By definition, the Internet is supposed to be a place where people from around the world can share information, which is typically available to everyone almost instantly. But the Net is not infallible. When less-than-credible information gets caught in the web, it spreads just as easily, making the world just as ill-informed as it is enlightened.
So here are a few pictures that went viral, but may not be exactly what they seem (even if the Internet told you otherwise). Knowledge is power, everyone!
1. The story that accompanies this viral photo is that, allegedly, a tiger lost her cubs and zookeepers in California tried to fill the void by wrapping these piggies in stripes.
But actually, this photo was actually taken at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Chonburi, Thailand. The zoo is known for its tiger breeding program and circus-like treatment of animals. No one ever confirmed whether or not the tiger lost her cubs and then mothered these pigs. This is just one really chill tiger.
2. To outraged Americans, it looked like this Muslim store owner was commemorating martyrdom on the anniversary of September 11.
But actually, the martyr he refers to here is Imam Ali, a sacred figure in Islam who died in 661 A.D. (way before the 9/11 tragedy).
3. These mysterious figures descended upon a film crew in New Zealand brandishing guns while the scared young people captured the ambush on video.
Given that no violence was reported in the area, these two were most likely just pulling a creepy prank. Guess there isn”t much else to do in New Zealand…
4. In this picture, it looks like a killer is letting his victim know what”s on tonight”s lineup.
But really, nobody died that night no one watching that particular television, anyway. The TV was probably hooked up to a satellite, and satellite TV sucks.
5. This may look like some kind of creepy cult of taggers…
…But actually, this is a picture from the island of Miyakejima, Japan, where an active volcano could spew deadly sulfur at any moment. For that reason, people living on the island are required to carry a gas mask with them at all times.
6. This picture went viral when it was believed to depict American troops standing proudly over their victim, proclaiming it to be, “the last lion in Afghanistan.”
It”s actually photoshopped. The lion shown dead here is sleeping in the original picture. Also, lions don”t live in Afghanistan. It”s called research, people.
7. This couple appears to be posing with a herd of horses that fell into a pond and froze to death, gasping for air.
As it turns out, this is a screenshot from an obscure movie called My Winnipeg, a “docufantasy” that blurs the facts of Winnipeg, Canada, creating a strange concept of the city.
8. At first glance, this looks like some sort of humanoid creature emerging out of the red dust of Mars.
My apologies to all the extraterrestrial enthusiasts out there, but this is just a weird-looking rock. From a different angle, it actually looks pretty normal.
9. This looks like some kind of tribute to the dark lord, be it Satan or Voldemort.
In reality, this depicts a Lenten Christian ritual called Semena Santa, which is traditionally performed a week before Easter.
10. According to the Internet, if you look closely at this pier in the Netherlands on Google Earth, you can see a murderer disposing of his victim”s body in a lake.
But when you take a good look, the wood is just wet, not bloody. It”s wet because a dog just took a dip and walked onto the pier alongside its people, who are not actually murderers.
While the Internet allows us to share information significantly faster than before, it can just as easily serve as a global game of telephone. Sorry to spoil everyone”s fun, but for the sake of the truth, these things must be explained every now and again.