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Photo claiming to show Day of the Dead drone light show in Mexico City is fake

A photo being shared online claiming to be taken during a drone light show during Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico City isn’t real.
Credit: Screenshot/Twitter

Crowds gathered en masse across Mexico on Monday, Nov. 1 with traditional visits to graveyards for annual Day of the Dead celebrations. Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is a holiday celebrated every year from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2, but was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

One photo claiming to be from a celebration appears to show a huge light show installation created using drones over Mexico City. One tweet posted on Nov. 1 had more than 38,000 retweets and over 350,000 likes as of Nov. 2.

A Reddit thread with the photo had more than 450 comments and over 22 thousand votes. The post was later removed by moderators. 

THE QUESTION

Was this photo taken during Day of the Dead ceremonies in Mexico City?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, that photo was edited to include the digital art of the skull. The original image shows Japan’s Mt. Fuji. 

WHAT WE FOUND

VERIFY can confirm this photo was not taken from Mexico City, but was instead taken from an overlook that shows Japan’s Mt. Fuji. 

The same landscape, roads and traffic pattern seen in the edited tweet are visually similar to the landscape seen in this photo posted to the Flickr account of Japanese artist Koshi Chiba. 

Credit: Screenshot

Photos.com, by Getty Images, has several photos of Mt. Fuji on their website, each closely matches what was shared by Chiba in 2014. 

Google Maps also has an image of Mt. Fuji from an overlook that also confirms the location.

VERIFY could not identify the origin of the skull digital art.

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