FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show ‘Rainbow Mountain’ In Peru?
An image shared on Facebook over 170 times purportedly shows Peru’s “Rainbow Mountain.”
The picture has been digitally altered and does not show the actual Rainbow Mountain in Peru.
“Rainbow Mountain,” also known as Vinicunca, is located in Peru’s portion of the Andes Mountains and is well known for its multicolored soil, according to the attraction’s website. “Formed by weathering, environmental conditions and sedimentary deposits over time, the mountain’s unique mineralogy created a marbling effect, with layered hues of gold, lavender, red and turquoise towering into the sky,” explains a CNBC article about the mountain.
An image shared on Facebook, showing a cliff seemingly covered in colorful stripes sloping down to a body of water below, claims to show the famed location. “Rainbow Mountain,Peru,” reads the image’s caption. Another post making the same claim has been shared more than 1,400 times.
The geological formation pictured in the photo is not in Peru and appears to be altered. A reverse image search revealed a similar picture, showing the same cliffs sloping down to water below, can be found on the stock photo website iStock where it was shared in April 2020. The caption identifies the location as “Scala dei Turchi in Sicily.” Notably, the cliffs in this image are white, not multicolored.
Other photos of the Scala dei Turchi cliff published on Getty Images match the image shared on Facebook and show the cliffs are indeed white. The cliff’s natural steps are composed of clay-and-lime marlstone, according to Bloomberg.
Genuine images of Rainbow Mountain shared by the Associated Press do not closely resemble the image shared on Facebook or those of Scala dei Turchi. The mountain in Peru does not reside by a body of water, according to Google Maps. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Italian Truckers Supporting The Canadian Convoy?)
This is not the first time a geographical location has been taken out of context or misrepresented. Check Your Fact recently debunked an image from February 2022 that allegedly showed waves from a storm in the U.K. crashing into a coastline.