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A long-lived claim that NASA is warning the planet will be covered in darkness for more than two straight weeks continued to live on across the Internet but is completely made up.
A June 2, 2017, post on NewsForMeToday.com said that the Earth will go dark later this year with the headline, "NASA confirms Earth will experience 15 days of darkness In November 2017." Facebook users flagged the article as possibly being fabricated, as part of the social media site’s efforts to identify fake news stories.
"NASA confirms what’s been circling the web recently – our planet Earth will experience total darkness for 15 days in November 2017 starting from November 15 to November 29," the post read. Specifically, the event "will start on November 15 at 3:00 am and will most likely last until November 30, 4:45 pm."
The post also quotes NASA administrator Charles Bolden as saying the so-called "blackout event" will raise the Earth’s temperature up to 8 degrees, but should have no lasting effects. "This event would be similar to what Alaskans experience in the winter," Bolden is quoted. For the record, Bolden resigned on Jan. 20, 2017.
There also was something in there about the alignment of Venus and Jupiter and a hydrogen explosion in space, but that doesn’t matter, because the story is a persistent Internet concoction that isn’t true.
The NewsForMeToday.com post doesn’t link to any official source, a sure warning sign of an unreliable news report, but does cite a Jan. 12, 2017, post on ReflectionofMind.org.
That site, in turn, links back to a now-defunct page on GlobalRevolutionNetwork.com, which the Internet Archive told us was originally dated Oct. 24, 2016, and warned of the event happening in November of that year.
This unfounded rumor goes back to at least 2015, and has been posted time and again. Dates and details may change (one version said a solar storm would darken the Earth for six days in December), but none of them were correct.
We couldn’t find any evidence of NASA making such an announcement, of course. We contacted NASA about the possibility an inky fortnight of celestial shenanigans, but didn’t immediately hear back.
The fake story about Earth going dark has been around for some time, but it’s time we bring this hoax to light.
We rate it Pants On Fire!
NewsForMeToday.com, "NASA Confirms Earth Will Experience 15 Days Of Darkness In November 2017," June 2, 2017
YourNewsWire.com, "NASA Say Earth Will Experience 15 Days Of Darkness This November," Oct. 22, 2015
Huzlers.com, "NASA confirms Earth will experience 6 days of total darkness in December 2015!," Oct. 22, 2015
GlobalRevolutionNetwork.com, "NASA Confirms Earth Will Experience 15 Days Of Darkness In November 2016," Oct. 24, 2016 (via Internet Archive)
ReflectionOfMind.org, "NASA Confirms Earth Will Experience 15 Days Of Darkness In November 2017," Jan. 12, 2017
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