Hurricane Ian ‘Street Shark’ video defies belief

Photos and videos of sharks and other marine life swimming in suburban floodwaters become popular hoaxes during major storms. But the cell phone video captured as Hurricane Her Ian hit southwest Florida is more than just a fish story.

The eye-popping video, which shows a large, black fish with a sharp dorsal fin slamming around a flooded Fort Myers backyard, went viral in one day as users responded with disbelief and comparisons to “Sharknado.” It has garnered over 12 million views on Twitter. movie series.

Local real estate developer Dominic Cameratta admitted he filmed the clip from his backyard patio on Wednesday morning after seeing something “flashing” in his neighbor’s flooded yard. .

“I had no idea what it was. It just looked like a fish or something,” he told the Associated Press. “I zoomed in and all my friends were saying, ‘You look like a shark!'”

He surmised that the fish was about four feet long.

Experts had mixed opinions about whether the clip showed a shark or another large fish. It looks like a juvenile shark,” wrote Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, director of the University of Miami’s Shark Conservation Program. Quite difficult to say. ”

Nonetheless, some Twitter users dubbed the ill-fated fish a “street shark.”

surge Worse in Fort Myers as the days go by. Cameratta said the flooding had just begun when the video was shot, but water was running “all the way to our house” when the AP called him Wednesday evening. rice field.

He said the fish may have flowed into the reservoir from nearby Hendry Creek, which overflowed and may have spilled the creatures into the neighbor’s backyard. It was found to match physical landmarks in the video.

Leslie Gelcher, a professor of intelligence studies at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, was one of the online detectives who initially thought the video was fake.

“Don’t think this is real. According to the video index, it was made in June 2010. Someone else posted something like Fort Myers at 10am, but the 10am storm surge is so It wasn’t,” she tweeted Wednesday.

However, Guelcher later said that the online tools she and others used to prove the provenance of videos did not indicate when the video itself was created, but rather when a user’s social media profile was created. I admit that it’s just a matter of time.

AP confirmed through the original clip’s metadata that it was captured Wednesday morning.

“From a flooding perspective, it makes a little more sense,” she said in an email when she was informed that fish had been spotted near a flooded pond. Are you going to the reservoir?”

Yannis Papastamatio, a marine biologist who studies shark behavior at Florida International University, said most sharks flee shallow creeks before a hurricane, so changes in atmospheric pressure may have contributed to the hurricane’s arrival. said. According to him, the shark may have accidentally jumped into the stream or washed away.

“Young bull sharks are common in low-salinity bodies of water (rivers, estuaries, subtropical bays) and often appear in similar videos in coastal canals, ponds, and other Florida waters that connect to the ocean,” says Burgess. said. “Assuming the location and date attributes are correct, this shark could have been washed ashore with the rising sea.”

Cameratta sent the video to a WhatsApp group chat Wednesday morning, according to friend John Paul Murray, who sent the time-stamped screenshot to the AP.

“Great content,” Murray wrote in reply.


Associated Press writer Philippe Marcelo and New York’s Arijeta Laika contributed to this report.