Over the weekend, in between depressing news about the economy and the continued sagas of Michael Phelps and Alex Rodrgiuez, an inspirational story appeared on the Associated Press news wire. It detailed American Jennifer Figge's accomplishment in becoming the first woman to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. Many media outlets (including Yahoo!) jumped on the story that seemed almost too good to be true. That's because it was.
The AP originally reported that Figge swam from the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa to Trinidad (2,100 miles) in 25 days while escorted by a boat. She was said to have rested every night and hopped back in the water in the morning.
... The real issue stemmed from the fact that swimming 2,100 miles in 25 days is impossible. (Some newspapers picked up on this.) ... Michael Phelps swimming his fastest would take about 20 days to cover that distance. And that's his fastest pace, sustained for three weeks, without ever stopping. Impossible.
Yet, somehow, the AP ran the story even though a few seconds of thought and a pocket calculator was enough to disprove it.
From Jammie Wearing Fool.