Image: YouTube

The identity of the nude man humping a shark has been partially revealed, per Orlando’s David Pingalore of CBS affiliate WKMG. The sports director appeared on Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi’s radio show Open Mike today, and shared what he knew about the shark humper, who is allegedly a former NYC police officer.

The full photo, for context:

The Orlando Sentinel helpfully transcribed portions of Pingalore’s investigation shared on Open Mike. If you believe him, the shark humper has nothing to do with Florida, and the photo is a couple of years old:

“This guy lives in upstate New York, that photo was taken two years ago off the shores of Long Island — not in Florida,” Pingalore said. “I have the man that’s fully clothed that’s naked on the shark, on the boat. Yes, normal photographs.”

The tale of a nude man riding a shark gets much weirder, however. To make sure this wasn’t some kind of radio stunt, I called Pingalore, who confirmed that he wasn’t joking. Pingalore said the shark humper’s friend, who was on vacation in Florida, had contacted the sports director after coincidentally seeing WKMG’s report on the story. The friend reached out in an effort to completely exonerate Gators football coach Jim McElwain, and Pingalore says he shared other photos from the fishing trip as proof.

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Pingalore had planned on showing the photos and possibly talking to the actual shark humper when the subject got skittish, particularly after a New York Post article which suggested animal rights activists were furious. The plan to use the photos has fallen apart, but Pingalore is absolutely certain that the shark humper is “100 percent not McElwain” or Jimmy John’s sandwich chain owner Jimmy John Liautaud.

(The Florida Gators told Deadspin Monday that McElwain was not the man pictured. Jimmy John’s told Deadspin Tuesday that the man was also not Liautaud. A certain pro sports franchise told Deadspin Wednesday that the man was not its team president, and that there would be “consequences” if Deadspin pursued the story.)

As for the intent behind the photo op, Pingalore relayed on Bianchi’s show that the pose was supposed to be cheeky:

“They were mocking, according to this gentlemen, I guess in the UK there’s some websites that naked women get on sharks, so they were trying to mock what women were doing with sharks.”

Obviously.

[Orlando Sentinel | News 6]