Did The Simpsons predict the Baltimore Bridge collapse?

We found several posts circulating on X claiming that the American animated sitcom, The Simpsons, predicted the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore Harbour (Baltimore Bridge), in the US state of Maryland.

On 26 March 2024, a Singapore-flagged container ship, the Dali, collided with the Baltimore Bridge, resulting in devastating consequences. Following the collision, 6 workers who were filling potholes on the bridge plunged into the water. The bodies of 2 workers have since been recovered while 4 others remain missing and are presumed dead.

The Simpsons did it first?

The X posts feature an image which appears to be taken from an episode of The Simpsons. The image depicts a large ship colliding with a bridge, resulting in its destruction, with debris and smaller boats scattered on the water while characters from the show, including Homer Simpson and Lisa Simpson, are observed viewing the incident from the deck of another ship.

A Google reverse image search of the picture circulating on the X posts did not yield any similar images from The Simpsons episodes. Further online searches revealed that other fact-checkers have determined that the image was likely AI-generated after it was scanned using AI-detection tools.

In addition, we ran the same image through web-based AI-detection tools such as Illuminarty and AI or Not and the results indicated that the image was likely AI-generated.

One identifying factor suggesting that the image was likely AI-generated was the discrepancy in the character Lisa Simpson’s hairstyle. In the sitcom, Lisa typically has 8 spikes for hair, yet in the image circulating on social media, there were 10 spikes.

Sinking credibility

Following the claim that The Simpsons predicted the Baltimore Bridge collapse, the show’s executive producer Matt Selman clarified that the image circulating was fake and not from any actual episode.

Hence, the claim that The Simpsons predicted the Baltimore Bridge collapse before it occurred is false.

As Black Dot Research found while investigating another false claim associated with the Baltimore Bridge collapse, the incident has sparked various conspiracy theories, as the situation continues to evolve, and new information emerges.

The conspiracy theory that The Simpsons show has predicted real-life tragedies before they occur is not uncommon. The present claim may have been intended to revive such theories and increase the engagement that a social media post receives. However, Black Dot Research has previously fact-checked similar claims, such as the alleged prediction of the Titan submersible tragedy – which killed 5 people in the North Atlantic Ocean – but found no credible evidence supporting these claims.

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