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Shark In The Woods, also known as Shark In The Forest, Floating Shark In The Woods or Flying Shark In The Woods, refers to multiple images of sharks floating through the woods that trended in memes as an image macro in 2023. The paintings were created by Australian artist Chris Austin in 2023 and 2023, who originally posted them to Instagram and Facebook. The images were paired with text captions such as "Deep In The Missouri Woods" and "Heard There Was Tomfoolery Here," among others.


On March 22nd, 2019, artist Chris Austin posted a photograph of one of his paintings to Instagram,[1] showing orca whales flying around a house, gaining roughly 2,200 likes in four years. The photo was posted to his Facebook[2] on the same day. The painting was his first of an ongoing series of dream landscapes involving whales and sharks floating in land-based settings. On May 2nd, 2019, he used his Instagram[3] account to post his first painting in the series that featured a shark, gaining roughly 3,100 in four years (shown below, left). Austin continued the series and social media posts going into 2023, leading to an Instagram[4] post on September 3rd, 2023 that showed a shark in the woods, gaining roughly 10,600 likes in a year and a half (shown below, right).

The aforementioned shark in the woods painting became the predominant image macro used in later memes. Currently, the first discovered meme to use the shark in the woods image was posted by iFunny[5] user @MoonLittt on October 13th, 2023, which made fun of a graph that showed shark attacks happening in the U.S. state of Missouri. The image read, "Deep in the Missouri woods," and over the course of a year and a half, the post gained roughly 29,600 smiles (shown below).

CODOTTY Shark Attacks! Number of attacks: 1 made with mematic 2-10 11-100 101-500 MoonLittt.iF >500 Deep in the Missouri woods.


On October 15th, 2023, iFunnyer[5] @MoonLittt's meme was reposted by the Instagram[6] page @fakenewsnetwork, gaining roughly 58,500 likes in a year and a half. On October 21st, 2023, the meme was reposted to Reddit[7] on the /r/memes subreddit, gaining roughly 8,900 upvotes in the same timeframe.

Also on October 21st, 2023, Twitter[8] user @fyrewyre_ tweeted the image with a caption related to the I'm Coming Over You Better Not Be Tweaking meme, gaining roughly 21,400 likes in a year and a half (shown below, left). Others in the replies posted more memes, including videos and fan edits. For instance, on October 21st, Twitter[9] user @Ac03x45dh3 tweeted a video, gaining over 100 likes (shown below, right).

marianne @fyrewyre_ her im coming over you better not be flying shark in the woods me: 11:31 AM. Oct 21, 2023 :

On December 24th, 2023, Tumblr[11] user teathattast posted an iteration that followed the "I sure hope we don't see that tree with the thick ass" format, gaining roughly 1,200 notes in a year and a half (shown below, left). Going into early 2023, a cropped version of the meme was shared to Instagram[10] (shown below, right).

I Sure Hope We Dont See That Giant Flying Shark In The Woods Hey Walter and Jesse
Deep in the Missouri woods.

Sometime in late 2023, an unknown meme creator made a compilation video of multiple Chris Austin shark paintings set to nature sounds. Currently, the first discovered repost of the video was uploaded by YouTuber[12] Meme Asylum on December 12th, 2023, gaining 1,400 views in five months (shown below).

Going into 2023, reposts of the aforementioned video went viral on TikTok[13] and Instagram.[14] On February 18th, 2023, TikToker[15] @mxnke.vfx made an edit with the shark paintings using the bird sounds TikTok sound effect, gaining roughly 160,100 plays and 31,300 likes in three months (shown below).

@mxnke.vfx Idea from @shake spammer and Water mark from @Ice spice Ty ily mommy’s ? #vsp #edit #sharkinthewoods #KAYKissCountdown ♬ Bike Riding – Relaxing Guru & Baby Sleep Music & Baby Lullaby

Going into 2023, viral posts related to the meme spread to Twitter.[16]

Various Examples

Fredward, Fredward @Fredward3948576 this is what it feels like to have social anxiety 12:40 PM - May 9, 2023 26.9K Views . :


Search Interest


External References

[1] Instagram – @chrisaustinart

[2] Facebook – chrisaustinart

[3] Instagram – @chrisaustinart

[4] Instagram – @chrisaustinart

[5] iFunny – @MoonLittt

[6] Instagram – @fakenewsnetwork

[7] Reddit – /r/memes

[8] Twitter – @fyrewyre_

[9] Twitter – @Ac03x45dh3

[10] Instagram – @howitfeelstochewfivegum

[11] Tumblr – teathattast

[12] YouTube – Meme Asylum

[13] TikTok – @eliashmia3

[14] Instagram – @childmali

[15] TikTok – @mxnke.vfx

[16] Twitter – @s4m31p4n

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