Skepticism

How to Google, aka Liquid Mountaineering is a Viral Ad

It has come to my attention of late that you do not know how to Google.

You are currently thinking, “But of course I know how to Google! I was just wondering why my poop is green, so I went to Google.com and typed in “why” and there it is!”

Google Why is my poop green

But no, I assure you – you do not know how to Google. I know this because four of you have now sent me a YouTube video of men running on top of a lake of water asking if it is “for real.” You have all assured me you Googled it but found nothing. Therefore, I can only assume you do not in fact know how to Google and so I have made a simple guide to help you in the future. There are even pictures! It’s gonna be great.

DISCLAIMER: I enjoy getting links from you all, and the more the merrier. Please know that the snark contained within this post is meant with the utmost love.

Cell phones popping popcorn, men throwing sunglasses onto their faces, UFOs floating over large cities – how can you tell when a video is too good to be true?

The first thing to do is ask yourself: does this defy the laws of physics as I know them? If the answer is either “yes” or “maaaaybe,” that video might be fake!

The video that inspired this post is called Liquid Mountaineering:

So basically a couple of hot guys are talking about a “new sport” they invented, which they show off at a lake in Portugal. They start on the shore running toward the lake and keep running right over the surface of the lake for up to a dozen strides before falling in. They explain that they do this with waterproof shoes.

First, here are a few aspects of the video that should tip off the skeptical viewer:

  • All men are wearing the same brand (Hi-Tec) head to toe. Why?
  • There’s a close-up of the Hi-Tec running shoe with a description of its waterproof abilities. Since when does being waterproof=flotation?
  • They are all mega-hot. Why?
  • The filming is beautiful and uses licensed music. Who paid for this?
  • THEY ARE FULL-GROWN MEN WALKING ON FRESH WATER; THIS IS PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE
  • At one point, they use jet skis to increase their land speed before hitting the water. This makes no sense. Would holding onto a truck’s back bumper make you run faster?
  • NO SERIOUSLY THEY ARE MEN WALKING ON WATER

All these points and more should have your skeptical alarm bells ringing. So you go to Google to find out what’s what. What do you type? Let’s say you type “liquid mountaineering,” and let’s say you somehow you miss the big clue that Google has provided you.

google liquid mountaineering

So you just search for “liquid mountaineering,” and then click the first link because that’s the official site. It confirms that there is such a sport. You go back and click the next five links, but they all just link back to the video or the main web site. You give up and email me. You have failed to use Google properly.

Here’s what you should have done:

1. Try search terms like “liquid mountaineering fake”, “liquid mountaineering hoax”, or even “liquid mountaineering viral”. For videos that have been around a bit longer, you can also find success with something like “liquid mountaineering skeptic”.

2. Only bother to visit the main site for about 5 seconds to determine whether or not they are copping to the fake.

3. Scan the Google results. Even if you only search for “liquid mountaineering,” look at the very last link on the page:

liquid mountaineering fake

That’s the one you want, because it explains the background, the source of the viral (SPOILER ALERT it is Hi-Tec), and the resulting credulous journalism that followed its release.

Should none of this work, you may either engage in a full-scale investigation of the video or send it to your favorite skeptical blogger/podcaster so she can tear it apart for you.

So there you go! That is how to use Google properly. I hope this guide is useful to you the next time you see people do something impossible on YouTube in a suspiciously commercial way.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

Related Articles

37 Comments

  1. ummm, seriously? i’ve not even looked at the debunking page and it’s glaringly obvious to me that there is an underwater structure they are running on, since they are all shown taking the exact same path, and they all “fall off” at the same point.

    but yeah, the dudes were hot, so it was totally worth watching :p

  2. “Would holding onto a truck’s back bumper make you run faster?”

    Well, being chained to a truck’s back bumper might. After that, it would make whatever parts of me were left attached *go* faster than they usually might.

  3. Who is this Goo Gal you keep talking about that helps you with information? Is that, like, some sort of slimy librarian? Maybe the people who aren’t talking to her for very long are using touch pads and don’t want to touch her.

  4. I think I should send a link to your post to many of my friends who apparently, don’t know how to Google… Excellent article Rebecca!!

    Or maybe I should just let my friends try it (the running on water thing) by themselves and spend an afternoon laughing!!

  5. It amazes me how many people don’t know how to use google properly. It seems like such a valuable and easy to learn skill; you just gotta learn how the computer thinks about your query and structure it accordingly.

    As for that video, how are people fooled? The dudes all start looking down around the same point (to make sure their not of track or because they know they’re near the end of the structure) and some of them clearly shorten their last stride to catch the end of the underwater structure. Plus it’s impossible.

  6. This is a corporate-sponsored FAKE? No way!

    What’s next, Rebecca? Are you going to tell me that short documentary about one elderly lady’s quest to answer the question “Where’s the beef?” was also some sort of advertisement?!

  7. @slxpluvs:
    COTW
    but you totally need to lable a comment like that as NSWDC. Hot coffee really burns when you laugh it out your nose.

    Rebecca we all love you but you need to back off. You are stepping all over Captain Disillusions territory. How would you like it if he started rocking harder?

  8. They could have at least found some guys who don’t run like models, couldn’t they? What a bunch of fancy lads. “Oooh, my hairs gonna get wet.”

    And let’s say it’s not fake. That would have to be the most boring sport ever invented.

    Me: What do you guys want to do today? Surf? Mountain bike? Beach volleyball?

    Them: No, let run across the lake.

    Me: Run across the lake??

    Them: Yes.

    Me: Since we won’t sink, how is that different than just running??

    Them: Well, it’s on the water. It’s one more.

  9. I liked the idea in the video that you have to keep practicing to get it right. The question I had when I watched the version with a TV sports ‘reporter’ acting as if he believed it. Did he get paid by HiTec or is he really that stupid?

  10. For those of us not afraid to employ a little sarcasm in our responses to these questions, there’s always http://lmgtfy.com/

    For the uninitiated, it stands for Let Me Google That For You. It lets you search and then gives you a URL you can pass along that creates a flash cartoon of how you could use Google to find the answer to your problem.

  11. They don’t really appear to be running very fast. I see it and think “I could run that fast even with my bum knee and there’s no way I can run on water – something’s fishy!”

    Now I’m wondering if this might actually be possible if one could run at superhuman speed and, if so, just how superhuman a speed would one need to achieve.

  12. Call me silly, but the (c) 2010 ‘Liquid Mountaineering’, Soulbend Productions seems to give away its not just a bunch of guys sitting around a campfire drunk off their @$$es, and decided to run across a lake.

  13. Didn’t we all learn this trick by watching music videos back in the early 90’s?

    Thanks for the laughs! Today has been one of those days that seems as productive as banging my head into a concrete wall.

  14. “WHY DOES MY VAG SMELL?”

    Or at least that’s what used to be the number 1 suggestion when you typed in “why” until a couple months ago.

    For more current ones that google hasn’t deleted yet:

    http://www.autocompletefail.com/

    It haz a fun. The things that the average person searches on (using full pronoun-filled syntax no less) are pretty scary. You can’t help but wonder if people are really that dumb ? Yes, yes they are.

  15. Well thank you very much for this post :) Calling those guys ‘mega-hot’ gave me quite a confidence boost.

    But seriously… I know a lot of geeks who are much better looking than that. And quite a few of them would be, with just a little workout.

    How about a ‘hot geeks’ post? pics and resumes :)

  16. As biguglyjim says, yes, we Canadians can be bought, but we’ll be excessively polite to your face whilst snide and condescending behind your back, then we’ll just do what we think Americans would do*.

    *Anything we do contractually has to include Keifer Sutherland and/or Celin Dion. Apologies in advance.

  17. @Elyse: Damn. Beat me to the punch. Will the ICP comedy gold ever be exhausted? Oddly, if you google that question, the first link is titled “When does ‘honest’ become ‘stupid?’ Defending Megan Fox.” I don’t know why that makes sense, but it really does.

    Miracles all over this bitch.

Leave a Reply

You May Also Enjoy

Close
Close