Description: Fake News / Hoax / Satire
Circulating since: Jan. 2014
Status: FALSE (see details below)
Via LightlyBraisedTurnip.com, Jan. 4, 2014:
Giant Squid Discovered On California Coast And Scientists Suspect Radioactive Gigantism
By BUTCH WITT
For the second time in recent months, a giant sea creature has washed ashore in California. First it was a rare oarfish that had grown to a freakish 100-foot length. This time it was a giant squid measuring a whopping 160 feet from head to tentacle tip.
These giants look different but experts believe they share one important commonality: they both come from the waters near the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in the Futaba District of Japan.
- Full Text -
Analysis: Clearly a hoax. Consider the source, a "news" website called, of all things, "Lightly Braised Turnip."
Consider, too, that source's "publisher's statement," which includes among its so-called "guiding principles" the vow to "never be satisfied with merely printing news but also create news where needed."
That this is indeed an instance of "created news" is borne out by the absence of all mention of this newsworthy incident in legitimate media sources, local or national. And by the fact that the image above purporting to document the impossibly huge 160-foot giant squid is, in reality, an altered version of an Oct. 2013 photo showing a real, though much smaller (30-foot-long), squid found washed up on a beach in Spain. (As a reference point, the largest giant squid ever recorded was 43 feet long.)
Finally, for good measure I looked up a couple of the "experts" quoted in the Lightly Braised Turnip article, Santa Monica Parks Manager Cynthia Beard and Santa Marino College biology professor Martin L. Grimm. Unsurprisingly, neither exists.
• Don't Be Fooled! A Guide to Fake News Websites
Sources and further reading:
Elusive Giant Squid Washes Up on Spanish Beach
LiveScience.com, 4 October 2013
Smithsonian Ocean Portal
Last updated 01/09/14