Top 20 Shocking Viral Videos You Didn’t Know Were Fake
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Shocking Viral Videos You Didn’t Know Were Fake.
For this list, we’ll be looking at fake, scripted, or planned viral videos that took the internet by storm.
Did you fall for any of these? Let us know in the comments below!
#20: Burning Man GoPro
This video begins with a wide and gorgeous drone shot of Burning Man, but the view is ruined when the camera falls to the ground. It’s then picked up by a masked man who high-fives his buddy and takes it to the concert. According to the video description, the GoPro randomly dropped off the drone and was eventually taken to the lost and found. It looks quite convincing, but this was actually created by an Australian production studio called The Woolshed Company. The video was part of a wider social experiment that was meant to study the shareability of videos without significant promotion. Suffice to say, it worked. This GoPro video alone has well over four million views.
#19: Stormtrooper Falls Down Stairs
Released in the summer of 2015, this video has garnered over ten million views and hundreds of thousands of likes. The concept is simple - a man dressed as a stormtrooper valiantly marches down some stairs to the sounds of the “Star Wars” theme. However, the music hilariously cuts out as the man trips and falls down the remaining steps. Maybe the stunt itself was real, but the video was planned. Attentive viewers may notice that this was uploaded by a user named Terry Tufferson. This is the same account that uploaded the Burning Man GoPro video. Seeing a pattern? Yep, this video was also created by The Woolshed Company, and it certainly won’t be the last time they appear on this list.
#18: Sydney Lightning Strike
Told you it wouldn’t be the last time you saw Woolshed. The company strikes again with this viral video, which is wonderfully titled, “Lightning almost strikes girl in Sydney!!! Boyfriend's reaction is priceless!!!!” It shows a woman walking on a rocky Australian beach when a bolt of lightning strikes just feet away. This causes the boyfriend to run and scream in hilariously indiscernible language. Woolshed certainly knows how to make a funny video, that’s for sure. This one isn’t even that complex. They just needed some CGI lightning and a funny voice actor and they were off to the viral video races.
#17: Pig Rescues Baby Goat
This is a video we’d all love to believe. It takes place at a petting zoo and opens with a screaming goat thrashing around in the water. Just when all hope seems lost, a pig swims into view and nudges the goat back towards land, effectively saving its life. It’s heartwarming, it’s adorable - what’s not to love? Well, how about the fact that it’s complete nonsense? Yep, this video was staged and made for the Comedy Central series “Nathan for You.” The hoax was seen by millions and was even picked up by many reputable sources, including “Nightly News” and “Good Morning America.” Suffice to say, Nathan did indeed fool us all.
#16: Crazy Guy Runs Into Outback Tornado To Take Selfie
Everyone knows this video. It’s a classic. An Australian man spots a tornado in the outback and gets very excited about it. He decides to get closer and actually runs out of his car to film himself next to the tornado. What follows is the stuff of meme legend. But when sussing out fake videos, a good idea is to always look at the uploader. Once again, this video was posted by Terry Tufferson, who claims it was sent to him by a fan. Yeah, there is no “fan.” This is once again the work of The Woolshed Company, and it was made to promote a found footage movie called “Into the Storm.”
#15: German Ducks
There’s just something about animal videos that the internet devours with reckless abandon. They’re adorable, what can we say? In this one, a German man films some ducks that are waiting to cross the road. Once the crossing light changes to “walk,” the ducks calmly stroll across the street to the other side. Right away, red flags should be popping up. Despite the video screaming “fake,” it quickly spread through social media and amassed millions of views and likes. As it turns out, this was nothing but a cute educational video made by a marketing company called Ed Saarland. Ducks are cute and all, but we don’t know if they’re smart enough to use crosswalks…
This video goes all the way back to the internet dark ages - 2009. It was a different time, one in which we easily fell for silly stuff like this. Megawoosh shows a man named Bruno Kammerl sliding down a gigantic water slide, flying through the air, and landing in a small inflatable pool. This video was made to advertise Microsoft, and it was entirely fake. Well, not entirely. The man at the top of the slide and the splashing water were real. The man flying through the air was entirely animated. Combine them with clever camera tricks and editing, and you have yourself one of the greatest viral videos in internet history.
#13: Bear Attack
Everyone knows this one. Uploaded in 2014, it has since amassed over 38 million views and counting. You know how it goes - a man is riding his bike through the woods when he’s suddenly accosted by a giant bear. The bear chases the biker for some time, but the man is eventually forced to abandon the bike. He then hides from the bear in the foliage, and viewers tense up in anticipation. Millions of people watched the video, and their hearts were racing just as fast as the biker’s. Of course, his was beating from the exercise, not the fear. Because there was nothing to fear. The bear wasn’t real and was quite obviously added in post.
#12: Greatest Freakout Ever
There’s nothing like a good gamer freakout. As the title suggests, this is the best of them all. Uploaded by wafflepwn, the video depicts a young boy having the tantrum of his life after his “World of Warcraft” account was canceled. The boy screeches and flails like he’s possessed, hits himself in the head with a shoe, and puts a remote control somewhere that it definitely doesn’t belong. This video became insanely popular, but alas, it was all staged. In fact, wafflepwn went on to make an entire “Greatest Freakout Ever” series with his brother, who is very much in on the joke.
#11: Ultimate Selfie Stick Fight
Our old friend Terry Tufferson strikes again with this video, which was uploaded in July of 2015. A man shows off the yacht he is riding on and gazes at the beautiful views of Sydney Harbour. But that’s not the best of it. Before long, a fight breaks out on deck between two men who beat each other with selfie sticks. The fight ends in a gloriously exciting fashion when one of the men lifts the other and throws him overboard. Ironically, this is when the video itself goes overboard. If the questionable acting didn’t tip you off, then surely that did. It’s a funny video, but it is 100% staged by The Woolshed Company.
#10: Man Fights Off Great White Shark
Woolshed has uploaded a good number of fake viral videos, but this is probably their greatest work. Uploaded once again by Terry Tufferson, this one shows a man going for a little dive in Sydney Harbour. Almost immediately after landing in the water, he is accosted by a great white shark. The video title claims that the man “fights off” the shark, when really he just screams in panic and waves it away a couple of times. Still scary, but still very fake. There’s some clever editing involved in stitching the footage together, but at no time was that swimmer in danger. The video has amassed over 40 million views on YouTube, which probably makes it one of the most popular fake videos ever made.
#9: Ultimate Batting Practice
And some people say baseball is a boring sport. Having amassed over seven million views, this video is exceptionally made. A softball player hits a ball into a pitchback. It then bounces off numerous other pitchbacks before making its way back to the batter, who hits it back to the first pitchback and starts the whole thing over again. The video features some nearly flawless editing, but there are mistakes that signal it as fake. The ball hits the first pitchback in the exact same place and the bat makes the exact same noise every single time. Plus, the second ball disappears in a very unrealistic manner after he hits it into the outfield. Still a great effort, though!
#8: McLaren Windshield Smash
Don’t you hate bad camera work? This very famous viral video shows the windshield of an orange McLaren getting smashed by a passing skateboarder. Well, no, it doesn’t show that, exactly. The cameraman films the car driving up, and then we only hear the smashing. People did a lot of digging to prove that this video was fake, like tracking down the uploader and discovering that he works at a company that rents out exotic cars. Hmmmm. He later admitted that the video was indeed fake. The car belonged to his company, and its windshield was already cracked from a previous accident. He just decided to have some fun with some friends, and the resulting video went mega viral.
#7: Walking on Water
It’s been a legend for millennia, and here it is, right in front of our eyes. It’s easy to see why this video has amassed over 15 million views. It was uploaded by TheUlfG, who claims in the description that they have invented a new sport called “Liquid Mountaineering.” In other words, walking on water. The video is very well made, and yes, it shows men running on water with the help of so-called “water repellent equipment.” Sadly, this feat is still impossible. Maybe in another couple of decades we’ll have the technology! No, this video was made by a company called Hi-Tech Sports, and they pulled off the optical illusion with the help of an underwater platform.
#6: Gyro Drop Tower
We all love a scary roller coaster, but a balance must be found between safety and the illusion of danger. We wouldn’t go on them if we actually thought we would die. And then there is Korea’s supposed Gyro Drop Tower. The tower extends and doubles its own size before dropping the riders into a free fall. They then swing around the pole at insane speeds before retracting back into the ride and quickly dropping to the ground. If it all seems a little outlandish, that’s because it is. Someone has added CGI trickery to an existing ride in Seoul called The Gyro Drop. The very beginning of the video is real. The extending tower and everything after it is pure digital animation.
YouTube was changed forever in June 2006. That is when Lonelygirl15 started vlogging, and her story quickly captivated millions of viewers. Lonelygirl15 was supposedly a teenager named Bree who slowly revealed a terrifying and exciting truth about her personal life. The story went in some insane places, and millions were glued to YouTube anxiously anticipating the next vlog. In essence, “lonelygirl15” is massively influential in the spheres of web series’, vlogging, and professional YouTubing. And that is just what it was. “Lonelygirl15” was nothing but a fictional web show starring Jessica Lee Rose as the titular character. For a while there, they actually had us fooled.
#4: Worst Twerk Fail EVER
You all know how it goes - a woman is twerking against the door in her apartment when someone walks in, causing the woman to crash into the nearby table. The woman’s pants soon catch fire, and she screams in mingled pain and surprise. It’s shocking, it’s funny, it’s unpredictable - it has all the markings of a great viral video. Almost as if it was manufactured that way! This video was filmed for “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” and the full clip shows Kimmel bursting in with a fire extinguisher and giving a playful thumbs up to the camera. If anything, this video proves the deceptive magic of editing. Even if that edit is a simple cut right before an important reveal.
#3: The Driveway Robot
Watching this video, we all thought “The Terminator” was just minutes away. It depicts a creepy black, red, and white robot peacefully strolling up a driveway. The robot’s unsettling appearance combined with its realistic walking had many convinced that the robot apocalypse was finally upon us. But no one questioned why robot technology had seemingly advanced decades overnight. You see, that’s not a real robot. It’s a CGI robot called Adam, and he actually starred in his own short film and web series. The fact that millions fell for this video really speaks volumes to how far CGI has come.
#2: Evan Longoria’s Crazy Catch
Evan Longoria may be a three-time Gold Glove winner, but even he’s not this good. This video has been seen millions of times, and it shows Longoria effortlessly saving a reporter’s life. He is speaking to the reporter just off the first baseline when a hit ball comes speeding directly for her head. His Spidey senses tingling, Longoria quickly turns around and snatches the ball out of the air. You may ask yourself - why are they conducting an interview on the field in the middle of batting practice, and with their backs turned to the batter no less? They’re doing that because the video was staged. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Evan Longoria does not have superhero reflexes.
#1: Golden Eagle Snatches Kid
This Golden Eagle is the golden standard of fake viral videos. It’s what all fake videos aspire to be. Uploaded by MrNuclearCat, it shows the eagle floating through the air before dive-bombing a child and lifting him off the ground. The child is physically fine, but he was given the scare of his (very short) life. The video swept through the net and amassed millions of views, and it even made its way onto mainstream news outlets like “Good Morning America.” It was made by three college students who were studying digital design at Montreal’s National Animation and Design Center. Amazingly, both the eagle and the child are CGI. With stellar work like this, we don’t think they need any more schooling…