Fact Check: Does viral video show whales swimming at Bombay High? Here’s the truth

The video is being shared with false claim.
The image shows a whale swimming through water.(Screengrab)
The image shows a whale swimming through water.(Screengrab)
Updated on Apr 05, 2020 02:43 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

A breathtaking video of a pod of whales swimming is going viral with a claim that they were spotted near Bombay High and is captured by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) employees working at the offshore installation.

Circulated widely, the video shows the giant creatures swimming through clear blue water. A few seconds into the clip, the whales also spout water.

Despite being an absolutely lovely sight, the animals were not spotted in Bombay High. Moreover, the video is not recorded by any ONGC employees working at the offshore installation. Hence, the claims are false.

Bombay High, later renamed as Mumbai High, is an offshore oilfield located off the west coast of Mumbai. The oil operations in the place are run by ONGC.

“Surprise, surprise! Keep watching this video shared by a friend sourced from someone who works at Bombay High, some 161 km from the Mumbai coast,” wrote a Twitter user and shared the video. “Btw...listen carefully...did someone just say ‘dinosaur’” he added.

Here are others who posted the same video:

While replying to one such post, another Twitter user further claimed that they received the video in their “ONGC WhatsApp group” and that the authenticity of the clip is “confirmed.”

A few tweeple, however, pointed that employees working at ONGC offshore installations are not allowed to carry mobile phones to the site.

An ONGC spokesperson, in an official statement, confirmed this. “It’s heartening to see marine life thriving. However, mobiles are not allowed in ONGC offshore installations. Therefore, this video has not been shot at/near any ONGC offshore installation,” they told Hindustan Times.

While the video may not have been taken on any ONGC offshore installation, it was initially not clear who has taken it or what is the exact location.

“We have shared the video with all major fishing groups along the coastline but have not received any response on who took the video,” Ganesh Nakhwa, president, National Purse Seine Fishing Welfare Association (MPSFWA) told Hindustan Times.

“Having said that, the movement of whales in deep seas (beyond) 10-12 nautical miles has been spotted by our fishermen. However, the numbers of individuals in this video may be a pod of 5 at least. Also if it was a fishing boat, the sound of the motor would be clearly heard. This keeps large baleen species away from fishing boats and trawlers,” Nakhwa added.

In the past, movement of whales (blue whales, humpback whales, bryde’s whale or even killer whales) have been recorded off the Maharashtra coast in the past.

Later, however, an online search revealed a link with the same video shared back in August, 2019 by BBC News Indonesia. The caption suggests that it was captured around Karimunjawa, an Indonesian archipelago in the Java Sea.

Hence, it’s confirmed that the whales weren’t spotted in Bombay High and the video was not recorded by ONGC employees working in the offshore installation.

Also Read | Fact Check: Is this elephant walking through Dehradun street amid lockdown? Here’s the truth

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