A set of images showing underwater architecture is being shared with the false claim that they show the mythical lost sunken city Dwarka in Gujarat.
The modern city of Dwarka, which in Sanskrit means ‘Gateway to heaven’, is located north-west of Gujarat. Dwarka is the site of one of the four Dhamas (sacred place for pilgrimage) of the Hindu religion and as the legend goes, Lord Krishna had founded the city in Gujarat’s west coast.
A set of four images were shared by a Twitter user with the caption, “Shri Kishna’s Dwarka, The sunken city in Gujarat. As described in the Mahabharata. It is real yet the Christian world says there is no proof! #JaiShriKrishna”
The tweet has gained around 1,600 retweets and 3,200 likes while writing the article.
Viral on Facebook
We searched with the same caption and found that the same set of images were shared with the false claim.
Viral on the Internet
Several websites and blogs including Postcard have shared the same viral photos claiming that they are from the lost underwater city.
BOOM has several times debunked fake news spread by Post Card. (click here, here)
Click here to view an archive.
BOOM found that the images were not from Dwarka as claimed in the viral posts.
We performed a reverse image search using Yandex, and found that the same image has been viral with other false claims.
Some blogs falsely claim that the image is from the Atlantis which is a fictional island mentioned within an allegory on the hubris of nations in Plato’s works Timaeus and Critias.
Image from Neptune Memorial Reef
We found that the image of the underwater statue of lion is from the Neptune Memorial Reef which is a man-made reef off the coast of Florida, United States.
Neptune Society is a provider of cremation services and one of the largest cremation companies in the United States.
Neptune Memorial Reef is a underwater cemetery where the cremated remains are mixed with cement to form features such as starfish, seashell and sea turtle.
On Neptune Memorial Reef’s Facebook page, we found images of the same classical looking lion with columns in the background underwater.
We also found a video of which shows the underwater scuba diver swimming near the statue on it’s YouTube channel.
BOOM reached out to Neptune Memorial Reef who confirmed that the photo is from the memorial reef.
Taking a cue from Twitter conversation on the viral post, we searched for the photograph on Flickr and found the same photograph posted by Bala Gopalan.
The photograph was taken on April 16, 2006, with the caption, “Tsunami aftermath, Temple gopuram (tower) decapitated by Tsunami 2005. Reminded me of Shelley’s Ozymandias. Tarangambadi, Tamil Nadu, India.”
We performed a reverse image search using Yandex and found that the image was used on a website attributing it to the Neptune Memorial Reef.
Additionally, one can spot similar architecture in the Facebook photos uploaded by Neptune Memorial Reef on February 25, 2017.
Neptune Memorial Reef confirmed to BOOM that this photo is from the memorial reef.
We performed a reverse image search using TinEye, a search engine and found that the image could be traced on the internet dating back to October 02, 2013.
The image has been viral on blogs with several unsubstantiated claims like it is underwater temple from lake titicaca in Peru, South America and from the mythical city of Atlantis. However, BOOM could not ascertain where the image is originally from.
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Anmol Alphonso is a fact-checker with BOOM. He has previously interned at IndiaSpend as a fact-checker and was a reporting intern at Times of India, Indian Express, and Mid-Day. He is a post-graduate diploma holder in journalism from St Paul’s Institute of Communication Education, Mumbai.
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