‘Golden Eagle Snatches Kid’ video fools the Internet

Melissa Knowles

One of the newest videos making its way around the Net has turned out to be a hoax. In "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid," the supposed eagle in Montreal, Canada, is first seen soaring in the sky above. It suddenly dives down and appears to grab a toddler, picking him up for a brief moment before dropping him back down.

The encounter seems plausible at first, but it has just been confirmed to be the work of clever computer graphics wizardry. For an entire day until now, YouTube and blog commenters debated whether the video was authentic.

One commenter swore it was the real deal: "That is so real... Eagles do do this sometimes." One viewer took a comical approach to debunk the video, writing, "Kidnapping children is ill-eagle." Other users made a more technological assessment. User Cyatek uploaded his own version of the video, "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid -- Fake," in which he zoomed in and slowed down the video, revealing what he said was some clever CGI. Cyatek points out that the child hangs in the air after being dropped in an unnatural way and that the shadows cast by the eagle and the kid are not consistent.

Even bird expert Kenn Kaufman weighed in, saying that the bird featured is not a golden eagle and that the bird in the video does not exist in the wild in North America.

Some people also brought up the existence of an annual Hoax the Internet contest held at a 3D animation school in, you guessed it, Montreal. This theory proved to be the most accurate as the visual arts school Centre NAD released a statement confirming the video was fake. The statement reads, in part, that it "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." Fine work indeed as the video was able to sustain a debate for 24 hours, racking up more than 1.2 million views during that time.

See how viewers were able to debunk it in the video below.

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