So does SeaWorld really house their killer whales in huge plastic bags while their tanks are cleaned? Did we really just ask that?

On Nov., 10th, 2015, a website posted an article along with the headline: “SeaWorld Employees Place Orcas in Plastic Bags of Water While Cleaning Tanks,” but before you head on over to the amusement park to protest, read on..

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seaworld orcas plastic bags

Although most folks knew The Onion (and therefore understood the tweet’s satirical intent), a significant number believed the claim to be straightforward and believed the large killer whales were actually kept in large bags during tank cleaning as if they were tropical fish. Social media are flooded with fake news sites which aim to dupe users into sharing outlandish false stories, but The Onion is generally recognized as one of the few genuinely satirical sites on the web (i.e., it is intended to entertain readers, not deceive them). The Onion has operated as a satirical news outlet for many years, but its material is still mistaken for real news on occasion. Before fake news peddlers plagued social media with a flood of fabricated tales, such errors inspired a popular blog devoted entirely to instances where the outlet’s articles were mistaken for actual news.h/t snopes

seaworld orcas plastic bags

The Onion is a website that publishes stories based on pure satire.

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