IN SHORT: The Malaysian passenger flight that went missing in 2014 has not been found and the viral photo showing a plane under water is unrelated.
Nine years and counting after its disappearance, the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, popularly known as MH370, continues.
The international passenger flight vanished on 8 March 2014 while flying from Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in China. There were 239 people on board.
The flight’s disappearance sparked international intrigue and in 2023 it became the subject of a series on Netflix, the US-based global streaming service.
It is against this background that a Facebook user shared a screenshot, apparently of a tweet by an account with the handle @MrBlackOG, claiming the MH370 had been found. According to the tweet, it was found “under ocean with no human skeleton”.
The tweet includes a photo of what appears to be the cockpit of a submerged aircraft.
The original tweet was posted on 6 May 2023. It has been viewed over 1 million times and retweeted thousands of times.
On Facebook, screenshots of this or similar tweets have also been published here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
On Twitter, the same message and photo appear here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
But is the underwater photo really of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight? We checked.
Photo shows plane wreckage in Jordan
A Google reverse image search revealed that the photo actually shows an aircraft sunk off Jordan’s coast as an artificial reef.
The country of Jordan is in Southwest Asia, on the Arabian Peninsula. Artificial reefs are human-made structures that mimic natural reefs. They are designed to protect marine life.
The photo is a screengrab from a video posted to Instagram on 6 April by the Deep Blue Dive Centre, a company that offers underwater leisure activities in Jordan’s Gulf of Aqaba.
The caption on the Instagram video reads: “Tristar Airplane Wreck Red Sea, Aqaba.”
The Tristar aeroplane was sunk into the Gulf of Aqaba to promote dive tourism and coral growth. Before that, it had been abandoned for years at King Hussein International Airport, Aqaba’s main airport.
The claim that the photo shows the missing Malaysia Airlines flight is false and may be hurtful to the families and relatives of those who were on board.