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Viral video of Golden Eagle snatching kid rendered fake

If you haven’t had your mind blown from the YouTube clip that went viral last night, here’s your chance. The clip features a Golden Eagle swooping in from the sky and snatching a Montreal toddler, only to drop him after a few feet. The camera man then runs in to check on the situation, and found the child tearful but apparently uninjured.

In less than 24 hours, the video received more than five million views (and counting), alongside various speculations that the event transpired was obviously fake. “Use your right arrow button to go frame by frame as the eagle swoops down. Pay attention to the shadow. Yep, it all of a sudden appears out of nowhere,” a YouTube commenter notices. “All the people walking [also] don’t turn their heads or notice eagle at all.” Which would be some fine indicating factors, in addition to an eagle watchers Twitter account pointing out that the bird is “not even a golden eagle,” and instead a “juv eastern imperial eagle not known to frequent Montreal parks.” You know, if you want to get that technical.

Today, a Canadian design school have come forward, claiming credit for the viral prank. “The ‘Golden Eagle Snatches Kid’ video, uploaded to YouTube on the evening of December 18, was made by Normand Archambault, Loïc Mireault and Félix Marquis-Poulin,” said the statement by Centre NAD. The three students created the CGI video as part of their project in a product simulation class. Although the students did a fine job fooling some of the Internet world, clearly they have some work to do if they want to be better product simulators. After all, there are people out there who can actually tell the difference between eagles.

So, as much as you’d like to believe the forces of nature are that wild, we’re sorry to say the clip’s a hoax. But you … already knew that, right?

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