Photoshop has become continually more accessible for people to hone their photo-editing skills. However, this has also made it hard to determine if a picture on the Internet is authentic or if it’s been manipulated.
There have been a number of subtly manipulated photos that have achieved viral status due to their perceived authenticity. Later, they were found to be the work of some Photoshop wizardry.
Here are 16 photographs that caused a buzz on the Internet but were actually fake.
1. When this photo of icons Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor made its rounds online, many fans could barely believe their eyes. However, it was later determined that the photo was a composite made from two separate pictures. The photo of Monroe was taken in 1950 by Ed Clark and the Taylor photo was taken in 1948 by Mark Kauffman.
2. Back in October 2013, a photo claiming to be “The Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland” had hopeful tourists believing there was a spot where purple trees fenced a bright blue river. However, the photo was a color edited shot of the Shotover River in New Zealand.
3. Paul Santa Maria manipulated a picture of a large wolf spider outside of his home and decided to play with Photoshop to make it have monstrous proportions. The photo ended up going viral and terrorizing arachnophobes everywhere.
4. This picture, which claimed to be ‘Castle House Island’ in Dublin, is actually just a photo of Thailand’s “James Bond Island” Photoshopped with a portion of Lichtenstein Castle in Germany.
5. A photo of a Japanese fruit known as the “Moonmelon” went viral and was said to switch flavors after you eat it. However, the fake image was really just a normal slice of watermelon that was tinted blue.
6. The fake discovery of a beached giant squid caused a splash on social media. It was later determined that the squid had just been enlarged and cropped onto footage of people gathering around a humpback whale that had washed ashore.
7. A clever photoshopper manipulated a picture of a lion getting a CAT scan from 2005. The image fooled people everywhere into thinking that this is how the iconic MGM company logo was filmed.
8. Many were fooled by this image of a supposedly rare black lion, but it wasn’t long before the real picture emerged, proving that it had just been the work of some color manipulation.
9. This pilot’s selfie ended up making rounds online. However, the real picture was taken on the ground. That would have to be one incredibly strong and secure selfie stick to endure the winds up in the clouds.
10. A behind-the-scenes image of Heath Ledger as the Joker doing a kickflip over Christian Bale as Batman. It was later revealed that the actor was simply jumping over Bale sans skateboard.
11. Many believed that this picture of President George Bush reading a book upside down was real, but the cover was flipped by a photoshopper who circulated a manipulated version of an Associated Press photo.
12. A photo of a shark began circulating around the Internet claiming to be an award-winning National Geographic picture taken by chief photographer Bob Burton. However, the image was created by a graphic artist “Alexyz3d” using CG.
13. A supposed behind-the-scenes shot of a National Geographic shoot prompted many to believe the crew was running from a bear. However, the bear was edited into the picture later.
14. An alarming snap of a British Navy diver being attacked by a shark was sent around claiming to be the “Photo of the Year,” but ended up being the composite of two completely separate images.
15. A picture claiming to be of a frozen spider web made rounds on the Internet. It was discovered to be a misleadingly cropped image of an ice sculpture by Michael Kaloki and Timo Koivisto.