Video has emerged of a surfer being circled by a great white shark off an Australian beach, but a history of hoaxes in the region has caused many observers to question the clip’s validity.
The footage in question was reportedly recorded off Manly Beach in Sydney, according to the Metro. Apparently taken with a GoPro, it depicts a surfer paddling for shore, before he submerges the camera to capture the image of a great white shark as it circles him. According to a description of the video on YouTube, it was purportedly posted to a Facebook account on June 23.
“The shark had been circling the surfer for a couple of minutes before he decided to record it with his [GoPro] camera,” the description noted. “The shark is very cautious as it circles the man perhaps just curious, perhaps more. As you can see in the video the surfer tries to make his way around the shark back to more shallow water before it disappears.”
— Metro (@MetroUK) June 24, 2015
Though the clip ends with the shark swimming away from the panicked surfer, it is hardly the first footage featuring a great white to originate from the region. Several prior images and videos posted to social media depicting white sharks have proven to be elaborate hoaxes, as Nine News reports.
Last year, video circulated online of an Australian man jumping from a cliff into Sydney Harbor. The footage then depicted the man fighting off a great white shark as he swam to shore, and garnered more than 31,000,000 views in the year after it was posted. The clip, however, was later proven to be a hoax, as the Inquisitr previously reported. Just last week, another surfer admitted that he faked a “shark selfie,” which revealed a great white behind him.
Video producer Scott Mitchell, who created the hoaxed shark video in order to prove how easily it can be done, noted that the more recent clip bears all of the hallmarks of a social media scam. He pointed to the use of the term GoPro in the title, as well as the video’s place on an extreme sports channel, as notable indicators of a hoax.
“The initial part where he put the camera under the water, it looks like it’s really quite deep there,” he observed. “He only does a couple of paddles closer to the shore and [all of a sudden] its closer to the bottom.”
— NBC12 WWBT Richmond (@NBC12) June 13, 2014
Whether or not it proves to be real or a hoax, the great white shark video has already racked up over 43,000 views.
[Photo: YouTube via the Metro]