The claim: Image shows a ‘Spanish Dancer Jellyfish’
A viral image of a bright yellow and pink creature in the sea that was recently shared to Facebook claims to show a “Spanish Dancer Jellyfish.”
The image was shared to Facebook by the page Nature Is a Beautiful Thing on March 28 in a post with over 1,400 reactions.
“Wow! Such an amazing and beautiful creature. This is a ‘Spanish Dancer Jellyfish,'” reads the caption of the photo.
The post claims “The Spanish Dancer Jellyfish” is a species of vibrant jellyfish that is found in the lagoon surrounded by the Tami Islands near Papua New Guinea.
“They feed and are fed upon by a variety of pelagic fish,” the post continues.
USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook page for comment.
The same image and caption was shared on March 29 to the group National Geographic: Photography and Photos of the Day by the Facebook page Wildlife, which does not have a way to be contacted.
Similar versions of the claim appear on Twitter and date back to at least 2014.
Fact check: Jamaica is not insulated from the COVID-19 pandemic
Photo created by fractal artist
Snopes debunked the claim in 2016 and discovered that the image was created by underwater photographer and fractal artist Francis Le Guen.
Le Guen reportedly told Diver in 2012 that he started turning his underwater photography into artwork after discovering software applications such as Ultrafractal and Mandelbulb 3D.
“It’s diving, and especially cave-diving, that first inspired me to make images,” he told Diver, according to Snopes. “I made my first photos in flooded caves. The underwater landscapes I discovered were so unreal — and I now realize that this was because they were fractal. Natural forms come under the laws of fractal mathematics.”
He decided to make digital paintings of the underwater world because he is familiar with the lighting, texture and feelings.
The image appears on Le Guen’s blog in an Aug. 28, 2012, post, along with other fractal artwork of jellyfish created by him.
On his blog post he writes that he created the images using a software called Apophysis, which is “ideal” for creating “potential” living organisms based on fractals.
USA TODAY reached out to Le Guen for further comment.
Fact check:Post misleads about spring break aftermath in Key West
‘Spanish dancer’ is a sea slug, not a jellyfish
It’s true that there is an animal called a “Spanish dancer,” however, it is a sea slug, not a jellyfish.
According to Oceana, Spanish dancers are one of the largest sea slugs on the planet and they are brightly colored.
“Though this species spends most of its time crawling along the reef surface, it will swim when threatened, violently flapping its external gills and other appendages and displaying its brightest warning colors,” reads Oceana’s site. “This behavior reminded some observers of a flamenco dancer, earning the Spanish dancer its common name.”
A similar claim of a photo purporting to show a new species of coral in the Galapagos recently went viral and was also created by a fractal artist, USA TODAY reported.
Fact check: Story about bull sharks in Arkansas river started as satire
Our rating: False
An image claiming to show a “Spanish Dancer Jellyfish” is FALSE, based on our research. The image was created by a fractal artist using software called Apophysis. The Spanish dancer is a large sea slug, not a jellyfish.
Our fact-check sources:
- Snopes, Oct. 24, 2016, “Spanish Dancer Jellyfish”
- Le Bloguen, Aug. 28, 2012, “Synthetic nudibranchs on Apophysis”
- Softonic.com, “Create original wallpapers with this free fractal generator”
- Oceana, accessed March 31, “Spanish Dancer”
- USA TODAY, March 31, “Fact check: Image claiming to show new species of coral in the Galapagos is digital art”
Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.
Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.
Source: Read Full Article