RTL Today – Fact-checking: Sculpture by Iranian artists misrepresented online as real ‘man-dog hybrid’
A video has been viewed millions of times on Facebook, TikTok and YouTube which falsely claims it shows a ‘human-dog hybrid’. Comments on the posts indicated that some social media users believed the claim. But the clip actually shows a sculpture by two Iranian artists embellished with footage unrelated to animal testing.
The video was shared on Facebook on August 4.
It begins with footage of beagles being transported and caged, before moving to a clip of what appears to be a cell under a microscope.
He then flashes back to footage of a hairy human-like creature lying in the corner of a room.
Text overlaid on the video reads: “Human human and dog hybrid. Watch till the end.”
The video has been viewed over six million times alongside a similar claim on Facebook here; on TikTok here and here; and on YouTube here.
Comments on the posts indicated that some people thought the video showed an actual human-dog hybrid.
“I love science but man, never mind,” one wrote.
“These experiences are now becoming too much,” another commented.
In fact, the video shows a sculpture by two Iranian artists.
‘Imaginary Creature Sculpture’
A combined reverse image and keyword search found a photo of the sculpture published on the website of the Georges-Philippe and Nathalie Vallois art gallery in Paris, the French capital.
According to a press release on the same page, the photo is from a 2022 exhibition by Iranian artists Peyman Barabadi and Babak Alebrahim Dehkordi, also known as Peybak.
Responding to the fake messages, the artists told AFP that their work was “just a sculpture of an imaginary creature”.
“He’s made of sponge and robotic parts for his breathing motion,” they said.
Below is a screenshot comparing the video in one of the fake posts (left) and the photo of the sculpture posted by the art gallery (right):
A representative of the art gallery separately told AFP that the video shows the sculpture they exhibited.
“We exhibited [it] at the gallery and [it’s] NOT a human-dog hybrid at all,” the rep said.
“We are amazed that such nonsense can arise in people’s minds!”
The other clips from the video have already circulated in YouTube posts that don’t mention the human-dog hybrids.
Clips showing the caged beagles were taken from longer footage released by animal rights group Last Chance for Animals on November 30, 2017.
The post description says the footage was taken from an undercover investigation into animal testing labs in 2016.
“This footage shows how beagles are improperly housed, abused, and discarded when their ‘usefulness’ expires,” the caption reads in part.
The clip that appears to show the microscopic cell matches this YouTube video on a France-based health channel from May 12, 2013 titled “FIV ICSI”.
ICSI – an acronym for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection – is an in vitro fertilization technique in which a single sperm is injected directly into the egg.