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Hoax Or Real? Water-Walking Video A Hit Online

It may not be the kind of miracle found in the Bible, but three athletic young adventurers have sparked an internet furore by claiming to have walked on water, reports Times Online.They call it “liquid
PTI May 17, 2010 13:12 IST
PTI
It may not be the kind of miracle found in the Bible, but three athletic young adventurers have sparked an internet furore by claiming to have walked on water, reports Times Online.

They call it “liquid mountaineering”, a new sport that is not only challenging the laws of gravity but is also encouraging thousands of fans to slip on watertight shoes and run as fast as possible into the nearest lake.

Most get two or three steps in before collapsing in a cloud of spray. Yet Ulf Gartner and his friends Sebastian Vanderwerf and Miguel Delfortrie have produced a video claiming to show “one of the most impossible-looking activities that anyone has ever seen”.

More than 2m people have viewed the YouTube video in the past fortnight. Even those who believe it is a hoax agree it would be one of the cleverest hoaxes on the internet.




“All you have to do,” Gartner said last week, “is start running towards the bank of the lake and keep running with top speed. As soon as you touch the water your legs should be going like a sewing machine. You should be just like a stone skimming the surface.”

The video shows the men racing in turns into a lake in Portugal. After several false starts they manage up to nine or 10 high-speed tiptoe-like strides before their legs buckle beneath them.

“It was like we're going one step, we're going two steps, three steps . . .” said Delfortrie. Gartner added: “Keep that skimming sensation going as long as you can. Believe in it. Just go for it.”

At first glance their video is so convincing that dozens of viewers have left awestruck comments. “It's not fake,” wrote one admirer. “I spent all afternoon trying to run on my pool. I didn't think I was getting anywhere until I realised I was making it most of the way across my pool.”

Gartner noted that the basilisk lizard walks on water with a cartoon-like rotation of the hind legs, using its tail as a rudder. It is also known as the “Jesus” lizard for this ability, but Gartner says that rather than a miracle, you just need “good-quality rubber running shoes”.

Internet nerds who examined the video for signs of tampering noticed that all three men were wearing logos from the same clothing company. Could this be a clever piece of guerrilla marketing or had the runners built a see-through acrylic platform just below the surface?

One scientist claimed to have analysed the “splash patterns” created by the runners' feet and wrote: “The sudden deceleration of the concentric action of his quadriceps muscles can only be accomplished by a solid surface under the water.”

“It might be fake,” one internet visitor concluded, “but I have no idea how they made it look so real.”