It did not rain worms in China
Viral video showing raining worms in China is fake
Claim: Video clips uploaded on Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok show raining worms in China.
Fact: The videos actually show catkins and not worms. Catkins are a cylindrical flower from poplar trees which appears to be wriggling in the rain, giving the appearance of worms.
From 11 March 2023, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok were flooded with video clips claiming to show that it has been raining worms in the Chinese province of Liaoning. These videos were shared by popular Twitter handles and Facebook pages.
Fact or Fiction?
The Ministry of Public Security in China addressed this concern in a public post on the Chinese social network called Weibo. From the translated version of this post, it is clear that the worm-like material seen lying around the landscape is being attributed to poplar trees by the Chinese authorities.
A Chinese state-controlled Facebook page called Learn Chinese also published a post explaining the phenomenon.
An earlier version of the viral videos was posted on Douyin, another Chinese social networking app. The video was accompanied by a caption “杨树花掉满车顶远看好似虫子看得头皮发麻” (Translation: Poplar flowers falling all over the roof of the car look like bugs from a distance, making the scalp numb). Images of poplar blossoms on Nature Watch show that it is these flowers called catkins which are being seen in the video.
Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 9-day period since 11 March 2023 to 19 March 2023 using the following search terms:
- “Rain” “worms” “China”
We found that 181 posts have gathered 26,156 interactions on Facebook, 19 posts gathered 16,493 interactions on Instagram and tweets. reaching millions of viewers on Twitter.
Conclusion: No, it did not rain worms in China.