The picture has circulated online since 2019 and shows an abandoned theme park in Japan

Copyright AFP 2017-2020. All rights reserved

An image has been shared thousands of times in multiple posts on Twitter and Facebook which claim it shows overgrown shrubs at a theme park in Malaysia during a coronavirus lockdown. The claim is false; the image shows an abandoned theme park in Japan; it has circulated online since at least May 2019.

This photo, posted on Twitter on May 2, 2020, has been retweeted more than 10,000 times.

The caption reads: “escalator sunway lagoon”.

Screenshot of misleading tweet

Sunway Lagoon is a theme park in Kuala Lumpur. 

It has been closed since March 18, 2020, the day Malaysia enforced a nationwide lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown has been extended until at least June 9, 2020. 

The same image has also been shared on Facebook here, here and here, alongside a similar claim.

The claim is false.

A reverse image search on Google found the image was posted on Instagram here May 8, 2019 by Instagram user espinas3.

Its caption reads in part: “Destined to be green. Abandoned escalator”.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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A post shared by Nagasaki,JPN 𓁿URBAN EXPLORER𓁿 (@espinas3) on

Below is screenshot comparison of the picture from the misleading post (L) and the Instagram post (R):

Screenshot comparison of the picture from the misleading post (L) and the Instagram post (R)

The Instagram account espinas3 belongs to a photographer based in Japan who specialises in urban exploration photography. 

The photographer also posted photos at the same location; a caption of this picture says: “Abandoned amusement park”. 

A further keyword search found this picture from a May 2010 blog post identifying the location as Nagasaki Holland Village, an abandoned Dutch-themed amusement park in the Japanese city of Saikai in Nagasaki prefecture.

Screenshot of a picture from a May 2010 blog post

Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading post (L) and pictures from the blog post (R):

Screenshot comparison of the picture from the misleading post (L) and a picture from the blog post (R)
Screenshot comparison of the picture from the misleading post (L) and a picture from the blog post (R)

Sunway Lagoon, the Malaysian theme park, also denied the claim in the misleading posts in a Twitter post published here on May 4, 2020. 

The Malay-language tweet translates to English as: “That’s a scary escalator, good thing ours are still good and not filled with leaves. But the idea can be used for Nights of Fright 8 bro. Got the feeling of entering a jungle looking for a ghost”.

CORONAVIRUS