Viral Photo of a Giant Squid Found in California is Fake

image widely circulated on the

Image widely circulated on the Internet. Originally, it appeared io on January 10, 2014. Image used under fair use.  

This fake image of giant squid has been circulating widely on social media across many languages. Originally found on Lightly Braised Turnip, which appears to be a satire news website, the photo was accompanied by the description that a “giant squid was discovered on California coast and scientists suspect radioactive gigantism“, blaming the Fukushima nuclear accident for the existence of the large sea creature.

Giant squid (genus: Architeuthis) is a large, deep-ocean dwelling squid that can grow up to 13 meters (43 feet) naturally. Japanese blogger Piyohiko, suspicious of the photo, investigated [ja] the image online and quickly debunked it.

He searched for images of a “giant squid” on Google and found the original giant squid photo: 

image of giant squid posted in Xinhua news

Photo of a giant squid posted on Xinhua News. The photo was taken by Enrique Talledo [es], who specializes in documenting the ocean


It took only 10 seconds for me to find !!
The image looks very similar to me, don't they?

Photographer Masahiro Ariga [ja] also noticed that the image was fake. He noted that the spectators of the giant squid image coincide with those of the photo below, uploaded to in 2011:

image from 2011 on

Photo taken November 3, 2011, which appeared on's reporting a whale found dead in Chile.

Ariga commented [ja] how quickly the fake image was circulated on Facebook:


The fake photo [of a giant squid washed ashore along the Santa Monica coastline] is spreading at amazing speed. When I saw the online news at noon on January 9, it only had 13,000 Facebook likes. However, overnight, it was already reaching 20,000 likes. Looks like many people believed the news of a squid growing enormous due to radiation and became anxious.

It's not clear whether this fabricated news was written as a joke or with vicious intention, but many people accepted the news as fact. I'm observing how lies and anxiety are amplified on the Internet throughout the world. 


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