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Fact-Check: Unrelated Images Passed Off as Visuals From Lakshadweep

While the first image is from French Polynesia, the other two images are from Maldives.

Updated
WebQoof
4 min read
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Three have gone viral on social media where users are claiming that these visuals are from Lakshadweep, India.

This comes amid the diplomatic tensions between India and Maldives. These tensions erupted when a minister from Maldives insulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi online.

Who shared it?: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju shared the pictures as from Lakshadweep while several other users shared the images to criticise the Maldives government and asked people to visit Lakshadweep.

While the first image is from French Polynesia, the other two images are from Maldives.

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Source: X (formerly Twitter)/Screenshot)

Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh shared an image on his official X handle, which showed an aerial view of three islands, asking people to explore parts of India.

While the first image is from French Polynesia, the other two images are from Maldives.

The post has now been deleted.

(Source: X/Screenshot)

(Archives of similar claims can be found here, here, and here.)

What is the truth?: All these images are unrelated to Lakshadweep and India.

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  • The first image showing a man swimming underwater is available on a stock image website and was reportedly captured in Bora Bora, French Polynesia.

  • The second picture shows a bird's eye view of Male, Maldives and is available on multiple stock image websites.

  • The third image of two people kayaking in clear water dates back to 2011 and was taken in Maldives.

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IMAGE1

On performing a simple Google Lens search, we came across the same image uploaded on stock image website 'Alamy'.

  • The image was taken on 10 July 2012 and its location was identified as Bora Bora, French Polynesia.

  • It was titled, "Man swimming in a tropical lagoon in front of exotic island."

While the first image is from French Polynesia, the other two images are from Maldives.

The image was taken on 10 July 2012.

(Source: Alamy/Screenshot)

  • Further, we also found similar images of the person swimming underwater on Alamy. This image's location was also mentioned as Bora Bora.

While the first image is from French Polynesia, the other two images are from Maldives.

The image was taken in Bora Bora, French Polynesia.

(Source: Alamy/Screenshot)

IMAGE 2

We performed a reverse image search on the photo and came across the same visual uploaded on a stock image website named 'Pexels'.

  • The picture was first shared on 26 July 2018 on the website. It was titled, "Bird's Eye View Photography Of Islands."

  • The website identified the image's location as Malé, Male, Maldives.

While the first image is from French Polynesia, the other two images are from Maldives.

The picture was first shared on 26 July 2018.

(Source: Pexels/Screenshot)

Shutterstock, another stock image website, also carried the same image on its website. The image's caption said, "Maldives the 1000 isles from plane."

While the first image is from French Polynesia, the other two images are from Maldives.

The image was available on Shutterstock. 

(Source: Shutterstock/Screenshot)

IMAGE 3

Team WebQoof performed a reverse image on the third image, which led us to the same image uploaded on a website called 'wallpapers13'.

  • It was titled, "Canoe On Blue Lagoon In Maldives Tropical Island Sea-Beach Fishing Diving In Water Spa and Relaxation."

While the first image is from French Polynesia, the other two images are from Maldives.

The image was shared as a wallpaper.

(Source: Wallpapers13/Screenshot)

Other sources: We came across a magazine shared on a website called 'Purely Maldives' that showed 101 activities to do in Angsana Velavaru, which is a high-end resort based in the Maldives.

  • The magazine carried the viral image and another image from a different angle. It showed two people kayaking at the same location.

(Swipe right to view all screenshots.)

  • The image was shared on the first page of the magazine.

    (Source: Purely Maldives/Screenshot)

  • Further, we also found the same image uploaded on Angsana's official Facebook handle in 2013. However, it did not specify the location.

  • Another Facebook page named 'Angsana Velavaru' shared the same image in 2018 with '#Velavuru101' in its caption. 

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Finding the EXIF data of the viral image: On searching further, we came across a Flickr profile named 'Angsana Velavaru Maldives'.

  • According to the EXIF data, the image was captured on a Cannon camera by an artist named Felix Hug.

  • The image's metadata date was 28 September 2011. It was shared on Flickr on 27 May 2013.

While the first image is from French Polynesia, the other two images are from Maldives.

The image was taken on 14 November 2011.

(Source: Flickr/Screenshot)

Reaching out to the photographer: Team WebQoof reached out to Hug on mail, where he confirmed that it was him who took this photograph in Maldives on 28 September 2011.

Diplomatic tensions between India and Maldives: Maldives Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Information and Arts, Mariyam Shiuna made some insulting remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • His remarks came after PM Modi visited Lakshadweep to promote tourism. However, Shiuna's remarks triggered a row between both countries.

  • According to local media reports, the Maldives government has suspended three ministers. You can read our story here.

Conclusion: It is clear that several unrelated images are being shared as visuals from Lakshadweep.

(With inputs from Abhilash Mallick)

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9540511818 , or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  Maldives   Fact Check   Webqoof 

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