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No, mountains of gold did not emerge as the Euphrates dried up

Drought in Iraq revealed 3,400 year-old ruins of an ancient city


Claim: A mountain of gold has been found in the Euphrates River.

Fact: A mountain of gold has not been found in the Euphrates River.

On 18 April 2023, a Twitter user uploaded an image showing a site of ruins with the caption: The Prophet PBUH said, “The Hour will not come to pass before the River Euphrates dries up to unveil the mountain of gold, for which people will fight. 99 out of 100 will die (in the fighting) and every man amongst them will say: ‘Perhaps I may be the only one to remain alive.”

The image included text saying, “Golden Mountains showed up after the Euphrates river finally dried up.”

Fact or Fiction?

A Google Reverse Image Search revealed that this image was published on the internet as early as June 2022 by several news organisations, including but not limited to CNN, DW, Al Jazeera and Euro News. Smithsonian Magazine of the Smithsonian Institution also published this image on 6 June 2022. It was shared first in May 2022 by the University of Tubingen in an article headlined, “A 3400-year-old city emerges from the Tigris River: Drought reveals urban center of the Mittani Empire”.

All of these articles associate this image with a 3400-year-old archaeological site related to a Mittani Empire city located on the Tigris River. According to the university’s research, a team of German and Kurdish archaeologists believed that this was an extensive city with a palace and several large buildings that could be ancient Zakhiku – believed to have been an important centre in the Mittani Empire (ca. 1550-1350 BC). These ruins were first discovered in 2018; however, we could not find this image posted online until 2022. 

This photo was being portrayed in videos and images on social media as one of the signs of the Day of Judgement as theologized by various religions like Islam and Christianity. In these videos, people claim that mountains of gold have been discovered from the Euphrates in Iraq, which proves the Quranic and Biblical prophecies to be true. However, neither does this picture show any part of the Euphrates nor is it a site for any gold reserves. In fact, it is an ancient city of the Mittani Empire.

The same claim has also been associated with a YouTube video which showed various other images, some of them photoshopped and others shared out-of-context.

On Facebook, we found several variations of the same claim with the following images:

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Figure 4 is an AI-generated image by CRAIYON whose logo can be seen as a watermark at the bottom right corner of the image. We verified this by using the keywords “crayon” “watermark” “AI” “generated” “image” and found the same red crayon watermark on this website, formerly known as DALL-E mini, Crayon is an AI model that can draw images from any text prompt.

Fig 3 is an animated image and, through reverse image search tools, we discovered that Figure 1 is an edited picture to accompany a fictional story on a Korean website called Baniworld. And Figure 2 is of the town Hasankeyf, an archaeological site in Turkey, as reported by the National Geographic here.


On Facebook, we found images here, here, here, and here. We also found these images shared on TikTok here, and here. All of these videos falsely imply that a mountain of gold has been discovered in the dried up region of Euphrates. 

Conclusion: A mountain of gold has not been found in the Euphrates river.

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