The person who posted a viral video purporting to show a strange, ball-shaped light over Canberra has made an apology online, explaining the video was fake.
The video uploaded to YouTube on January 3, titled “Strange Lights above canberra 03/01/16”, appeared to show a circular light exploding in the sky over the ACT during a storm.
As a result of extensive media coverage the clip went viral, gathering more than 300,000 views on YouTube in less than a week.
But on Saturday its creator posted a explanation on reddit.com, titled ‘apology from an idiot’:
Last week I uploaded a video here that depicted a large ball of light in the sky exploding into a doughnut. I didn’t intend for it to be taken seriously, but I made an error in judgement and titled the video as if it was real. Because of this the video went viral … I’m extremely sorry for that. I messed up bad.
– idontlikethetaste, reddit.com
A second video was posted with the apology, explaining how the clip was altered using editing software.
After spotting the video on YouTube last week, the ABC tried unsuccessfully to contact the person who uploaded the clip.
An astronomer and the Bureau of Meteorology were also contacted, to establish whether it was possible the video could be the result of real weather activity.
Both speculated that the clip could show a phenomenon called “ball lightning”.
However the second video posted by the hoaxster showed the lights were superimposed using After Effects.
The words “unfortunately this video is not real” have since posted under the original clip on YouTube.