When that video of a Golden Eagle snatching a baby from the ground (yes, that video of a Golden Eagle snatching a baby from the ground) hit the web last night, everyone immediately accepted its veracity.
Even on typically far-from-credulous Internet forums there was nary a "fake" and/or "gay" to be found.
Several hours later, those forums finally found their bearings, rolled up their sleeves, and got down to the task of debunking the latest viral tomfoolery before it had a chance to truly take off.
So here's what they have so far:
* Right off the bat, this is the uploader's only video. That's usually a pretty big tell.
* Secondly, news of this harrowing incident is nowhere to be found in Canadian media. Seems like a story someone would cover.
* Third, enhanced versions of the video as well as individual stills appear to reveal several flaws in the creator's CGI: The eagle's wing disappears for a brief moment while in flight; the bird's shadow disappears and reappears at various times; the baby appears to be moving upwards after being dropped by the eagle; and the baby's ragdoll-like fall suggests the physics are computer-made.
'A golden eagle tries to snatch a baby in Montreal,' and the video goes viral. But it's faked. Golden Eagle is a scarce visitor in the Montreal area, but the bird in the video is not a Golden Eagle, nor anything else that occurs in the wild in North America. This was clearly a setup: using a falconer's bird, and probably a fake toddler for the distant scene. With all the ignorance about nature that's out there already, the last thing we need is this kind of stupid garbage.
As for the source of this highly convincing fake, the Internet jury is still out on that. But one Farker pointed to the existence of 3D animation school in Montreal that holds an annual "hoax the Internet" exam.
Here's an example of their past work.
If you have additional proof or know the source of the hoax, please leave it below.
UPDATE: As first posited above, the "Golden Eagle Snatched Kid" video was in fact the work of students at the Montreal-based animation and design school Centre NAD:
The "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid" video, uploaded to YouTube on the evening of December 18, was made by Normand Archambault, Loïc Mireault and Félix Marquis-Poulin, students at Centre NAD, in the production simulation workshop class of the Bachelors degree in 3D Animation and Digital Design.
Congrats kids — next year's class will be hard-pressed to beat your "hoax the Internet" success.