In the backdrop of the lockdown, videos of wild animals are surfacing on the internet. Among them, a video of humpback whales is doing rounds on social media claiming that it is from Bombay High and is shot in the oilfield operated by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). Bombay High is an offshore oilfield 176 km off the west coast of Mumbai, India, in about 75 m of water. The oil operations are run by India’s ONGC.
The caption of the viral video reads,” Let’s welcome the whales back, spotted at ONGC Mumbai. Nature is already healing with the lockdown. Sights we never get to see. It’s their world too.”
We found that several users shared the viral video on Facebook and Twitter. However, many users also raised the issue of authenticity of the viral video. Several readers sent the viral video to Newschecker’s WhatsApp helpline number for verification.
With the help of ‘InVid,’ we got multiple keyframes of the video. By using a reverse-image search on one of the keyframes, we found a video uploaded on the YouTube channel ‘Pak Ali Channel. The video was uploaded on August 27, 2019. We analyzed the viral video, and the video uploaded on YouTube from frame to frame and established that it is the same video doing rounds on social media.
We also found the same viral video uploaded on another YouTube channel named “Zakaria Putra 3” The video was uploaded on September 2, 2019.
Reverse Image Search led us to the same video, uploaded by BBC News Indonesia in August 2019 on their Twitter handle. According to the caption, a group of humpback whales can be seen crossing the Karimunjawa Sea, which is an Indonesian archipelago in the Java Sea.
During our search, we found an official statement of ONGC Spokesperson on the viral video. In a statement given to Hindustan Times, ONGC Spokesperson said, “It’s heartening to see marine life thriving. However, mobiles are not allowed in ONGC offshore installations. Therefore, this video has not been shot at/near any ONGC offshore installation,”
It is clear from our fact check that a video of whales viral on social media with a claim that they were spotted near Bombay High and is shot in the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is false.
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