in September. Other images include a flooded McDonald's with Ronald McDonald himself floating among debris at a Virginia Beach location. (This particular image was shared more than 1,100 times on Twitter.) The picture actually came from a video by Superflex called "Flooded McDonald's." There are also photos of ominous clouds over the George Washington Bridge, which connects New York and New Jersey. While the photo of the bridge is real, it's from 2009. And then there are the photos uploaded by Kevin P. McCarty of New Jersey, and you'll have to judge them for yourself. He posted an image of flooding to his Facebook page, including a glimpse of what appears to be a shark in the water outside of his home. Some people are calling his bluff. What do you think -- is it real or is it fake?
One thing is for sure: The reality outside our doors will provide plenty of disaster images. May those who take the time to record them stay out of harm's way and provide us all with a sense of the true extent of this superstorm's wrath.
Image from September of Tomb of Unknown Soldier being falsely shared on social media as a Hurricane Sandy image …Photo uploaded by New Jersey resident supposedly showing a shark in the water outside of his home