A hoax report, which said that a bizarre 'gravitational fluctuation' will leave people weightless for a few minutes on 4 January 2015, has gone viral this week.
The fake news has been widely consumed and was shared on Facebook and Twitter. This comes weeks after another similar scientific hoax went viral, which claimed that the earth would experience six days of total darkness in December 2014.
The false news was originally posted by Daily Buzz Live, which is a website for occasional humorous articles, most of them being fake. The post included a realistic-looking screenshot of NASA's tweet, which states that there is an inter-planetary alignment taking place on 4 January. This phenomenon would apparently cause a gravitational imbalance or 'fluctuation' on Earth, causing people or objects to float for a short period of time.
The fake report stated: "According to British astronomer Patrick Moore, at exactly 9:47 PST AM on January 4th, Pluto will pass directly behind Jupiter, in relation to Earth. This rare alignment will mean that the combined gravitational force of the two planets would exert a stronger tidal pull, temporarily counteracting the Earth's own gravity and making people virtually weightless. Moore calls this the Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect."
As fanciful and straight-from-a-science-fiction as it appears to be, none of the things stated in the report is true, it has been confirmed by various credible news sources.
Originally posted on 15 December, the post has so far been shared over 14,31,000 times on Facebook and over 6,500 times on Twitter.