National Geographic Cameraman Eaten Alive During Shooting: Fact Check

Picture Suggesting National Geographic Cameraman Eaten Alive During Shooting
National Geographic Cameraman Eaten Alive During Shooting


National Geographic cameraman eaten alive during shooting.

Other Versions

A Giant Whale swallowed a photographer of National Geographic.

Fact Check:

A story becoming popular online, especially on social media sites, claims that a National Geographic Cameraman was Eaten alive by a Giant Ocean Sunfish (or giant whale) during underwater shooting. No, the claim is not a fact.

Origin of Story

The story in question originated from an article published on World News Daily Report website on 27 May 2016. As per the article, 29-year old Joaquín Álvarez Santos, a photographer and cameraman from Peru, was shooting a documentary off the Portuguese coast for the famous scientific magazine National Geographic. And unfortunately, a massive Ocean Sunfish or Mola mola – usually very docile – headed immediately towards the cameraman and swallowed him effortlessly before swimming away. It is also said that another fellow diver, Australian photographer James C. Wyatt, captured some incredible pictures of the scene, just before the terrible incident.

It’s a Hoax

The picture in question is real and actually taken from a rare footage of a gigantic sunfish captured on film by photographer Miguel Pereira off the coast of Portugal in September 2013. But as you can see in the video below, no such incident took place where any cameraman was swallowed by the massive fish. The source of the story, World News Daily Report website is in fact an entertainment platform that has history of publishing satirical and fictional stories, as mentioned in their Disclaimer information. The photograph of Joaquín Álvarez Santos mentioned in the article actually shows underwater photographer Vincent Kneefel from Netherlands.

So, the claim a National Geographic cameraman was eaten alive by a giant sunfish during shooting is a hoax. Nonetheless, Ocean Sunfish or Mola mola is the heaviest known bony fish in the world, the large specimens reaching 14 feet (4.2 meters) vertically and 10 feet (3.1 meters) horizontally and weighing nearly 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms). You can see some other pictures of giant sunfish above.

Hoax or Fact:


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Prashanth Damarla