CAMBRIDGE, Md. - Steve Vilnit didn’t expect to become Internet famous for a picture he took one sunny day back in November.


Vilnit, director of Fisheries Marketing for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, snapped a plain photo of an oft-tried seafood demonstration – two fish tanks filled with murky algae; one packed with oysters.


Within an hour, the tank filled with oysters was clear. The contrast of the two tanks was startling enough to be reposted online 6,000 times from Vilnit’s Twitter account, before it was picked up and republished on three of the most highly trafficked websites in the world: Reddit, Imgur and Upworthy.


“Almost immediately it started blowing up,” Vilnit said.


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