Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Don't Believe Everything You See

Have you received this email? A friend sent it to me today. It's supposed to be about somebody's dentist - he's the guy in the kayak, describing what happened. The text of the email says:
"Hi! My niece sent this. She lives in Alaska and shared this amazing shot of this happening. I just wonder who and where was the person who took that picture. Patti

The photo was taken at the entrance to Katlian Bay at the end of the road in Sitka. The whale is coming up to scoop up a mouthful of herring (the small fish seen at the surface around the kayak). The kayaker is a local Sitka Dentist.

His comments:

"Yep, that is me in the picture. Yep, that is a whale that was just around the corner from the ferry terminal. 'Paddle really fast' is the only thing I could think of at the time. Also thinking that I don't look like a herring, don't smell like a herring but with the same herring instinct of 'get the hell out of the way of that big mouth!! Still living to tell yet another story."

Rich K
Sitka's very own Dr. Richard Kraft during one of his routine oral examinations!"

Sure, it's a cool picture and an interesting read but I immediately contacted my friend and said, "You know that picture is fake, right?" and she said, "But the guy's a doctor, it must be real!"

Not so, and a quick Google of the words "whale eating kayak" will lead you to this link, which contains a really good explanation of why the picture you see above is fake (the short answer is, notice that the kayaker doesn't cast any reflection but the whale does). The whale photo is real and so is the picture of the kayaker but someone has merged the two together to make an image that is not real.

But it makes a good story, doesn't it? :)

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