Mysterious Cave Creatures in Viral Video Are Actually Just Actors

In the latest lesson of why not to believe everything you see online, TikTok users were duped into believing the existence of "new creatures" found in Thailand.

The video, posted by @lit_nature on May 20, showed troll-like beings, which claimed to be "new creatures found near [a] water cave in Thailand."

"Strange creatures caught on video. Exploring a small chain of islands, a tour group stumbled upon a frightening sight. They heard a strange 'scream' from one of the islands, and [upon] investigating they found these creatures near a cave. They seemed to be in a strange ritual," reads the on-screen text.

The "creatures" are somewhat human-like and are calmly sitting in the caves and water, while humans on boats ride past.

A second part uploaded by the account claimed that "scientists have speculated the species' importance, as it could be one of our early ancestors and could help with fighting diseases and illness. But until one can be caught for study, it is unknown what exactly it is. According to the area report, the island is listed as private property, which means that no government body can enter the area."

With over six million views, it reached a wide audience, many of which believe the video. "I've been there, it's an island full of monkeys," claimed one viewer.

"They are probably not meant to be found, we should leave them alone," commented another user.

The TikTok video was originally published to YouTube in 2019, by a channel ironically called "Truth Eyes."

Two years on however, and the video is just as much a hoax as it was then. Before any TikTok users decide to go and catch one to study themselves, the video is actually from a 2018 art project by Norweigan artist Tori Wrånes.

Her piece, titled Naam Yai, was made for the Thailand Biennale, a contemporary art event. Inspired by the trolls of Norwegian folklore she grew up around, the "creatures'' are actually just actors in costumes. Images even show the actors being helped into the water with scuba equipment.

Just like the viral video, Wrånes created her own fictional story behind the trolls too, imagining them as "furry creatures sitting on rocks as if they were born out of the dripping tears of the mountain. They live and move in a slow and subtle way, following the tide, moving between high and low water trying to survive the monsoon."

"Unless you come in a kayak or swim, it can be difficult to discover them as they blend into the rocky landscape and seldom come out of their caves. The creatures have their own language and rituals. Amongst the sound of waves and winds you may hear the gripping melody of their flutes and their mystical singing."

But this imagined tale is where the story begins and ends, no matter what TikTok would have you believe.

Dark interior of a large cave
Dark interior of a large cave in Mae Hong Son state, Northern Thailand, viewing the opening from inside. A similar cave has become the focus of a viral hoax of new creatures. Getty Images. Getty Images