A circulating video on social media has claimed that worm-looking creatures fell from the sky in China
“The footage shot in Beijing, China of cars covered in worms that fell from the sky has caused social media to assume its clearly the end of time! Everyone at ground zero were simply told to carry an umbrella,” reads the caption of the video shared on Twitter.
The tweet was viewed over 20,400 times.
The footage shot in Beijing, China of cars covered in worms that fell from the sky has caused social media to assume its clearly the end of time!
Everyone at ground zero were simply told to carry an umbrella. 😏#RainOfWorms #China #Worms #Tremors pic.twitter.com/TttuCm2D1j
— ∼Marietta (@MariettaDaviz) March 9, 2023
The video shows worm-like creatures significantly covering vehicles parked along a street. Bigger versions of the worm-looking substance can also be seen on the road. Also, an individual can be spotted in the video carrying a red umbrella.
Checks by TheCable revealed that dozens of Twitter accounts posted the video with similar captions, suggesting that China recorded an incredible rain of worms.
Did China truly experience a rain of worms as claimed, here is what we found.
The plate numbers on the parked vehicles in the video show that the video was truly filmed in the Liaoning province, in northern China.
A report published by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation, titled – “Poplar Genetic Resources In North China: The Challenge Of Sustainable Forestry” – makes it known that poplar trees are prevalent in the Liaoning province of China.
“China has a distinctively rich flora of Salicaceae, and in particular of poplars. Out of more than 100 Populus species reported in the world, 53 have been described to occur in China (Xu, 1988; Zhao & Cheng, 1994), and 37 are distributed in North China,” the UN report reads.
A closer look at the video shows that the worm-like figures are static and not moving.
TheCabe spoke with Carlyn Yakubu, an agronomist, who said the claimed worms on the car “resemble the flower of a Catkin”.
“There are some trees called poplar trees and catkins that are commonly grown in China.
“Catkin is a type of compact inflorescence, characterized by apetalous flowers that are clustered in a spiral or whorled arrangement (similar to a warm shape) but not exactly worm.”
In April 2021, China Daily, a Chinese newspaper, reported that Beijing municipal government issued a statement warning residents of the catkin forecast.
The warning was to prepare residents and “related departments deal with the fuzzy mess and remind the public to take necessary prevention measures.”
“Beijing has a long history of planting willow and poplar trees. In the 1960s, the government had limited funding for greening projects in the capital, so the low-cost, fast-growing trees were widely planted,” the 2021 forecast reads.
The claim that China recorded worm rain is misleading. The worm-looking figures in the viral video are catkins from poplar trees, not worms or animals.
This fact check was produced by TheCable with support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck, International Fact-Checking Network, and African Fact Checking Alliance network.
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