What 'project' is being referred to?: It claims that while constructing a three-dimensional (3D) model of the "first human ever made by God," scientists at Princeton made a model that resembled Hollywood actor Vin Diesel.
What is the truth?: The graphic shared in the claim is a 3D design of actor Vin Diesel from his film 'Riddick,' and was created by an artist Vitaly Tenishev.
Moreover, Princeton University's Media Relations Director Michael Hotchkiss told The Quint that the post was a parody.
How did we find out?: We ran a reverse image search on the photograph, which led us to a tweet by Alamo Drafthouse NYC, a verified Twitter account for a movie theatre.
This account had also shared the claim. However, continuing in a thread, they mentioned that they were "a movie theatre, not an academic journal,"
Are Princeton University scientists working on this?: The Quint then wrote to Princeton University's communications team for clarification regard the claim.
Responding in an email, Princeton University's Media Relations Director Michael Hotchkiss said, "This post is a parody."
During our search to look for claims, we found that the statement "Scientists at Princeton University have reconstructed this 3D model..." was used as a meme template, where users share photographs or graphics of different celebrities.
On Twitter, we saw that users were sharing similar claims using photographs and graphics depicting notable persons such as Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, Twitter CEO Elon Musk, Hollywood actor Dwayne Johnson and so on.
Facebook, too, had users widely sharing Diesel's likeness with the claim, as well as that of former Rolling Stones member Keith Richards, and former Black Sabbath member Ozzy Osbourne.
Where is Vin Diesel's photo from?: A search for the image's source led us to an account belonging to one Vitaly Tenishev on ArtStation.com, where he had published the photograph as a 3D fan art project six years ago.
Conclusion: As per Princeton University's input, the post is a parody. We also found that the post's layout is a meme template, and that the photograph it uses in a 3D model of Diesel's likeness from a film.
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