Fact Check: Mount K (AI) Rush! This Amazing Video Was Generated by AI

AI Video & Visuals

A shocking video that has been widely shared purportedly shows Mount Kailash, an imposing peak in the Himalayas on the southwestern edge of Tibet, shrouded in lenticular clouds – some calling it a “manifestation of the violent forces of nature” while others say it's the wrath of Shiva, the Hindu god believed to reside there.

A person shared the video on Instagram, writing, “Mt. Kailash, the king of sacred mountains. Anyone who sees this can make a wish. Feel the majesty and serenity of Mt. Kailash. Mt. Kailash offers deep purification of the soul.” You can see the archive here.

India Today Fact Check has learned that the video was created by a Tibet-based artist using Midjourney, who has created several similar videos of Mount Kailash using AI.

Our investigation

A reverse search of the video's keyframes led us to the same video, shared on June 28 by the Instagram account “Pure Tibetan,” which also uncovered several other videos showing similarly surreal lenticular clouds surrounding Mount Kailash.

We subsequently discovered that the Instagram account's profile link pointed to a website called “Kailash Energy,” which is based in Ngari County, Tibet Autonomous Region, China, and sells Tibetan crystals, gemstones, souvenirs, and accessories such as necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings.

So we reached out to Sonam and Namgyal, the Tibet-based artist duo behind the Instagram account, who told us they wanted to share the supernatural and awe-inspiring phenomenon of Mount Kailash with the help of AI. They captured photos of Mount Kailash and edited them using Midjourney.

Lenticular clouds are unusual lens-shaped or saucer-shaped clouds that are usually caused by strong winds at high altitudes, especially near mountain ranges. This cloud formation has been reported to have been spotted previously in Sichuan province, the mountains of Turkey, and Mount Fuji in Japan.

As you can see, the image of Mount Kailash surrounded by lenticular clouds was clearly created using AI.


Prateek Chakraborty

release date:

July 11, 2024

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