If you’re excited about being weightless for a few minutes on January 4 because of a “planetary alignment” that you’ve read about on social media, the Inquisitr is here to rain on your parade. There is not going to be a “planetary alignment” on January 4 (or any time soon, for that matter), and you are not going to be weightless (or near weightless, nor will you weigh any less at all, unless you diet between now and then). The whole thing is a hoax.
In fact, it’s an old hoax, according to the Epoch Times. The Planetary Alignment Hoax goes all the way back to 1976, when BBC radio astronomer Sir Patrick Moore made the story up out of thin air.
“The British media have a unique affinity for pulling April Fools’ pranks, matched only by the British public’s unique ability to fall for them.”
The old Planetary Alignment Hoax gets recycled every year, more or less, and this year it seems to have been brought back by Daily Buzz Live.
“According to British astronomer Patrick Moore, at exactly 9:47 PST AM on January 4th, Pluto will pass directly behind Jupiter, in relation to Earth. This rare alignment will mean that the combined gravitational force of the two planets would exert a stronger tidal pull, temporarily counteracting the Earth’s own gravity and making people virtually weightless. Moore calls this the Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect.”
The Daily Buzz Live (DBL) article got tens of thousands of shares shortly after it was published, and as January 4 gets closer, it seems to only be getting bigger on social media.
However, DBL, like The Onion, is a satire site. On their Contact Us page, you can see the following disclaimer, if you look for it hard enough (it’s buried in several paragraphs of legalese).
“And just a few stories are works of complete fiction. Those few articles are for entertainment purposes only.”
This is the second time this week that the Inquisitr has debunked a hoax news story published on DBL that went viral on social media. On Monday, this Inquisitr report put to rest the hoax that McDonald’s is pulling the Big Mac from its menu.
Props to DBL‘s Graphics department, however: they did a spectacular job spoofing an image to make it look like a tweet from NASA. But NASA’s actual Twitter feed mentions nothing about a planetary alignment.
Were you, or anyone you know, taken in by the planetary alignment hoax on social media?