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FACT CHECK: Video of lightning striking roller coaster FAKE

WHAT WAS CLAIMED

The video showing lightning striking a roller coaster is real.

OUR VERDICT

Fake:

The video of a lightning hitting a roller coaster is fake and was created through a digital visual effects application.

Jun 13, 2024

VERA Files

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2-minute read

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A video of a deadly roller coaster ride hit by lightning is circulating among Filipino Facebook (FB) users. This clip is fake and was digitally manipulated.

On June 7, a reader on FB requested VERA Files to check the veracity of the clip. The blurry 26-second video of a roller coaster in slow motion going up and being hit by lightning was posted on May 28. It carried this text:

BUHAY KAPA PAAKYAT PERO PATAY KANA PABABA. Grabe huling rides na pala nila yan (YOU ARE STILL ALIVE GOING UP BUT YOU ARE ALREADY DEAD GOING DOWN. Turns out that was their last ride).”

Several netizens thought the video was real, with some praying for the supposed victims and telling people to take caution in the comment section. Others pointed out that it may be edited.

Reverse image search reveals that the video is fake and a work of a visual effects (VFX) artist.

VERA FILES FACT CHECK - THE FACTS: The circulating video of a roller coaster struck by lightning is fake. It was created through a digital visual effects application.

Instagram user javier.vfx uploaded the original video on April 9 with a caption and hashtags confirming it was created through a digital VFX application. The caption read:

“Lightning Thrill: Rollercoaster. AnimaciĆ³n 3D. #rollercoaster #cinema4D #aftereffects #3D #vfx

Javier.vfx also shares other digital animations on his feed.

This clip circulated with the wrong context in other countries, as debunked by Turkey-based fact-checking organization Teyit.

In June last year, lightning struck a roller coaster at an amusement park in Ohio in the United States but no casualties were recorded.

The video with the wrong context circulated among Filipino FB users as the country experienced heavy rainfall marked by scattered thunderstorms in some areas. Last May 29, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration announced the start of the rainy season.

The false video posted by a Filipino FB user garnered 23,000 reactions, 2,900 comments, 5,100 shares and 2,200,000 views.

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