Believe it or not, there are a lot of fake photos on the internet. And the explosion in the number of spammy Twitter accounts like OldPicsArchive and HistoryInPics help them spread like wildfire. Today we’re taking a look at 10 more fake-ish photos you may have seen in your social media streams recently. They’re all lying to you.
1. Is this scientist Marie Curie?
No, that’s not the world renowned scientist Marie Curie. As Joe Hanson from PBS points out, the photo on the left actually shows Susan Marie Frontczak, a stage performer who plays Marie Curie in a production called Manya. The real photo of Curie circa 1913 appears on the right.
Embarrassingly it’s not just spammy Twitter accounts that have mistaken the actor for the real Curie. The country of Togo even based a postage stamp on the photo of Frontczak. Yikes.
Fake image via OldPicsArchive
2. Is this Vladimir Putin in 1988 posing as a tourist to spy on Ronald Reagan?
Everybody knows that Vladimir Putin was is a former KGB agent. But is that actually Putin in 1988 posing as a tourist behind the boy that’s about to shake Ronald Reagan’s hand? Nope.
This fake has been around for a few years now. And to be honest, the guy doesn’t even look like Putin if you ask me. Now it’s entirely possible that the guy is an undercover KGB agent. The photographer who took this shot seems to think so. But Putin was stationed in Dresden when this photo was snapped in Moscow. It’s almost certainly not Putin.
Inaccurate description via Reddit
3. Is this Heath Ledger as The Joker kick-flipping over Batman?
Notoriously awful Twitter account HistoryInPics posts a lot of fake content. And sadly they don’t even tell the truth when their “history” is a recent as 2008.
No, that’s not Heath Ledger on the set of The Dark Knight kick-flipping over Christian Bale. The funny part? Ledger was actually known for skating around on location while shooting in Chicago. But the photo above is totally fake.
Fake image via HistoryInPics
4. Is this a group of prohibitionist women?
Ever wonder why everyone in this “prohibitionist photo” has such a cartoonish expression? Because they were actors. This image actually comes from an old Thomas Edison film made sometime between 1893 and 1901.
Edison’s early films often parodied suffragists and women of the temperance movement during the late 19th century. This pro-temperance message wouldn’t have been out of place in some circles at the turn of the 20th century. But it’s an image that was meant to lampoon the anti-alcohol movement. And it appears that it’s still working over a century later.
Fake image via OldPicsArchive
5. Is this Salvador Dali drawing a penis on a woman’s forehead?
Salvador Dali never painted a cartoon penis on a woman’s forehead, signing it Picasso. Or at least if he did, it was never photographed. The woman in the photo is Dali’s wife Gala and the painting he’s doing is known as Medusa’s sleep.
Fake image via OldPicsArchive
6. Is this a rare photo of an Onna-bugeisha, one of the female warriors of Japan?
Inaccurate photo description via ThatsHistory
7. Is this a hockey goalie in 1966 before masks became standard equipment?
As the always brilliant PicPedant points out, this photo indeed appeared in the pages of Life magazine in 1966. But the scars and wounds of this hockey goalie were applied by a make-up artist. They were intended to represent all the injuries this hockey player received during his career.
As Life explained in 1966:
This face belongs to Terry Sawchuk [wrote LIFE], a 36-year-old goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Re-created here, by a professional make-up artist and a doctor, are some of the more than 400 stitches he has earned during 16 years in the National Hockey League. Sawchuk has sustained other injuries not shown here: a slashed eyeball requiring three stitches, a 70% loss of function in his right arm because 60 bone chips were removed from his elbow, and a permanent “sway-back” caused by continual bent-over posture.
So yeah, it’s kinda real. But the photo tells a misleading story when you strip out the context from the magazine and add your own caption about safety equipment.
Fake image via Historyepics
8. Is this an Earthrise from the perspective of the moon on December 24, 1968?
On December 24, 1968 the astronauts of Apollo 8 took a gorgeous shot of the “earth rise” as came from the dark side of the moon. It was the first photo of our planet from the perspective of another planetary body. In 2013 NASA produced a computer-generated re-creation of what those astronauts saw, in full colour. But ever since, people have been passing the re-creation around as an authentic photo. The original is the black and white photo on the right.
Fake image via HistoricalPics
9. Is this the bodies of two people in Nevada thought to be buried alive in 1993?
These aren’t the bodies of two people horrifically buried alive in the 1990s. They’re actually the bones of two people found outside Mantua, Italy back in 2007. And the bones date back as much as 6,000 years.
The two people are thought to have been no more than 20 years old and were deemed the Lovers of Valdaro because they were found locked in an embrace. We don’t know how they met their end exactly. But the one thing we know for sure is that they weren’t buried alive in the Nevada desert during the Clinton administration.
Fake image via NotExplained
10. Is this a real screenshot from Wheel of Fortune?
You may have seen this Wheel of Fortune screenshot gag going viral recently. Is the answer really “Luck Be In the Air Tonight”? Nope. It’s just a photoshop job from start to finish.
The big clue that this one is fake? If the answer is really supposed to be “Luck Be In The Air Tonight,” then why is the letter I missing from the word “air”? The only logical explanation? The answer must be the lewd one everybody was thinking.
Fake image via jmoneytooreal