FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Day Of The Dead Drone Display In Mexico City?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 53,000 times allegedly shows a skull-like drone formation over Mexico City during the weekend in which the Day of the Dead celebrations occurred.

Verdict: False

The supposed drone display in the image is not real. The skull-like formation appears to have been added to a photo of Mount Fuji in Japan.

Fact Check:

Day of the Dead, known in Spanish as “Dia de los Muertos,” is celebrated in Mexico as a tribute to those who have passed away, according to The New York Times. The holiday takes place annually on Nov. 2, though festivities connected to the holiday begin Oct. 28, the outlet reported. Skull-shaped decorations are a Day of the Dead tradition, according to the The Salinas Californian.

The image in the Nov. 1 Facebook post appears to show lights forming the likeness of a skull wearing a sombrero above an urban area at night. A mountain can be seen in the background. Text accompanying the image identifies the lights as “drones in Mexico City this weekend.” (RELATED: Does This Image Show Drone Footage Of Chinese Troops On A Cargo Ship Off The Coast Of America?)

There is, however, no evidence it depicts a real drone formation over Mexico’s capital. The Mexico City-based newspapers El UniversalLa Prensa and El Heraldo de México did not report on a display to that effect occurring over the city in connection to the Day of the Dead. Mexico City Head of Government Claudia Sheinbaum also did not reference such a drone performance in any of her social media posts, despite highlighting the use of drones in her city at least once in the past.

While Check Your Fact was unable to locate the origin of the image in question, it was likely created by digitally adding the skull-shaped light formation to a nighttime photo of Japan’s Mount Fuji. The mountain and city lights closely resemble those visible in a 2014 picture of Mount Fuji at night with portions of the Yamanashi prefecture in the foreground. The photo of Mount Fuji at night can be found on Flickr.

The altered image featuring the skull design existed long before Day of the Dead festivities occurred this year, as it was shared by a Facebook page over a year ago with the caption simply stating, “Starting in October.”

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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