Fact Check

Speedy Tortoise Video is Digital Art

Vernon James Manlapaz creates "short magical videos."

Published Sep 7, 2021

Image Via Wikipedia
A video shows a real group of tortoises running surprisingly fast.

In September 2021, a video went viral on social media that supposedly showed a group of unusually fast tortoises:

This is not a genuine video of speedy turtles or tortoises. This is a digital artwork by Vernon James Manlapaz.

Manlapaz, who states in his bio that he creates "short magical videos," originally shared this video to Instagram at the end of August 2021 along with the caption "speedy." Here's the original video:

The tortoise is, of course, a famously slow critter. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the fastest tortoise in the world sprinted to a record breaking .6 mph in 2014. Here's a video of that record breaking run:

Manlapaz has made dozens of other "short magical videos." While some of these videos may toe the line of plausibility, others clearly exist in the realm of fantasy. The video below, for instance, doesn't actually show various marine animals (or possibly characters from "Finding Nemo") swimming through the air:

While Manlapaz's fans certainly know that these videos feature computer generated images, viewers who aren't familiar with the source may mistake these digital artworks for genuine pieces of footage. That was the case in October 2020 when a video went viral that supposedly showed a group of baby giraffes running around a park.

Manlapaz told Colossal in 2019:

The content I make is always about bringing out that childlike wonder we all have. The goal has always been to bring joy and happiness to everyone who comes across my work. That even that 10 seconds they spend watching the content brings joy to them even for a couple of moments to their life.


“Fastest Tortoise.” Guinness World Records, https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/77951-fastest-tortoise. Accessed 7 Sept. 2021.

Staugaitis, Laura. "Delight-Inducing Augmented Reality Videos by Vernon James Manlapaz Combine Everyday Scenery with Fantastical Interlopers." April 18, 2019.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.