Look, I’m from Queensland, I know this isn’t outside the realm of possibility. You see a story from the ‘Cairns Times‘ titled ‘Cairns man who binged on ice feared dead after attempting to have sex with crocodile‘ and you think “Fuck me rigid, bit outlandish, but it sure does sound like something some dickhead from Far North Queensland would do.” All well and good, except the ‘Cairns Times‘ is not a newspaper.
In a story that has been explosively making the rounds on social media since it was posted to the fictitious newspaper’s website yesterday, it’s claimed that authorities “hold little hopes of finding a 26-year old local man alive after he was attacked by a wild saltwater crocodile at Clifton Beach, north of Cairns.“
According to the story, the man (who could supposedly not be named) “began acting strangely after smoking a large amount of the drug” and subsequently decided to mount a salty he spotted:
“The group of friends shouted at the man to leave the crocodile alone, which was estimated to be around 2 metres long. ‘We were worried he was so off his face on ice he’d try to provoke it, but nothing would prepare us for what he did next.‘“According to the friend, the man – now naked – leapt at the crocodile and started trying to have intercourse with it. ‘We were still a fair distance back, but I reckon he just about got it in,‘ said the witness. ‘Of course, the croc wasn’t having a bar of it, and it started thrashing around like crazy.‘”
While the quotes may sound like a completely alien and unlikely way for an ice user to talk about an ice and for someone who just watched their friend die to talk about watching their friend die, don’t worry – a nameless health official from a nameless health body confirmed the science behind the story:
“The man’s unusual behaviour is being blamed on his overuse of the drug ice, which experts say can have increase a user’s sex drive. ‘In this case, with the man’s body under the influence of the drug, my conclusion is he became delusional and thought attempting sex with a crocodile was a perfectly sane act,’ said a health official with experience in treating ice addicts. ‘This case serves as yet another reminder to anyone who uses, or is thinking about using methamphetamines, that there can be serious, deadly consequences to these drugs.’“
That’s right, ice will often make people so horny that they will try to fuck crocodiles. Thank you, anonymous health official.
If the ‘Cairns Times‘ isn’t a real newspaper, then what is it? It’s definitely not a satirical news service in the style of, say, The Onion or The Betoota Advocate, as a) that article was not satirical of anything and b) the rest of the stuff on their site is quite straight:
If not satire, then what? It turns out this is that ‘fake news’ you’ve heard so much about. While Trump and Hanson and their ilk use the term to complain about shit that they don’t like, this is what it was actually originally used to describe: websites that look real but invent far-fetched but vaguely plausible stories for advertising clicks.
If you take a look at the ‘Cairns Times‘ website, you’ll see they have four different categories: “Cairns“, “world“, “business” and “sport“. The Cairns section is a bunch of extremely vague, very generic stories that are cut off after two paragraphs with a paywall link:
That’s certainly not conclusive proof in itself ( they might just cover really boring news in a very vague way), but have a look at their sport section:
Seems a bit weird that a Queensland newspaper would be covering exclusively NFL, without even a single mention of State of Origin.
Interestingly, those exact stories are present word for word on the website of the ‘Florida Sun Post‘, another newspaper that doesn’t exist. Like the ‘Cairns Times‘, the ‘Florida Sun Post‘ has no bylines, only features stories from a span of four or five days, and (from a quick Google search) appears to have zero employees.
You’ll notice that the ‘FSP‘ is also laid out in the exact same fashion as the ‘Cairns Times‘. There’s a different header image and a slightly different colour scheme, but the site and stories have the same format and the stories are divided into the same categories (albeit localised to Florida, this time).
These yahoos churn out hundreds of these different websites using the same template, reusing generic stories, writing tiny bits of specific copy to flesh out the local stories and writing the yarns they believe will go viral and get people to click on ads like this:
Fellas, I’m telling you right now, you will not get paid to have sex with beautiful Japanese porn stars if you click on that ad.
In conclusion, as much as you’d like that story to be true (you monster), you’ll have to wait until it really happens.
Photo: Getty Images / Hoberman Collection.