Fan Jokes He Found the Real 'Squid Game' In Video Viewed 19M Times

One eagle-eyed Squid Game fan sent social media into overdrive after posting a video jokingly suggesting he had stumbled upon a real-life version of the hit Netflix show.

With the clamor surrounding the hit Korean series reaching fever pitch, photographer and filmmaker Joshua Ruan decided to have a little fun.

Taking to TikTok under the handle Joshua_Ruan, he posted a video purporting to show an actual, real-life version of the games that take place in the series.

At the time of writing, the video had been viewed more than 19 million times. You can watch it here.

For the uninitiated, Squid Game centers on a group of cash-strapped contestants competing in a series of seemingly harmless children's games. A huge cash prize awaits the winner, while a grisly fate awaits the losers.

In the viral clip, Ruan zooms in on a large boat full of people dressed in pinkish-red.

From a distance, they bear a striking resemblance to the red guard that features throughout the series as marshals of the ongoing games.

An accompanying text caption states: "I think I found where the Squid Games are happening."

He then pans across to show several more people dressed in the same pinkish-red walking close to a set of waterfalls.

While few, if any, took Ruan's jokey claim of a "real" Squid Game seriously, the video was enough to prompt some to speculate that work on a second season had begun.

Bean_.floof16 thought the footage was proof they were "filming season 2." RealBeluga12 was similarly convinced, writing: "They are just filming season 2" in a claim that was echoed by fellow TikTok user Yaretzi.

Others, like los.blancos4life, suggested "it could be MrBeast" in reference to the Youtuber who recently pledged to create his own real-life version of Squid Game.

Plenty, however, immediately saw through the gag. Chief among them was User621078 who wrote: "You at Niagara Falls...that's a rain suit."

Indeed, for the majority, it was apparent that the waterfalls shown on the video were unmistakably those of Niagara Falls while the people dressed in red are evidently tourists taking in the sights in protective ponchos. Ruan confirmed as much in a follow-up video.

Speaking to Newsweek Ruan said that while he has been surprised at the popularity of the video, he did "expect it to blow up to some degree."

"I knew some of my audience would think that it was season two of Squid Game being filmed, and I knew some people would understand that I was purely joking as the raincoats people were wearing resembled the pink guards in the hit Netflix series," he said.

"I would attribute my video's virality to Squid Game's recent spike in global popularity, which further goes back to the recent acceptance of Asian culture in western media," Ruan added.

"While I know a lot of Asian Americans are a bit bitter that the media that once shunned and made fun of Asian culture are now accepting of it due to its popularity, I'm mostly happy that we've gotten to this point at all. Asian representation in the media has never been better, and as such it gives me hope for the future."

Despite the video amounting to little more than a playful ruse, the popularity of Ruan's clip does go some way to demonstrating the anticipation felt by many fans hoping for a second series.

Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk has spoken candidly about weighing up the possibility of a follow-up series.

Though he previously admitted he was a little "worried" about creating a second season, he recently detailed that the potential new batch of episodes could see the show explore the origins of the Squid Game itself.

In the meantime, fans are continuing to flock to the series, with some returning to episodes to note previously missed details like how every character's death is foreshadowed on the show.

Stills from a 'Squid Game' viral TikTok.
Stills from a recent TikTok which jokingly claimed to show a 'real' version of the Netflix series 'Squid Game' - the video convinced some fans a second season is on the way. Joshua_Ruan/TikTok