A collage of two videos where one of them shows a man giving a speech and the other depicts a bird spitting fire is widespread on social media. People have claimed that the bird can spit fire and is responsible for starting forest fires in the United States. It has also been claimed that the bird was allegedly mentioned 1,400 years ago in Islamic texts. Facebook user Mohammed Yunus posted the video with the same claim, which garnered over 3,000 views at the time of writing. (Archive link)


*अमरीका में हमेशा जंगलो में आग लगने की खबर सुनते थे ? अब जाकर पता चला है कि यह विडियो में देखा गया पक्षी आग लगा रहा है,अल्लाह के नबी सल्ललाहु अलयही वस्सलम ने 1400 साल पहले इस पक्षी का जिक्र कीया था,तब सहाबा ए इक्राम भी ताज्जुब करते थे ,

Posted by Mohammad Yunus Chhipa on Sunday, November 14, 2021

A few other Twitter users also promoted the visuals. (Link 1, Link 2)

The clip is widespread on Facebook. We received a few requests to verify it on the Alt News WhatsApp helpline number (+91 76000 11160).

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Cropping out the frames that depicted only the bird, we performed a reverse image search and found that it is actually a Southern Lapwing.

According to a portal named ebird, this species is most commonly found in South America and it lives near water bodies. However, the website doesn’t state anything about the bird’s supposed fire-breathing abilities.

Another reverse image search led us to the YouTube channel named ‘Fabricio Rabachim’ which posted the viral video in question. The channel has mentioned in its bio that it creates videos using visual effects (VFX).

Fire breathing species responsible for forest fires?

There are species of birds that hunt their prey by dropping burning twigs into their habitats. The blaze forces the smaller animals and bugs to flee their habitats, making them easier to capture. Known as ‘firehawks’, these birds are most commonly found in the jungles of Australia and include black kites and brown falcons.

Coming to the clip of the man talking, we noticed it has a watermark indicating it was uploaded by TikTok user ‘armra21’. Upon further research into this account, we discovered that it regularly shares stories and religious tales from the Quran. It also posted the viral clip, which cannot be accessed due to the ban placed on TikTok in India.

Using a reverse image search of the video frames, Alt News found this video uploaded on November 17, 2021 on the official YouTube channel of Abdul Dam Al Khaleel. The caption states that Khaleel tells viewers about a fire-breathing bird. As per the ‘About’ section of the channel, Dr Abdul is a researcher of scientific miracles in the Quran and Sunnah. A portion of the viral video appears in this clip.

Alt News also found the oldest instance of the video uploaded on YouTube on June 18, 2019.

A VFX video of a bird spitting fire was believed to be true.

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About the Author

Kinjal Parmar holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. However, her keen interest in journalism, drove her to pursue journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. At Alt News since 2019, she focuses on authentication of information which includes visual verification, media misreports, examining mis/disinformation across social media. She is the lead video producer at Alt News and manages social media accounts for the organization.