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Shark Week Hoax Video Scares Swimmers in Lake Ontario

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If you’ve been holding out on swimming near Wolfe Island in Lake Ontario because of the shark sighting video that’s been going around the Internet, pack your swimming trunks. It was all a hoax.

Discovery Channel has stepped up and stated that it was behind the video of a group of friends who spotted a shark while fishing near Wolfe Island. The hoax was part of a marketing campaign for the network’s Shark Week.

The video, apparently shot on a smartphone, shows three men fishing. When one of them announces he caught one, the camera aims towards the water but what comes out is not your average Grouper but a small shark with his mouth open. The shark’s nose pokes out of the water and then it dives back in, showing its back fin in the process. The men step back, clearly scared and surprised. The video then shows the image of the shark several more times in slow motion.

The footage quickly made the rounds on the Internet, getting more than half a million hits in a week. But when people started to actually be afraid of the potential shark lurking in the water and said they wouldn’t swim there anymore, Discovery Channel thought it was time to come clean about it all.

“I think we all thought that the focus would more on ‘is it or isn’t it’ then ‘oh my god, this is a shark and let’s run!’ That really was a surprise,” said Paul Lewis, President and General Manager of Discovery Canada.

In reality, the shark wasn’t a bull shark or a porpoise as experts had been speculating after watching the footage, it was an “incredibly life-like prosthetic model shark” manipulated by a man under water.

Shark Week, which shows plenty of footage of real sharks, airs next month on Discovery.

Via News Talk 1010

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