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Fact-Check: Old CGI Video of Lightning Falsely Linked to Earthquake in Morocco

This video is old and created using CGI, it is unrelated to Morocco.

Published
WebQoof
3 min read
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A video showing a massive lightning striking on the ground is going viral on social media to claim that this happened moments before Morocco witnessed a devastating earthquake on 8 September.

This video is old and created using CGI, it is unrelated to Morocco.

An archive can be seen here.

(Source: X/Screenshot)

(Archives of similar claims can be seen here and here.)

What's the truth?: This video has been on the internet since 2020 which predates the recent earthquake.

  • Moreover, this visual is not real and is created using Computer-generated imagery (CGI) animation.

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How do we know that this is old?: On performing a reverse image search of some of the keyframes of the video, we came across a Facebook post from 14 March 2021.

  • The video caption stated that this video is an artwork created by '@jayhideaway'.

This video is old and created using CGI, it is unrelated to Morocco.

The video can be seen here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

  • Taking a cue, we found a TikTok profile of '@jayhideaway' which carried the same viral video.

  • This video was shared on 1 May 2020 and the caption read, "First a pandemic and now ALIENS?!?!?!"

  • The profile also carried several other animated videos.

This video is old and created using CGI, it is unrelated to Morocco.

This video was shared on 1 May 2020.

(Source: TikTok/Screenshot)

  • The profile's bio carried a link to an OpenSea account, an online marketplace for Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

  • OpenSea's bio specified that this account carries CGI artwork, it read, "Original Apocalyptic Video Art".

This video is old and created using CGI, it is unrelated to Morocco.

The account can be seen here.

(Source: OpenSea/Screenshot)

  • The account carried three videos for sale which included the viral video and it was titled 'The Visitors'.

  • This was priced at 35 ETH (ether) and was uploaded on 19 November 2021.

  • While performing a reverse image search, we found another post on X (formerly Twitter) carrying the same video.

  • This was shared on 10 June 2020 by an account named 'ufoofinterest.org' which posts information about UFOs.

  • The post stated that this video is fake and is created by Andy Fortenbacher.

  • He is a writer, director, and producer, according to his website.

  • Further, we checked Fortenbacher's social media pages but did not find the same viral video.

  • We have reached out to him for confirmation and the story will be updated once we receive a response.

Conclusion: Clearly, this old and animated video of massive lightning is going viral to claim that this is happened just before the earthquake struck in Morocco.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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