Does this video show a camel ziplining across mountains?  

By June 6, 2024 Uncategorized

This clip that features a camel in a helmet ziplining across a long zipline in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been going viral on social media this week. Several TikTok videos and X posts claim that this is a method of transporting camels across the mountains, and that the clip shows the ziplining in action.

However, while the clip looks convincing at first glance (particularly in wide shots), scrutiny of certain details – such as close-up shots of the camel – looked rather dubious to us. A quick search further revealed that while the zipline, Jais Flight in the UAE, does exist and is currently the longest zipline in the world, they have never used it for transporting (or, for that matter, entertaining) camels.

Instead, we found that the clip was created last year – posted on the account of a travel agency on Instagram with a fairly clear disclaimer that the clip was made with CGI.

The video went viral on Instagram after being posted, and according to fact-checks carried out last year, it was actually created by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority as a way of promoting tourist attractions in the UAE. However, this past week, it has reappeared on other social media platforms such as X and TikTok with added misleading captions.

Therefore, the claim that camels are being transported over mountains by zipline is false. The video was produced with CGI and has been reshared with a false claim.

While the light-hearted nature of the video and non-malicious origin of the CGI video makes this fact-check feel a little whimsical, the issue of CGI or otherwise manipulated videos being taken and used to support false claims remains.

Based on our scan of responses to the viral posts on X, for instance, many responders were unaware that the video was CGI and appeared to take the clip at face-value – commenting and reposting the clip as an accurate depiction of a ziplining camel.

As technology that enables video editing and manipulated continues to become more sophisticated and accessible, it is important for us as audiences to be alert to anything that looks “off” and to be able to identify elements of videos that are digitally created – even if the video in question is of a cute camel.

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