“Husband mows lawn” isn’t exactly the most exciting caption for a photo, but this image captured by Cecilia Wessels over the weekend defies convention. Was it real or photoshopped? That is the question.
The man pictured, casually going about his weekend gardening is Theunis Wessels, and he was photographed by his wife as a tornado passed by their home in Alberta, Canada. The startling image was publicly shared on Cecilia’s facebook on Friday and went viral over the weekend as news media and blogs picked it up.
Responding to the excitement around her viral photo, Cecilia said that mowing the grass was on her husband’s to-do list and as he started, she went for a nap. She said she was woken shortly after retiring for her rest by their young daughter, who was concerned that a tornado had formed in the sky and her father was refusing to stop mowing and come inside. Although Theunis revealed to the press that he was keeping an eye on the tornado as the twister formed, and that it was further away than it appears in the picture. He also said it was in fact travelling away from their home, so he wasn’t worried.
Speaking to the Times Colonist, Cecilia said: “I literally took the picture to show my mum and dad in South Africa, ‘Look there’s a tornado,’ and now everyone is like, ‘Why is your husband mowing the lawn?’” Cecilia Wessels said Saturday.
“Our whole street, everyone was on their back patios taking pictures.”
— ON Tornado Watch (@OntarioTornado) June 3, 2017
— Ryan T (@rtt05) June 2, 2017
— Kyle Brittain (@KyleTWN) June 3, 2017
Residents of Alberta, where the super cell (rotating thunder storm) occurred, took to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to share their images of the storm, using the hashtag #abstorm. Given the scope of the number of pictures shared by other people from the same place, the timings of the original post and the fact that the Wessels are Alberta locals, it’s highly unlikely their fascinating viral image was faked. No injuries were reported following the storm and only minor reports of damages to property were recorded, according to Environment Canada.