A bizarre video of a fish with a human head has gone viral on the internet. The unknown videographer slowly pans the camera around the creature, shown on its stomach, writhing on a dock. It looks off to the side and then briefly stares at the camera with its ghoulish white eyes and creepy half-smile. You can watch the video here.
Thankfully, this fishy video is a fake.
Snopes Declared the Video a Hoax
The debunking website Snopes.com has traced the video’s first online appearance to April 2019. The video was captioned in Chinese with the words 怪异的鱼 “Guaiyi de yu,” which translates to “weird fish.” Some posts include ominous music.
Snopes first points out that the fish doesn’t act or move like a fish. The site also says that it cannot find evidence of anyone stepping forward to discuss the discovery of this incredible fish. “While the video has been posted in a number of different languages and on several different platforms, we’ve yet to encounter a single posting that included specific details about the alleged discovery,” Snopes researcher Dan Evon wrote on June 24, 2019. “If this video were real (meaning someone actually caught a fish with a human face), we’d see news reports about the discovery.”
One version of the video has had more than 6 million views. Comments were added to explain the fiendish fish, which made the video even more disturbing. Some posts claimed the animal was a human/fish hybrid. Other posts swear the animal is either an alien or a human reincarnated into a fish.
The film has caused a stir online, with viewers not really knowing what to think. Some people are terrified while others say the being resembles the animated cartoon “Thomas the Train.” Multiple versions of the video have popped up on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. The most recent posts making the rounds on social media claim the fish was captured either in Chernobyl, Russia, where one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters occurred back in 1986, or Japan.
A Chinese Website Also Debunked the Video
MyGoPen, a Chinese website that investigates internet rumors, also determined the video was a fake. After consulting with an animator the site said that “this is the effect of 3D computer animation. There is no news about any strange fish or face fish in the near future. Don’t pass the film again!” the website warns. “The light reflection from the object and the texture material on the surface of the face are 3D computer animation, not the real situation,” it explained. The site reminded readers that spreading of internet rumors in China carries a fine of ¥300.
Some versions of the video image have been reversed. One “Chernobyl video” depicts the creature looking to the left. Multiple YouTube posts show the same video of the creature looking to the right.
Other Human-Fish Hoaxes Have Popped up on the Internet
The “Weird Fish” film isn’t the only eerie half-fish/half-man hoax to hit the internet. In 2017 a dead Indian mermaid. There was a video which showed the creature breathing. Snopes was able to determine that the Indian mermaid was just an animatronic sculpture. Although no one has claimed credit for the hoax, the website The News Fact published photos showing a Myanmar-based artist adding details to the dummy. The “mermaid” was said to have been crafted from wood and fiber and that there is a motor in the throat to make the model look like it’s breathing.
In 2014, a dead mermaid was supposedly found in Vladaya, Bulgaria. It was later discovered that the still images were taken from the 2011 movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. According to Snopes researcher David Mikkelson, the film’s plot involves the pirate Blackbeard hoping to extend his life by harvesting mermaid tears.
In 2006, the public was able to sleep easier after Snopes debunked photos allegedly showing a dead mermaid. Like most internet stories, this being was reported to have been discovered in several locations including Mexico, Florida, South Africa, the Philippines, and Swaziland. Unlike most fake creatures, this one was traced back to artist Juan Cabrera, who sells strange mermaid sculptures. “Cabana’s mermaids are no gentle pre-Raphaelite maidens. These mermaids seduce us, not with their siren beauty, but with parchment skin and haunted eyes,” his website reads.