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Dont Be Fooled: Fake Pictures From Hurricane Harvey Have Been Causing Panic

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In the wake of the enormous disaster in southeast Texas, people have been sharing all sorts of information about Hurricane Harvey.

There are stories of everyday heroes, and pictures of the storm's dramatic impact, but also a fair share of phony images making the rounds on social media. Many people mean well when they share these photos, but they're helping to spread misinformation during a crisis.

So how can you tell which photos are really real? We've shared some examples of phony viral images in the past, but we wanted to highlight some of the most popular fake photos trending online - as well as some real pictures that soon totally unbelievable.

The Houston Airport

While flooding and stormy conditions have closed airports across Texas and Louisiana this week, things aren't as bad as they seem in this viral photo.

What people are claiming to be the "Houston Airport" is actually an old photoshopped image of New York City's LaGuardia Airport. It was meant to illustrate how rising sea levels caused by climate change would affect the city.

But things are dire at Houston's Hobby Airport, as this photo of flooded runways from ABC 13 shows.

Shark On The Highway

This photo of a shark swimming along a freeway from a 2005 magazine article has surfaced in every major flood since Hurricane Irene in 2011, but still manages to fool gullible people every time. This year, Fox News host Jesse Watters even mentioned it on the air.

Alligators On The Loose

There are real concerns that alligators could be displaced by the flooding, and already footage is popping up of alligators floating around people's backyards. But many of the photos claiming to show alligators moved into suburban neighborhoods by the storm aren't real.


This trend seems to have started when a local sheriff's department sent out pictures of alligators from past floods, meant to be an example of what could happen. People innocently mistook these as actual photos of gators on the loose in Houston.

If you see any photos of former President Barack Obama in Houston, take them with a grain of salt.

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