Is This How The Coronavirus Looks Magnified 2,600 Times? A FactCheck.

A close up photo of a weevil, a type of beetle insect, is being shared as the COVID-19 virus with tips on 'getting rid of it'.


Multiple Facebook posts have shared a photo alongside a claim that it shows coronavirus magnified 2,600 times. The claim is false; the image is a magnified photo of a weevil.

This Facebook post was published on March 8, 2020 alongside a link to a Youtube video.

Translated from Indonesian to English, the caption of the post reads: "The look of the coronavirus after being magnified 2,600x, God knows best".

The Arabic text across the top of the photo reads: "The coronavirus outbreak after being magnified 2,600 times."

The screenshot of the misleading Facebook post

The YouTube link in the post shows a two-minute and one-second video, titled: "Take a look at the coronavirus outbreak magnified 2600 times and how to get rid of it."

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The first four seconds of the video shows a photo of a creature.

The footage, posted on March 6, 2020, has been viewed more than 5,000 times.

Below is a screenshot of the misleading YouTube video:

Screenshot of the misleading YouTube post

The same photo, along with a similar claim, was also shared on Facebook here, where it was shared almost 80 times before it was removed.

It was also shared on Facebook here and on Twitter here, with a similar claim in Arabic. It was also shared with a similar claim in English here.

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The novel coronavirus has killed more than 4,200 people and infected some 117,000 others in at least 100 countries. The majority of confirmed cases have been in China, where the disease was first identified in late 2019, according to this AFP report on March 11, 2020.

The claim is false; the photo shows a weevil.

A Google reverse image search found the photo was first uploaded here on the Twitter account of an Arabic-language website, eheliosworld.com, on February 26, 2020.

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The photo's caption reads: "Weevils are from the Curculionoidea superfamily of beetles. They are quite small, measuring less than 6 millimetres (4 inch) and are herbivorous, with a particular love for flour, oats, barley and breakfast cereals."

The same photo was also posted with the same caption on the site's Facebook page here, on February 26, 2020.

Below is a screenshot comparison between the photo in the misleading post (L) and the photo posted on the Helios Twitter account (R):

Screenshot comparison between the photo in the misleading post (L) and the image on Helios' Twitter account (R)

A weevil is not a virus. It is a type of insect from the family of Curculionidae, according to this article on Encyclopaedia Britannica.

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This and this video on the stock image website Shutterstock show similar images of the weevil, with a caption that says: "Tropical weevil from the Ecuadorian Amazon, close-up."

Updated On: 2020-03-13T10:46:25+05:30
Claim Review :   Image shows the Coronavirus magnified 2, 600 times.
Claimed By :  Social Media users, YouTube videos
Fact Check :  False
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