BBC Admits to Faking Viral Footage of Volcanic Eruption


The BBC apologized after admitting that footage from one of its nature programs had been digitally altered to make a volcanic eruption appear more impressive.

Here’s the video in question, along with another tweet from the BBC boasting about how it had gone “viral.”

But in the article announcing “how [they] filmed it,” the BBC announced that the video had been created by taking recent footage of a Patagonian volcanic eruption and superimposing lightning from another. “The lightning shots were taken by an award-winning Chilean photographer, of a nearby Patagonian volcano, Cordón Caulle four years earlier during its eruption, using long exposure techniques,” they admit.

In a later statement, the BBC apologized for deceiving viewers. “In order to show viewers the extraordinary spectacle of a dirty thunderstorm with lightning flashes that would be impossible to capture in a single camera, a composite image was put together from footage from two Patagonian volcanoes. However, we recognise that this should have been made clear and so have published a blog post to explain the techniques used.”

This isn’t the first time the BBC has been accused of faking footage for its nature documentaries. In 2011, the network was criticized for implying footage of a polar bear birth was taken in the wild, when the cubs were actually born in a zoo.

[Image via screengrab]
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