This video is a digital animation of a tornado created by a 3D designer

Copyright AFP 2017-2020. All rights reserved.

A video has been viewed tens of thousands of times in multiple posts on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook that claim it shows a storm in Libya. The same footage was also viewed in posts on Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit and Bilibili which suggested it shows a real weather phenomenon. The claim is false; the footage is actually a digital animation created by a 3D designer, who originally published it on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram in June 2019.

The video was shared here on Facebook on December 16, 2020. It has been viewed more than 20,000 times and shared more than 320 times.

A screenshot, taken on January 4, 2021, of the misleading post.

The Turkish-language caption translates to English as: “Footage taken this morning in Libya Trablus”.

Trablus is the Turkish form of Tripoli, the capital of Libya.

The 10-second video purports to show a tornado on a coastline. 

Comments from some Facebook users in response to the misleading post suggest they believed the video was genuine.

One user wrote: “Microburst natural event. How little the teachers informed us. I almost feel as if I haven't observed anything in climatology class and there are many natural events like this.”

Another wrote: “It would be a tragedy if this incident happened above a settlement on land..”.

A selection of comments, taken on January 4, 2021, under the misleading Facebook post.

The same video was shared here, here, here, here and here on Facebook; here, here, here and here on Twitter and here and here on YouTube alongside a similar claim.

It was also shared alongside a claim which suggests it shows a real weather phenomenon in English and Chinese here, here and here on Facebook; here on Twitter; here on Instagram; here and here on Pinterest; here, here and here on Reddit; and here, here, here on Bilibili, a Chinese video-sharing website.

The claim is false. 

A reverse image search on Google found the same video published here, here and here on the Instagram, YouTube and TikTok accounts named orphicframer. They are listed as being owned by Alexandru Dineci, a 3D designer based in Jersey in the Channel Islands.

A screenshot, taken on December 30, 2020, of the YouTube video.

The video is titled: “Tornado in Jersey, Channel Islands (CGI simulation)”. The description shows that it was edited with Adobe After Effects and Camera 4D. 

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading post (L) and YouTube video from Orphicframer (R):

A screenshot comparison of the misleading post and the YouTube video from Orphicframer.

Dineci also posted the breakdown of the same tornado animation here on his Instagram stories highlights and here on his TikTok account on May 11, 2020.

Screenshot, taken on December 30, 2020, of the creator’s Instagram story highlight.

The misleading post was also debunked by fact-check site Hoax Eye here on June 23, 2020.