A peculiar image recently went viral on social media that appeared to show the anime character Doraemon discovered underwater by a team of divers.
The blue robotic cat looks strikingly similar to the beloved Japanese animation icon found in comics, TV shows and movies.
But is this photo real or just an elaborate hoax? Let’s investigate.
Who is Doraemon?
For those unfamiliar, Doraemon is a robotic cat from the 22nd century sent back in time to help a young boy named Nobita.
Created in 1969 by manga artists Fujiko F. Fujio, Doraemon has become one of Japan’s most recognizable pop culture characters. His futuristic gadgets and technology often get Nobita out of trouble.
Doraemon Discovery in Sea Real or Fake
In the 1993 Doraemon film “Nobita’s Secret Gadget Museum”, a Doraemon robot is accidentally dropped into the ocean after falling off a cruise ship.
This seems to have inspired the recent viral image. The figure discovered underwater closely resembles this movie plot.
While convincing at first glance, several clues indicate the photo is likely fake. The Doraemon figure looks in too pristine of condition after supposedly being submerged for years.
The captions also lack specifics like location, names of the divers or research institution involved.
Most damning is that the image can be reverse searched to a Japanese blog from 2013.
Though it shows up on many social sites now, the viral photo does not depict a real event.
It appears to be clever digital artwork made by a fan to look like an underwater discovery.
So while it’s fun to imagine the friendly Doraemon washing up in the ocean for real, this viral image is unfortunately not genuine. It joins the many fake news stories spread online for clicks and attention.
But the imagination it has sparked pays tribute to the enduring popularity and Appeal of Doraemon decades after the character’s creation.