Hurricane Ian ‘street shark’ video clip defies perception

Photographs and video clips of sharks and other marine lifestyle swimming in suburban floodwaters make for common hoaxes in the course of massive storms. But a cellphone online video filmed all through Hurricane Ian’s assault on southwest Florida is not just yet another fish tale.

The eye-popping video clip, which confirmed a big, dim fish with sharp dorsal fins thrashing around an inundated Fort Myers yard, racked up additional than 12 million views on Twitter within just a day, as buyers responded with disbelief and comparisons to the “Sharknado” movie sequence.

Dominic Cameratta, a nearby actual estate developer, verified he filmed the clip from his again patio Wednesday early morning when he noticed some thing “flopping around” in his neighbor’s flooded yard.

“I did not know what it was — it just appeared like a fish or one thing,” he explained to The Related Press. “I zoomed in, and all my buddies are like, ‘It’s like a shark, gentleman!’ ”

He guessed the fish was about 4 toes in length.

Experts have been of combined opinion on irrespective of whether the clip confirmed a shark or another big fish. George Burgess, previous director of the Florida Museum of Pure History’s shark application, mentioned in an electronic mail that it “appears to be a juvenile shark,” though Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, director of the College of Miami’s shark conservation program, wrote that “it’s quite challenging to explain to.”

Even so, some Twitter consumers dubbed the hapless fish the “street shark.”

The surge worsened in Fort Myers as the working day went on. Cameratta reported the flooding had only just begun when the clip was taken, but that the waters ended up “all the way up to our house” by the time the AP reached him by telephone Wednesday night.

He explained the fish may possibly have produced its way up from close by Hendry Creek into a retention pond, which then overflowed, spilling the creature into his neighbor’s yard. A visual analysis of close by assets verified it matches the bodily landmarks in the video.

Leslie Guelcher, a professor of intelligence scientific studies at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, was amid the on the web sleuths who in the beginning thought the video clip was phony.

Tale carries on

“Don’t feel this is real. According to the index on the video clip it was developed in June 2010. An individual else posted it at 10 AM as in Fort Myers, but the storm surge was not like that at 10 AM,” she tweeted Wednesday.

Guelcher acknowledged later, however, that on the web applications she and other people were utilizing to set up the video’s origins did not really demonstrate when the video by itself was designed, simply when the social media profile of the person was developed.

The AP confirmed by the first clip’s metadata that it was captured Wednesday morning.

“It can make a little bit more perception from a flooding standpoint,” she stated by email, when informed the fish was spotted in close proximity to an overflowing pond. “But how on earth would a shark go from the Gulf of Mexico to a retention pond?”

Yannis Papastamatiou, a marine biologist who studies shark behavior at Florida Intercontinental University, said that most sharks flee shallow bays in advance of hurricanes, possibly tipped off to their arrival by a alter in barometric force. A shark could have unintentionally swum up into the creek, he mentioned, or been washed into it.

“Young bull sharks are typical inhabitants of small salinity waters — rivers, estuaries, subtropical embayments — and usually appear in comparable movies in FL drinking water bodies related to the sea these types of as coastal canals and ponds,” Burgess explained. “Assuming the spot and date attributes are suitable, it is most likely this shark was swept shoreward with the increasing seas.”

Cameratta despatched the video to a group chat on WhatsApp on Wednesday early morning, in accordance to his close friend John Paul Murray, who sent the AP a timestamped screenshot.

“Amazing information,” Murray wrote in reply.


Linked Press writers Philip Marcelo and Arijeta Lajka in New York contributed to this report.

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