People Keep Posting a Video of Condor Saying It's a Mythical Garuda Bird

A viral video viewed by millions keeps being reposted, with social media users claiming it shows a mythical Garuda bird flying in Indonesia—however, the bird is actually just a condor.

The video has been posted to Facebook, and other social media channels, such as TikTok, and has been viewed millions of times.

It shows a large bird spreading its wings and flying, as bystanders watch. Captions falsely claimed it was a sighting of a Garuda bird. But, it has recently been debunked using technology—the bird is actually a condor, a vulture native to the Andes.

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A picture shows a Garuda bird, and a condor (bottom left). A video claiming to show a Garuda bird has been revealed to be fake. (JackF /Niko Mufrida)

The Garuda is a mythical creature from Hindu mythology, with a mix of bird and human features. Traditional depictions of the creature show it to have the arms and torso of a man, and the beak, head and wings of either an eagle or a vulture.

In Hindu mythology, it is known as "king of the birds."

"It turns out that the Garuda Bird is not just a myth or a fairy tale," a caption to the fake video said. "In the Ramayana story he is Jatayu. A bird that rarely appears. But recently the Garuda has appeared in the forest area of ​​Mount Penanggungan, East Java. A bird whose wings are extraordinarily wide and very beautiful."

Indonesia's national emblem centers around the mythical creature. The false video claimed the sighting was a "sign that the Republic of Indonesia remains strong and victorious."

However, it has emerged that the footage was actually taken from a 2014 video, posted by Argentinian newspaper El Esquiu, news agency AFP reported.

The original video, which can be seen here, is captioned as being "the release of condor saynai" in the Argentina wilderness.

The original video taken in 2014. A fake video claiming to show the mythical creature took shots from it.

The fake footage takes parts of the original video from the four-minute, 31-second mark, to the seven-minute, ten-second mark, AFP reported.

When the video of the condor first surfaced, news outlet El Esquiu reported that the bird had been released from Buenos Aires zoo. The bird had spent time at the zoo after it was found sick and unable to fly. The video shows the condor being released after it had been nursed back to health.

The Andean condor can be found in the Andes mountains and is the largest flying bird in the world.

Even though it is not mythical like the Garuda, the birds are rare in South America. Habitat loss and hunting has caused their numbers to dwindle.