Social media has been going crazy in the past 24 hours, sharing a video of what is said to be a fireworks display for the Tokyo Olympics in Japan. The message – copied and pasted by most people – announces very movingly that since the Olympics had to be postponed to 2021 because of the pandemic, unfortunately the fireworks for the opening ceremony could not be stored that long… and so “the Olympic fireworks are displayed at this time. Please enjoy the Olympic fireworks under the beautiful Mount Fuji.”
Some added: “As much as I feel emotional watching this, but there is nothing we can do, except enjoy the Olympic fireworks set off under the beautiful Mount Fuji.”
The video is spectacular, and very enjoyable. But there’s no mention of it on the Tokyo Olympic website or social media channels. And the reason is that unfortunately this is fake. We’re not sure who decided to create this in the latest of many fabulous but fabricated stories during the pandemic (those dolphins in Venice, priests dancing to Jerusalema!)… but it’s taken off faster than an Olympic sprinter!
The truth is the video was first uploaded in 2015, has nothing to do with the Olympics, and isn’t even real fireworks. The display was created using FWsim, a computer simulation programme (you’ll notice the fireworks create no smoke in the sky), and was pretending to commemorate Mount Fuji’s World Cultural Heritage registration in 2013.
The good news is it means no animals suffered during the fireworks show! And, as one of the many people who posted a pirated copy of the video said: “Real or fake, it doesn’t matter. I think my heart is longing for something positive & some beautiful things to maintain my mind in this hard time. Just enjoy this beautiful scene and pray for peace.”