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Does a Viral Video Really Depict a Snowfall in the Philippines?

Outline
Video going viral via YouTube and social media posts claims to show a bizarre and unprecedented snowfall in the Philippines.

Snow

© Depositphotos.com/Gennadiy Poznyakov



Brief Analysis
The claims in the video are untrue.  The fake video is just a prank or a means of promoting its owner's YouTube Channel.  There are no credible news reports that confirm such a snowfall and experts have dismissed the video as fake. If true, then such an unusual event would have been covered by news outlets, not only in the Philippines, but all around the world.

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Example

Philippines' First Recorded Snowfall: Bizarre Phenomenon

A bizarre highly unusual phenomenon shocked the southern Philippine residents as of this 8:00 am (UTC+08:00) there were confirmed reports that a 3 straight hours of heavy snowfall was reported to certain areas in the Southern region.


Detailed Analysis


This rapidly circulating video supposedly depicts the first ever snowfall in The Philippines.  According to the video, which is couched as breaking news from a new YouTube Channel called "RodsburghNewsLive", the unprecedented snowfall lasted for three hours and caused extensive damage to crops in the country.

However, the claims in the message are untrue. Quite tellingly, there are no other news reports of such an event. Given that The Philippines is a tropical country and there are no records of snow ever falling there, it would be very remarkable for the mainstream media to ignore such an event. News outlet ABS-CBN has dismissed the video as fake, noting:

Don't fall for a fake YouTube video clip supposedly showing snow falling in Mindanao, a weather expert said Thursday.

The "Philippine snow" video clip making rounds online is fake, according to NHK World weather anchor Robert Speta.

Robert Speta suggests that the footage may show ash from a 2009 eruption at Mt. Mayon or perhaps a hail storm somewhere in the tropics. There is no way to tell by looking at the video that it was actually filmed in The Philippines.  The presence of a few tropical plants in the footage does not mean it was actually taken there.

The video mentions reports of crop damage worth several million dollars and quotes local scientists as stating that the phenomenon has never happened before in the country. And yet, no such reports have been published by any credible news outlets.

And, at the time of writing, RodsburghNewsLive featured only one other video depicting a six-year-old baseball player making a remarkable catch. Hardly a credible source of breaking news.

The video is nothing more than a prank, perhaps intended as a promotional vehicle for the new YouTube Channel.

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Last updated: July 26, 2013
First published: July 25, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
The Philippines
Snow in the Philippines? Fake, says expert
Fake Mindanao Snow Story Causes a Commotion