Top 10 Disturbing Viral Photos You Didn't Know Were FAKE
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Top 10 Disturbing Viral Photos You Didn't Know Were FAKE

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton

Thanks to Photoshop, there are many famous doctored photos out there. Whether it's something like the original Slender Man picture, the 9/11 “Accidental Tourist,” or the Moon Melon, these are some faked pictures that look real. WatchMojo counts down ten famous fake photos that fooled us all.

Special thanks to our users Daniel John, ninou78 and Kris A for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%20Ten%20Faked%20Photos%20That%20Went%20Viral

Top 10 Disturbing Viral Photos You Didn't Know Were FAKE

Whether its intent is to create mischief, controversy or to gain attention, it’s no secret that faked photography has probably been around since the beginning of photography itself. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 faked photos that went viral.

For this list, we’re looking at photos that were digitally altered, set up to convey something different or edited in some way, and ended up fooling a lot of people in the process.

#10: Irish Castle Island [aka Castle Island House]

Looking like it could be a perfect fit in a fantasy universe, this hypothetical wonder of the world looks too good to be true. Unfortunately, the Irish Castle Island is actually a fantasy, as a few sprinkles of creativity and some Photoshop wizardry are all that it took to bring this make-believe monument into the world. Despite all hopes and best wishes, it's actually a combination of a photo of Khao Phing Kan Island, in Thailand, and the Lichtenstein Castle, located in Germany, seamlessly pasted over top. However, bonus points need to be issued for that handy entranceway. That's committing to a joke!

#9: Shark Tank Collapse in Kuwait

Imagine you’re a student going on a field trip to the Kuwait Scientific Center to learn more about the environment. But while taking the escalator, you’re suddenly greeted by the second coming of Atlantis on your way down. That’s what this image is prophesying. Except it isn’t, because it’s fake. And to top it all off, this photo wasn't even taken in Kuwait. Sharks aside, everything in this photo is real and was taken during a flood of Union Station in Toronto, Ontario in 2012. A crafty tweeter added the sharks to the image for comedic effect, but within weeks the joke had morphed into something else entirely.

#8: Moon Melon

At a glance, one could say that everything is more vibrant in Japan, whether it’s commercials, TV, or even fruit. Advertised as a flavor-altering, rare, Japanese wonder-fruit, the moon melon – scientifically known as “asidus” – is as preposterous as the concept of a blue watermelon. And weirdly enough, the Internet ate the idea of a blue watermelon up. The true seeds of this exotic fruit most likely grow via the gardens of someone’s desktop, as this fake photo is just a simple Photoshop job.

#7: The Dead or Mummified Fairy

This photo actually belongs to a rare breed of viral fake images that have not had their phoniness birthed through digital means. Instead, the Derbyshire Fairy was crafted by propmaker and illusion designer Dan Baines. On his website, Dan posted his creation a few days before April Fools’ Day claiming that he’d found the remains of what looked like a fairy. Perhaps under the influence of a bit too much pixie dust, the Internet fell for the prank, and some even asserted that they’d also found dead fairies. The only place to find this fairy, however, was on eBay where Baines sold it for nearly £300.

#6: 9/11 “Accidental Tourist”

Imagine having a photo taken of you seconds before your untimely demise. That’s the situation the Internet thought this seemingly unlucky tourist found himself in. The 9/11 tourist hoax is a photograph that features what looks like a tourist on the World Trade Center’s observation deck as a plane approaches it. Many thought this man, who was later identified as Péter Guzli, actually died during the 9/11 terror acts, which is a reasonable supposition. But it was later revealed that the pic was taken in November of 1997 and that Guzli himself had added in the plane and date as a joke between friends.

#5: Helicopter Shark

Looking as if it could be a scene from the Jaws franchise, Helicopter Shark features what seems to be somebody’s last day on the job, as the person in the photo appears to be a shark’s next meal. Dating back to the early 2000s, helicopter shark is actually a combination of two photos, one of the shark, and the other of the soldier climbing into the helicopter. The photo gained widespread popularity via mass emailing, and it was claimed to be the National Geographic Photo of the year. Of course, this claim was debunked by National Geographic as a hoax.

#4: Slender Man

Along with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, Slenderman is probably one of the most economically viable characters birthed through a series of viral fake photos, as it’s experienced a slew of profitable media attention and love from all corners of the world. However, unlike Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, Slenderman originated solely on the Internet. Eric Knudsen, the creator of Slenderman, submitted his creation to a Photoshop challenge. The idea of the challenge was that participants were to give ordinary photos an element of eeriness. Years later, Slenderman’s presence can still be felt as it has expanded to art, literature, and video games.

#3: Cheerleader Poops

Give me a “P,” give me an “O”, give me an “O”, “give me another “P”… wait that doesn’t sound right. And to any unsuspecting citizen of the Internet, this image does not look right either. A cheerleader’s job is to pump up a crowd, but this image had the world wincing in disgust. The photo, which appears to document this leader of cheer’s abrupt fall from grace, while her peers shield themselves from her onslaught of diarrhea, is thankfully fake. In the original, you can see that she is simply falling, and the fecal matter was added in.

#2: Back to the Future – Today

Some people just wish their lives away, waiting for the future to arrive instead of living in the moment. Well, that’s the message we get from this fake photo. In Back to the Future Part II, Marty McFly and Doc Brown actually travel to October 21st, 2015, but the Internet hive mind swarmed around the idea that the DeLorean was actually set for June 27th, 2012 on that day in real life. This altered photo was in fact used to promote the Back to the Future Blu-Ray set, and was even a word for word do-over of an earlier version of the same prank - yet somehow the wrong date and the sense of deja vu were lost on many.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- “Diversity” at University of Wisconsin at Madison
- Purple Trees in Scotland’s Fairy Pools

#1: Bush Reads Book Upside-Down

Most would say that, in order to be the president, you have to have multiple talents. Talents like, speaking multiple languages, solving issues diplomatically, and maybe, being able to read upside down! While this image may seem to show that former President George W. Bush is reading his book upside down, it’s actually just another case of photo manipulation. The book cover has actually been flipped – with the tip-off being the position of the child holding the US flag. That and the original image had been published by the Associated Press beforehand.