The majority of these photos were not taken in Egypt

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

Eight photos circulating on Facebook in January 2021 have been shared alongside a claim they snow in Egypt. While the north African country has seen snowfall in recent years, six of the images were not taken in Egypt and the other two images show evidence of photo manipulation.

The photos were shared here on Facebook on January 29, 2021. The post has been shared more than 300 times and garnered more than 3,000 likes.

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post. Captured on February 1, 2021.

The post's Korean-language caption translates to English as: “Egypt where it snowed for the first time in 112 years.” 

Identical images have been shared in multiple other Facebook posts and articles, including here, here and here, alongside a similar claim.

Snow has previously been recorded in Egypt, where stifling heat can push temperatures past 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). In December 2013, a regional winter storm left suburbs in the capital Cairo with light snowfall for the first time in years, as reported here by AFP.

Reverse image searches found that six of the eight photos shared in the first misleading Facebook post were not taken in Egypt, while the other two images show evidence of photo manipulation.

Large snowball

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post. Captured on 3 February 2021.

The first image of a man playing with a snowball was published on the website for British newspaper The Telegraph on December 22, 2008. The photo is credited to Reuters.

A screenshot of the image on The Telegraph's website

The caption reads: “Men play with snow in after a rare heavy snowstorm in Amman, Jordan, on January 31.”

Heavy snow hit the Jordanian capital Amman on January 30, 2008, causing the closure of schools, universities and banks, according to this AFP report on January 31, 2008.

Ice sphinx

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post. Captured on February 1, 2021.

The photo of an ice-covered sphinx was in fact taken in the Chinese city of Harbin in 2013, as seen here on photo-sharing site Flickr. The photo tags include “Harbin ice festival” and “Harbin snow festival”.

Screenshot from Flickr with date and location circled in red by AFP. Captured on February 1, 2021.

The website of the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival also explains the sculpture is a snow artwork by artist La Priz. 

Kneeling man

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post. Captured on February 1, 2021.

The photo of a man kneeling in the snow was taken by AFP on December 13, 2013 in Israel, not Egypt.

The caption reads: “A Palestinian worshiper prays outside the Dome of the Rock at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem following a snowstorm on December 13, 2013.”

Screenshot of the AFP photo. Captured on February 1, 2021.

Snowball fight

Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock features in another Facebook post purporting to show photos of Egypt.

Screenshot of Facebook post taken on February 1, 2021.

The image was included in a video on the website for UK newspaper The Guardian on December 14, 2013. It is headlined: “Heavy snowfall prolongs emergency in Israel and West Bank”.

A screenshot of the video on The Guardian's website

Desert camels

Another image in the misleading posts shows a man wearing a keffiyeh in the desert. Camels can be seen in the background of the photo. The original photo was taken by Reuters news agency in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia on March 3, 2012.

The caption reads: “A Saudi man plays with snow after a heavy snowstorm in the desert, near Tabuk, 1500 km (932 miles) from Riyadh March 3, 2012.”

Screenshot of the Reuters photo. Captured on February 1, 2021.

Snow-covered mosque

The photo in the misleading posts that shows a snow-covered mosque was taken by Reuters in Homs, Syria on December 11, 2013.

“A view of Khalid bin al Walid Mosque covered with snow in Homs December 11, 2013,” the caption reads. 

Screenshot of the Reuters photo captured on February 1, 2021.

Desert snow

The photo of two men walking in a snow-covered desert was also taken by Reuters in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia on February 1, 2013.

The photo's caption reads: “Saudis walk through snow after a snowstorm in the desert, near Tabuk, 1,500 km (932 miles) from Riyadh February 1, 2013.”

Screenshot of the Reuters photo. Captured on February 1, 2021.

White pyramids

Another photo purports to show Egypt’s pyramids covered in a blanket of snow, but there is evidence it has been manipulated. The photo has circulated online since at least 2013, as seen here.

This blog post, which was published in September 2011, shows a similar image of the pyramids without snow, indicating it may have been doctored in the misleading posts.

Screenshot of the 2011 blog post. Captured on February 3, 2021.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading Facebook post (L) and the image published in the blog in 2011 (R).

A screenshot comparison between the photo in the misleading Facebook post (L) and the image posted in the blog in 2011 (R).

Various fact-checking articles, including from France 24, also state the photo has been manipulated.

Snow-covered sphinx

The final photo purports to show the Great Sphinx of Giza, which is located in Giza Necropolis, Egypt. The photo has circulated online as early as 2013, as seen here on Pinterest, a photo-sharing website. 

A similar photo of the Giza Sphinx has been published on the website of MISR TRAVEL, a national tour operator of Egypt. A side-by-side comparison of the two images indicates the snow is likely to have been added to the first image using photo editing software.

Comparison between the image in the misleading Facebook post (L) and the photo published on MISR TRAVEL (R).