A viral video shows what appears to be a horse flying in the sky over Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In the (very poor quality) footage, we see flashes of lightning illuminate a dark sky, intermittently revealing the flying horse, as we hear a man excitedly speaking in what sounds like Arabic, apparently reciting verses from the Koran.
The origin of the footage is unknown. However, it's path to viral fame began on November 24, 2014 when it was uploaded to Facebook by a Filipino woman named Angel Louise Dela Cruz
. She did not claim to have taken the video, nor did she say where she found it. Several days later it was uploaded to YouTube by others, where it was titled "Flying Black Horse in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia," or sometimes "Flying Horse Seen in Makkah." It has been viewed over one million times on YouTube.
What exactly is the creature in the sky? One popular theory is that it's the Buraq, a legendary horse that transported the prophet Muhammad. From Wikipedia
The most commonly told story is how in the 7th century, Al-Buraq carried the Islamic prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem and back during the Isra and Mi'raj or "Night Journey", which is the title of one of the chapters (sura), Al-Isra, of the Quran.
However, one problem with this theory is that the Buraq has wings, which the creature in the video does not have.
Another theory places the horse within Christian eschatology, arguing that it's the black horse prophesied in the Book of Revelation. The Philippine News
Some Christian believers even quoted from a passage in the Book of Revelation at Chapter 6:5-8 which reads: "And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand." According to some Bible scholars, in the Bible's Book of Revelation, the black horse represented famine. The black horse which was seen descending from the sky amidst clouds and thunderstorms was linked by some netizens to the black horse of the "Revelation."
But finally, more skeptical viewers quickly pointed out that the object in the sky is probably just a horse-shaped, helium-filled balloon. Such balloons are apparently sold in a shop in Jeddah. An image (below) that promotes this debunking theory has recently been circulating on Facebook.
Assuming that the balloon theory is correct, the video does not appear to be a deliberate hoax, but rather a case of people interpreting unexplained footage in fanciful ways.
Back in August 1937, there was a deliberate hoax involving a balloon creature
, when residents of Nantucket reported sighting a giant sea monster swimming in the ocean. The monster turned out to be an inflatable balloon created for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and was floated offshore as a publicity stunt.