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Social media exposes naked man posing on top of dead shark

Commentary: A photo of a man and a shark goes viral. Speculation begins as to who the man is. Suspicion falls on a famous name.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

It's not a good look.

screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It was the photo that stuck in many craws. A few jaws, too.

Here was a large, naked man lying on top of a (presumably) dead shark.

Wildlife TV presenter Anneka Svenska posted the picture just over a week ago, accompanied by the words: "Who is this man? Please RT, find him & ask him why he did this? Where is the humour in humiliating slaughtered animals?"

It incited much reaction.

Celebrity chef José Andres, for example, offered in reply: "No really!!!"

Then, however, Twitter began to speculate as to who the man might be. Some insisted it was Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain. Others saw the face (presumably) of Jimmy John Liautaud, founder of the Jimmy John's sandwich chain. Twittering fingers are always swift to type and even swifter to accuse.

Now, however, suspicion has fallen on a retired NYPD cop.

As the Orlando Sentinel reports, David Pingalore, sports anchor for WKMG-TV in Orlando, told the "Open Mike" radio show on 96.9 The Game: "This guy lives in upstate New York, that photo was taken two years ago off the shores of Long Island -- not in Florida." Pingalore says he was contacted by a friend of the former cop. Initially, there were thoughts of arranging an amusing (of sorts) meeting between him and McElwain.

It seems, however, that the mood has changed.

"The man that is naked on the shark is afraid for his life because he believes bounty hunters -- I'm not making this up," said Pingalore. "And people with shark people, whatever those people would be called ... he's afraid because the New York Post put up an article about 'who is this naked man?" on the naked shark."

Pingalore added that the photo was posted a couple of years ago and was supposed to be a parody of a British website which features naked women posing on dead sharks.

If it was, the joke has now fallen flat.

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