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‘Pink or Fake?’: Authenticity of viral ‘rare pink dolphin’ photos in North Carolina questioned

A series of photos purportedly showing a ‘rare pink dolphin’ in North Carolina waters has gone viral on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. While many users were captivated by the unusual sighting, the images have ignited widespread speculation and debate about their authenticity.

However, closer examination of the photos suggests they may depict a plastic toy rather than a real dolphin. This conclusion arises from inconsistencies noted by both experts and discerning social media users, who have highlighted elements in the images that appear artificial.



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The idea of a pink dolphin fascinates many due to the existence of the Amazon river dolphin, or “boto,” a species known for its pink coloration found in the freshwater rivers of the Amazon and Orinoco basins in South America.

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A pink dolphin appearing in North Carolina’s coastal waters would be unprecedented and highly unusual, adding to the skepticism surrounding the viral images.

Wildlife authorities in North Carolina have reported no sightings or evidence of pink dolphins in the area, reinforcing doubts about the photos’ authenticity. This situation has sparked conversations about the spread of misinformation and the need for critical evaluation of viral content.

As of this writing, Facebook has labeled the photo as “False information” citing an article that confirmed that it was indeed made through AI. Meanwhile Twitter added context to the post and stated that it’s photoshopped.

The incident highlights the challenges posed by the potential for digital manipulation and the role of artificial intelligence in creating realistic but false images. As these technologies become more advanced, verifying the accuracy of such content becomes increasingly difficult.

Social media users are encouraged to approach viral phenomena with caution and to verify information through credible sources. The spread of the pink dolphin photos serves as a reminder of the importance of critical thinking and skepticism in the digital age, particularly when confronted with sensational claims.


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