Like the missing Malaysian Airlines tragedy which has been exploited by unscrupulous Web site owners to harvest data from gullible netizens, interest over mermaid spotting is being used by the posting of hoax videos. One such fake video is this one by the Web site http://trendingtomorrow.net/mermaid-on-sharks-belly/ but when clicked would ask the surfer to share the link before being allowed to view the video. The video was titled Accidental Discovery! Real Mermaid Found on Shark's Belly Caught by a Fisherman!
Channel Two had warned in a YouTube posting (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOAVy6Ggw8M) that the video is probably an online scam.
In most cases, the ploy is used to harvest user personal information which could, in turn, be employed for other Internet scams or identity theft.
However, a Business Insider report dated Sept 10, 2010 used the same image, but the article said what was found inside the belly of the shark by Humphrey Simmons, an i-banker with Xanthos Investment, was the remains of a man eaten by the fish.
Simmons was fishing with friends Keith Ferguson and Stanley Bernard on a weekend when they caught a Tiger shark which was "unusually heavy." They managed to haul in the shark by tying a rope around its fin tail. Just as they were cutting the hook out of the shark's mouth, the fish vomited a human foot intact from the knee down.
They brought the fish to shore and cut it up, and the shark's belly yielded a body, minus the head (http://www.businessinsider.com/i-banker-found-body-inside-a-shark-2010-9). Business Insider said the body was eventually identified as that of a missing sailor.
However, some Business Insider readers commented negatively on the Web site's posting of the story as well as the gory images.
Courtney Comstack asked, "Where is you or your editor's good judgment? You are a disgrace." NotAmused added, "This site is getting more crass and vulgar with every day. This is supposed to be a business website not a gore & T&A site. Seriously, what real purpose does it serve to show us these graphic photos other than for shlock journalism and cheap thrills?"
Irish.curse wrote, "incredibly disgusting... and awesome," while cbteas wryly commented, "A shark can eat a sailor but it can never eat an investment banker. Why? Sharks never eat their own."
In the case of the missing Malaysian Airlines jet, the hoax video claims the jet was allegedly discovered in either the Indian Ocean or Bermuda Triangle.