TikTok Videos Show Life on a 'Ghost Ship' in 'Empty World'

The Kilian Maruta (@kilianandmaruta) TikTok account hosts entertaining videos from a fictional "alternate universe," including a "ghost ship."

Published Jun 5, 2021

In March 2021, the TikTok account Kilian Maruta (@kilianandmaruta) began posting videos that appeared to document life from an "empty world" and an "alternate universe." The latest addition to the series of strange videos shows what appeared to be an empty "ghost ship."

We're going to break down the history of the TikTok account, the "empty world" video series, the "ghost ship" videos, and how the intriguing videos can all can be explained.


The first video posted in the series shows empty streets, supermarkets, and even a McDonald's.

It was uploaded on March 23 and has been viewed 23 million times.

A TikTok user named kilianandmaruta aka Kilian and Maruta documented a purported alternate universe and empty world as well as a ghost ship on TikTok videos.
No people appeared in any of the videos. (Courtesy: @kilianandmaruta/TikTok)

The eerie nature of the videos brings drama and mystery to the series. But all of the videos appear to have been posted in good fun by some imaginative creators.

Older videos on the account showed that Kilian and Maruta, who are believed to be two people (a man and woman), might be from Tokyo, Japan.

Highlights from the 'Empty World' Series

Over the course of more than two months, the "empty world" series of TikTok videos from Kilian Maruta (@kilianandmaruta) showed places with no people in sight.

At the end of one video from March 28, we noticed that a car is being driven in Rome, Italy. Ristorante Target and the Hotel Patria are both visible.

Rome showed up again in a video posted on April 1. Hotel Richmond can be seen behind gas pumps. In the videos, @kilianandmaruta claims that in the "alternate universe," "food does not rot."

On April 11, a new video explained: "What I have done is illegal."

I am not proud of it, but I am paying for my sins.

I was a classified AI programmer working for a huge tech company. I hacked my way into the company's Quantum Computer. Unlimited access. I uploaded my own code to the computer, and it started learning. Fast. Really fast. It evolved into something else. And suddenly, it happened!

I respawned in an empty world. And now I am ALONE. Completely alone. And I need help. If you are there, please...

On April 25, a new video showed bits of computer-generated imagery, meaning that the creator or creators of the videos perhaps posses video editing skills.

Additional videos showed empty cinemas and train stations. One even showed a CGI monster.

The 'Ghost Ship'

"I woke up on a ghost ship." On June 1, after traveling to various cities which appeared to be empty, the TikTok narrative from Kilian Maruta (@kilianandmaruta) turned to an empty cruise liner.

The first TikTok video on the "ghost ship" on "Day One" showed @kilianandmaruta recording an empty swimming pool, game arcade hall, empty seating, empty hallways, and an empty guest room. We also noticed what appears to be the radar and controls on the deck of the ship. The video was shot at night.

The second video in the "ghost ship" series was shot in daylight on "Day Three." It showed that the ship's engines were turned on and that it was moving. Kilian Maruta visited the "pool deck," seeing once again that it was empty. "I have no food. No water," they wrote. The camera pointed through a door to an eerie dining hall, then heads up a ladder marked "Restricted Area."

In the third video from "Day Four," another massive restaurant and dining area appeared to be empty.

A TikTok user named kilianandmaruta aka Kilian and Maruta documented a purported alternate universe and empty world as well as a ghost ship on TikTok videos.
It appears to be daytime. (Courtesy: @kilianandmaruta/TikTok)

On June 4, @kilianandmaruta posted the fourth video from the "ghost ship." It was "Day Five." They claimed to have located food and water at a snack bar. At the end of the video, a page from Stephen Webb's book, "If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... Where Is Everybody?," appears for several seconds.

On June 6, the fifth video from the "ghost ship" showed a life boat. Kilian Maruta claimed to have spotted land. Words onscreen indicated that they're headed for it. It's unclear what's next for the series, but this might be indicating that the "ghost ship" videos are coming to an end.

Explaining the Videos

TikTok commenters attempted to explain the "ghost ship" and other videos in a number of different ways.

We saw comments that mentioned the videos showed video editing, virtual reality, a video game, or a simulation. Others believed the ship to be an old Disney Dream cruise ship or a ferry in Ireland. Several commenters expressed the belief that YouTuber MrBeast could secretly be behind the whole thing.

Several others also posited that there may have been fewer people to remove in a video editing process, including on the cruise ship, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We aren't sure who Kilian and Maruta are, nor are we certain about how the videos were created. It's likely that the videos were recorded and people were later removed in the post-production process. Some of the videos shot in cities appeared to be recorded early in the morning, which would mean fewer people on the street to later erase when editing.

For now, the entertaining "empty world" series from Kilian Maruta (@kilianandmaruta) will likely continue on TikTok, where all of the videos can be watched and enjoyed.

Jordan Liles is a Snopes reporter with expertise in investigating misinformation, inauthentic social media activity, and scams.

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