VFX artist’s work mistaken for real bird breathing fire

Brazilian artist Fabricio Rabachim’s work was shared with misleading claims last year as well


Claim: A video shows a bird breathing fire from its mouth.

Fact: The video is the work of Brazilian special effects artist Fabricio Rabachim, who posted it on his YouTube channel in 2020.

On 24 August 2022, the Facebook page ‘Amazing World’ shared a video with the claim, “A bird that breathes fire from its mouth.” The clip shows the creature breathing bluish-yellow fire from its mouth, being engulfed in the resulting smoke, and then hopping a few steps away.

The following text snippets are superimposed on the clip:

  • “آسٹریلیا کے جنگلات میں آگ کا باعث بننے والا نایاب اور خطرناک پرندہ”
    [A rare and dangerous bird that causes fires in Australian forests]
  • “آگ اگلنے والا پرندہ”
    [A fire-breathing bird]
  • “منہ سے آگ نکالنے والا پرندہ”
    [A bird that breathes fire from its mouth]

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check input screenshots from different intervals during the video in Google Reverse Image Search and TinEye Reverse Image Search.

We found a YouTube video by Fabricio Rabachim — who describes himself as a “self-taught professional in Visual Effects (VFX)” working in the industry for more than 15 years — that shows the same footage of the bird.

The clip posted on 14 December 2020 has garnered over 320,000 views so far and has the following caption in Portuguese:

“Todo mundo que já se deparou com o quero-quero protejendo seu ninho, sabe o quão ameaçador ele é, mas poucos já viram seu verdadeiro poder… [Everyone who’s ever encountered the quero-quero protecting its nest knows how menacing it is, but few have ever seen its true power…].”

Vanellus chilensis, or southern lapwing, is known in Brazil as “Quero-Quero,” a species of bird that is found mostly in Argentina and Bolivia, according to the website of the Jardim Zoológico de Brasília.

The video was previously investigated by AFP Fact Check in 2021, with the artist Fabricio Rabachim telling the publication that he “had enhanced original footage that he had shot of the bird using what he described as ‘CG and a little bit of compositing for the effects’”.

AFP Fact Check had reported that according to Rabachim, the footage was taken in Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo, Brazil. “That day, this bird was close to me and I had my camera in my hands, so I pointed at it and the bird acted for me,” he had told AFP.

The clip was also investigated by Indian publication Alt News since the post was also going viral across the border.

No bird is known to breathe fire through its nose or mouth. There are, however, reports and studies about birds that have caused or spread fire in various parts of the world.


Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the period from 1 August 2022 to 14 October 2022 using the search term, “A bird that breathes fire from its mouth.”

The search turned up 40 posts on Facebook that gained close to 600 interactions.

This video has been shared more than 25,000 times and viewed more than 3.6 million times. Other posts are available here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: Brazilian special effects artist Fabricio Rabachim created the video as a project using footage he shot himself; the clip was posted on his YouTube channel in 2020.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

More Stories

Photo shows Rahul Gandhi with Italy’s Castaldo, not an ISI agent

Man circled in red is European Parliament member Fabio Massimo Castaldo

Video of Muezzin giving azan while standing on rubble is not from Morocco

Old video from 2017 went viral after an earthquake hit Morocco
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x