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!”
But no, I assure you â€“ 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 â€“ 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.
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:
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.