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The viral video of a 'street shark' that swam between flooded houses in Florida during Hurricane Ian

2022-09-30T02:42:13.045Z

A man discovered the animal splashing around in his neighbor's yard in a Fort Myers neighborhood and recorded a video now shared millions of times. Experts believe that it is possible that the strong tide carried the creature there.



By Graph Massara and Ali Swenson

Associated Press

Photos and videos of sharks and other marine life swimming through flooded streets are often a popular hoax during the most destructive storms.

But a cellphone video taken as Hurricane Ian hit southwest Florida is not another one of those false stories.

[Follow our minute-by-minute coverage of the impact of Hurricane Ian]

The now-viral video shows a large, dark fish with spiky dorsal fins splashing around in a Fort Myers backyard during flooding.

It has racked up more than 12 million views on Twitter

in one day, and some users have compared it to the fictional movie

Sharknado,

about an invasion of sharks on the streets after a hurricane in Los Angeles.

Dominic Cameratta, a local real estate developer, confirmed that he shot the video from his backyard on Wednesday morning when

he saw something "splashing" in

his neighbor's flooded yard.

"I didn't know what it was, it just looked like a fish or something," he told

The Associated Press

news agency .

"I got closer and all my friends were like, 'That looks like a shark!'"

Cameratta thinks the fish was about 4 feet long.

Experts had different opinions on whether the clip showed a shark or another large fish.

George Burgess, former director of the shark program at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said in an email that

"it appears to be a young shark

," while Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, director of the shark conservation program at the University of Miami , wrote that "it is quite difficult to determine".

However, some Twitter users called the hapless fish the '

street shark'

.

The storm surge worsened in Fort Myers over the course of Wednesday.

Cameratta said the flooding had just started when he recorded the video, but the floodwaters had already reached his house when journalists contacted him by phone that night.

[Harrowing footage of the rescues and damage caused by Ian's passage through Florida]

The man believes the creature may have swam from Hendry Creek into a retention pond which then overflowed and brought it to his neighbor's backyard.

A visual analysis of the property matches the landmarks shown in the video.

Leslie Guelcher, a professor of intelligence studies at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, was among online users who initially thought the video was fake.

Before and after the hurricane in photos: yachts shattered, boats on streets and houses without roofs

Sept.

29, 202200:40

“Don't think this is real.

The video appears to have been shot in June 2010. Someone else posted it at 10am in Fort Myers but the storm surge wasn't like that at that time," he tweeted Wednesday.

However, Guelcher later acknowledged that she and other users who did not believe in the veracity of the video had misused the tools to determine its creation date.

The Associated Press

confirmed that the video was recorded on Wednesday morning.

"It makes a little more sense from a flood standpoint," Guelcher said in an email, when told the fish was spotted near an overflowing pond.

"But how the heck would a shark from the Gulf of Mexico get into a holding pond?"

As Ian leaves Florida in a state of emergency, the Carolinas brace for his impact

Sept.

29, 202201:40

Yannis Papastamatiou, a marine biologist who studies shark behavior at Florida International University, said

most sharks flee shallow bays ahead of hurricanes

, possibly forewarned of their arrival by a change in weather. barometric pressure.

A shark could have accidentally swum into the creek, he explained, or been pulled into it.

“Young bull sharks are common inhabitants of low-salinity waters (rivers, estuaries, subtropical inlets) and often appear in similar videos in Florida bodies of water connected to the sea, such as coastal canals and ponds,” Burgess said.

"Assuming the location and date data are correct, it is likely that this shark was washed ashore with rising sea levels."

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2022-09-30

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