A bull shark was spotted in a Florida backyard after heavy flooding caused local waterways to overflow into neighborhoods.
The shark was captured in a photo that was posted by some Florida news outlets and quickly went viral on social media. It was shared countless times on Facebook and was even one of the top-voted links on Reddit.
The picture showed what appeared to be a shark’s dorsal fin sticking out of the water in what is clearly a backyard filled with water.
Some people doubt that the picture is genuine. On Reddit, many pointed out that the picture, taken at a distance, could be showing anything sticking out of the water, even a piece of plastic.
As another Reddit user pointed out, the picture appeared to show some other kind of marine animal, not a bull shark.
“THAT’s a Dolphin/Porpoise fin, can clearly tell by the curve on the dorsal phin. Dolphin dorsal have a curve, sharks (that you would find in Florida) have a straight back dorsal,” the person wrote, including a link to a guide that shows the difference between shark and dolphin fins.
This would not be the first time that a picture of a shark invading a flooded yard would turn out to be fake. Back in 2012, a picture circulated in the wake of Hurricane Sandy that alleged to show a shark in someone’s front yard in New Jersey.
The picture was later debunked as a fake.
There is a chance the picture of the bull shark in a Florida backyard could be real, however. Bull sharks are able to survive in salt water or fresh water, and have been known to swim up channels and rivers and turn up far from the ocean. This is especially true of younger bull sharks.
If the picture is genuine, it wouldn’t be the first time this week that Florida residents had a run-in with a bull shark. Earlier in the week a six-to-eight-foot shark washed up dead on a beach in South Point Park in Miami Beach.
“It’s very surprising because we found this shark dead on the beach, and my son called me, ‘Come, come, father, to watch this shark,'” said Malcello Montino. “Very surprising. It’s the first time we found a shark on South Beach.”
While the picture of the bull shark in the backyard may or may not be real, South Florida residents may have a bigger problem to deal with. The flooding that overtook the yard in the photo is getting worse due to new rain this weekend, some some places under a foot of water.