On Monday, serial fibbers World News Daily Report published an article titled, "Japanese Whaling Crew Eaten Alive by Killer Whales, 16 Dead," writing what has to be this year's first feel-good story about people being dismembered by wild animals.
According to the article, the crew of Japanese whaling flagship MV Nisshin Maru had been attacked by a pod of orcas while hunting off the coast of South Africa. "It was horrific," a crewmember reportedly told the website. "The water was red with blood, there were bodies everywhere."
The ironic deaths of one's enemies being an all-time favorite among ill-wishers, the story was an immediate hit, earning a write-up by International Business Times under the nearly gleeful headline "Killer Whales Gobble Japanese Whaling Crew" and hundreds of thousands of shares on social media.
How is this for karma?
A Japanese whaling crew has fallen victim to a dramatic full on assault by a school of... http://t.co/TkiJPzJ6nj
— WAR-International. (@WildlifeAtRisk) July 28, 2014
Best news I've heard all week. http://t.co/WGj8M5IyxX
— Terrance Mulloy (@TerranceMulloy) July 29, 2014
Poetic justice!!! Every little bit helps... Japanese Whaling Crew Eaten Alive By Killer Whales, 16 dead http://t.co/L5zi7SfHcE
— eddyfriso (@eddyfriso) July 29, 2014
— Gina C Lorenzi (@GinaCLorenzi) July 29, 2014
Unfortunately for the Internet's anti-whaling slacktivists, the story is completely bogus. On Monday, the Nisshin Maru was nowhere near South Africa, coming into port off the coast of Japan at that time. Furthermore, Greenpeace Canada confirmed to Gawker that the story "is most definitely a hoax" and that the Greenpeace spokesperson quoted in the article doesn't exist, advising those who are passionate about the issue to sign their Support Ocean Sanctuaries petition online.
Earlier this year, Japan canceled its planned whaling expedition into the Southern Ocean after the International Court of Justice ruled the practice was for commercial and not scientific purposes.
[Image via Warner Bros.]