Terry Tufferson posted a video on YouTube yesterday with some POV footage of his recent jump into Sydney Harbour, which quickly turned into a close encounter with a shark. Titled GoPro: Man Fights Off Great White Shark in Sydney Harbour, the short video has erupted with more than one million plays. However, thousands are calling the whole thing a fake. And they're right.
Although it's certainly an impressive feat of editing, take your pick of which frame you'd like to center your argument on. Beginning with what looks like the first-ever teleportation of a shark at the 59-second mark, the great white appears in the middle of the frame only to emerge milliseconds later cruising in from the left. Water depth and rolling waves near the 40-second mark also don't seem to match up with the apparent conditions below the well-used Jump Rock at Collins Beach.
Commenters across the Web are pointing to varying light conditions, the swimmer's scream and lack of urgency, why he stopped recording so soon, and poor video quality as evidence of the hoax. Some are even posting response videos using the same footage.
Sharks are apparently a well-known species in Sydney Harbour, and there is nothing stopping a great white from cruising by Collins Beach where Tufferson jumped, but some of the editing loopholes in the video make this particular encounter hard to believe.
Look out, we're entering an era where anyone with a laptop and an Internet connection can fabricate anyobody doing almost anything. Cool? Sure. Scary? Yes, especially when we're swimming with sharks.