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Rare Himalayan flower? No, a sea creature

A meme shared on Facebook in South Africa includes a photo of a plant-like organism.

The caption reads: “After a long years, this ‘Nagpushpa’ flower is seen in Himalaya… This flower looks like ‘Sesh Nag’ and only seen every 36 years interval… Please share this, so that most of the people can see and enjoy ‘Gods creation’”.

Does the photo show a plant that only flowers every 36 years in the Himalayas, the mountain range in Asia? 

‘Flower’ a ‘sea pen’

A reverse image search of the meme’s photo leads to an archived photo on the site It was taken by the photographer Gordon Bowbrick in 2013. 

Bowbrick labelled the photo “Sea Feather”, and identified the creature as a sea pen, an invertebrate marine animal. 

According to Britannica, sea pens “occur in shallow and deep waters from polar seas to the tropics”. – Taryn Willows


For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

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