Fact-Checking the Algerian Gorilla Fish: A Hoax or a Real Creature?

False Hoax Nature Social

It’s getting easier and easier for manipulated images to become viral and spread extensively across several platforms in the age of social media. In recent times, there have been many examples of modified photographs getting millions of views and shares, frequently with deceptive captions or erroneous claims.

Social Media Claim

On April 16th, a social media user shared a captivating picture of a man holding a large fish with an intriguing feature: a head resembling that of a gorilla, with the caption “Caught in carli bay today. The elusive gorilla fish” And this post has gained over 15K shares so far.

Source | Archive

The photo has been shared numerous times across various social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Reddit.

The claim went viral after it was shared on the Instagram account of Mike Holston with a narration which further mentioned this Algerian gorilla dish is an adult male of 3-4 ft and lays 34 eggs on land and turns bright red to attract females and live up to 13 years and could live even up to 48 years if circumcised!


To verify the picture claiming to be an “Algerian Gorilla Fish” we utilized the Reverse Image Search feature to trace the source of the image. However, our search gave no other pictures of this species of fish. Moreover, we tried looking up the name “Gorilla Fish” in different databases such as NOAA Fisheries and AUM Fish Collections Database, yet were unable to find any reliable information about the existence of a fish called “Gorilla Fish.”

Anyway, we discovered that the terms “Gorilla Fish” & “Algerian Gorilla Fish” were searched only a handful of times before April 15th, after which there has been a sudden interest among the public with the wave of social media posts. This suggests that the term is a recent invention and that the fish may not actually exist under this name. 

Additionally, we found a Tweet from April 17th claiming to have made up this term. This information adds to the growing suspicion that the “Algerian Gorilla Fish” is a hoax or a fabricated story. Archive

However, we have found articles from different sources that debunk this story. Some have stated that the creator had probably mixed a seal, a coelacanth, and a gorilla to create the peculiar Algerian gorilla fish, which does not exist in reality.

And according to The Llanelli Herald, a social media user pointed out that the fish was too large to be carried by a human. As seen in the picture, the man is casually holding the fish without wrapping his arms around it, as if he were carrying something smaller. 

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The normal postures when catching fish. (Source: WBKR, Amazon, CNN)

However, we did not come across the actual image of this person. Furthermore, we attempted to use the Retouched Photo Detector program called Forensically to analyze this image. During the process, we used Histogram Equalization feature and discovered that there are scattered pixels between the man and the fish, suggesting that this picture is potentially edited.

In summary, the ‘Algerian Gorilla Fish’ is likely a hoax or a fabricated story, and the image appears to be edited. 


Title:Fact-Checking the Algerian Gorilla Fish: A Hoax or a Real Creature?

Fact Check By: Fact Crescendo Team 

Result: False

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