Viral videos are videos that become popular worldwide, as a result of people sharing and forwarding the video to their friends and contacts, via e-mailing and social media. The success of a viral video is not necessarily based on the quality of the video itself, but based on if people like it. Most viral videos are comedic in nature and are talked about for many years following the video. Most viral videos have to get hundreds of thousands of views to be considered viral, but some get several million. For example, the Kony 2012 viral video received over thirty-four million views on its very first day. Within a year, that number had increased to one-hundred million views. Plus, the Kony 2012 video wasn’t comedic at all, and it was nearly half an hour in length. Gangnam Style, also released in 2012, has since acquired nearly two billion views.
If you’re reading this, chances are high that you’re at least familiar with the viral videos listed above, as well as many others. But what you may or may not know, is that many of these viral videos are staged. Granted, some videos are real, but still, it’s not hard to easily fool millions of people on the internet. Maybe you’ve watched a viral video and asked yourself, “was that real?”
There’s no simple way to tell if a video really was staged, but there still are some that we know for sure were staged clear and through. You might have suspected that these videos were staged, but could never have come to a final consensus. Hopefully, this article will help you confirm a video of being fake or staged, if you had previously suspected it being so. Here are the ten viral videos that you didn’t know where staged:
10 Star Wars Kid
This was one of the first and most famous viral videos of all time. The video depicts a Canadian student using a golf ball retriever as if it were a light saber. The student never intended the video to go viral, but when it did, he embarked on a career of a motivational speaker and encouraged other students to make videos as well. Previously, people had always thought that the video wasn’t staged and that the student really was performing all of the moves as they came to him in the video, but in reality, he had already rehearsed it several times before hand.
9 Eagle Snatches Baby from a Park
This video featured what the title said it did: an eagle sweeping down and picking up a baby from a park, before dropping him back down mere seconds later. The video attracted worldwide attention, but tens of millions views later; it was discovered to be a school project.
8 Rusty the Narcoleptic Dog
This is one of the most popular viral videos of all time, but the title of the video itself suggests that it is, in fact, staged: it’s impossible for dogs to become narcoleptic. This condition has only been identified in humans and in squirrels. It was later revealed that the dog used in the video was highly trained and was able to perform the tricks in the film based on cue.
7 Charlie Bit Me!
You may never have thought that a mom would use her boys on You Tube for extra money, but the mother of the boys in the famous, 'Charlie Bit Me' video staged the whole thing. She even had her sons use British accents in order to make the video more unique. The video is still extremely popular today, and features a young baby who bites his older brother’s finger, prompting the older brother to exclaim “Charlie bit me!” and “Ouch Charlie, that really hurt!” You may never have guessed that this video was staged, but it’s been confirmed by now that it was.
Lonelygirl15 started out as a girl with a video diary on You Tube, but quickly gained a large following and became a viral video. Because of the success of the video, Lonelygirl15 continued to make more video diary videos…but in late 2006, it was discovered that all of the subsequent videos were a scripted web series, and weren’t authentic at all.
5 1969 Moon Landing
You might laugh at the sight of seeing this entry on the list, let alone number five. Wasn’t the 1969 landing on the moon real? Yes, it was. But in early 2006, a video of the famous moment in history was uploaded to YouTube…except it was an entirely different version. Someone managed to film an exact replica of the moon landing on a California sound stage. Soon enough, it was discovered that this video was all a set up. Even at roughly forty-five seconds into the video, there is a ticket for the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain in one of the spacesuits of the astronauts, confirming that the viral video is in fact, a fake.
4 eHarmony Pitch
The 2011 eHarmony video became very popular with people, and spread quickly throughout the internet. With nearly thirty million views, the video certainly made you feel sorry for the girl in the film and her love for cats. But closer inspection of the video revealed that the same girl in the viral video also appeared in a Volkswagen commercial, confirming the video as being staged.
3 Balloon Boy
This video quickly gained traction in 2009: it depicted parents in Fort Collins, Colorado, who released their six year old son inside a hot air balloon and set it free into the air. But it turned out that the six year old boy was really in the attic of the family’s home for the whole time. This may come as a disappointment to some people, especially considering that the video made headlines in the news.
2 Jimmy Kimmel Viral Videos
It has recently been discovered that many of Jimmy Kimmel’s viral videos have been staged. One of his videos depicted a wolf outside the door of a U.S Olympian in Sochi for the winter Olympics, and a flaming twerking girl. Both videos were widely circulated around the internet…at least until they were discovered to be another of Kimmel’s pranks. Kimmel later admitted to the videos being staged, causing many media sources to play clips of Kimmel admitting the truth behind the videos.
1 Pig Rescues Baby Goat
This viral video is a classic example of one that can spread rapidly, and then make so much sense why it was staged. For instance, the title alone is enough to attract viewers. Not only do people love to see animals do crazy things, but seeing a pig rescue a baby goat alone would attract viewers who weren’t interested in animals in the first place. This video was viewed close to ten million times and was also shared close to ten million times. And it’s not hard to see why.
But unfortunately, the viral video turned out to be staged by Comedy Central as a promotional tool for their new show, Nathan for You. But what’s important about this video is that it shows you exactly what to do in order to make your video become viral. Whether you just want to show your video for fun, promote the content of it, or use it as an advertising tool like Comedy Central did, all you need is a clever title, a great hook and a convincing video, in order for it to have potential for going viral. This video stood out among the rest when people scrolled through You Tube, and that’s what garnered it its viral status. It’s up to you to determine if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but we can all agree it’s a good thing that no animals were harmed in the making of the video.