Fact Check

Flying Black Horse in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia?

Was a flying black horse captured on video in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia?

Published Dec. 4, 2014


Claim:   A flying horse was captured on video above Jeddah.


Example:   [Collected via email, December 2014]

I have just been shown this weird video about a flying "black horse." Supposedly this video was shot in Saudi Arabia during a thunderstorm.


Origins:   A video purportedly showing a flying horse over Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, started circulating on the Internet in November 2014:

The video was shot on a stormy night, making it difficult to get a good glimpse of this elevating equine. These circumstances led to confusion over whether the creature in the video was Al-Buraq, the soaring steed that carried the Islamic prophet Muhammad to Jerusalem; Pegasus, who carried lightning and thunder down from Mount Olympus; or some as yet undiscovered mythical creature.

Most depictions of Al-Buraq, Pegasus, and other hovering horses involve large feathered wings. The flying horse in the video, however, appears to be wingless:

With Al-Buraq and Pegasus ruled out on account of the figure's lack of wings, one must search for the answer back on Earth. According to Live Science, modern horses, donkeys and zebras all evolved from a common ancestor about 4.5 million years ago, yet nowhere in this long lineage did the horse species learn to fly.

So if the video doesn't show Al-Buraq, Pegasus, or a common horse, what was flying over Jeddah, Saudi Arabia?

Upon closer inspection, the horse-shaped figure appears to rotate through the air but doesn't actually move. Its head, neck, legs and tail are all completely motionless throughout what would have been a terrifying ordeal for a real horse. More so, the horse suddenly disappears at the end of the video. These are characteristics that relate more to an inanimate object, such as a balloon, than a living horse:

Last updated:   4 December 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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