In June 2019, a video supposedly showing some sort of humanoid cryptid resembling the character of Dobby from the Harry Potter movie series went viral on social media:
a lady posted this and said she saw this on her home camera this morning. what y’all think this is ? pic.twitter.com/L98wckn6bO
— jey bee . 👑 (@jadynbee_) June 7, 2019
This video was originally shared online by Facebook user Vivian Gomez along with the description: “So I woke up Sunday morning and saw this on my camera and am trying to figure out … what the heck?? First I saw the shadow walking from my front door then I saw this thing. … has anyone else seen this on their cameras?? The other two cameras didn’t pick it up for some reason.”
We reached out to Gomez for more information but have yet to receive a response. Nonetheless, this video has been viewed millions of times and has spurred a number of theories about what it shows. We’re not entirely certain about the identity of this “creature,” but we’ve rounded up some of the most popular explanations and done our best to examine them.
Does this video show a real house elf similar to Dobby?
We’re fairly certain this video doesn’t actually feature Dobby since that house elf is a fictional invention of author JK Rowling. Unless Harry Potter is a documentary series (it isn’t), the chances that this video shows the character of Dobby are infinitesimally small.
Does This Video Show an Augmented Reality Version of Dobby?
Unlikely, but possible.
This video was originally posted to Facebook on 6 June 2019. The following day, Niantic, Inc. and WB Games San Francisco released a trailer for the location-based augmented reality game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
How Stuff Works explains that augmented reality “is the blending of interactive digital elements — like dazzling visual overlays, buzzy haptic feedback, or other sensory projections — into our real-world environments.” In other words, this game will create an illusion for players allowing them to interact with magical beings in the real world:
As you step outside and explore the world, the Map will reveal Traces of magic, highlighting the location of magical Foundables. While these Traces can be found all around you, certain Foundables may be more likely to appear at various types of real-world locations including parks, banks, municipal buildings, college campuses, libraries, monuments, zoos, art galleries, and more. Cast a variety of spells to overcome the Confoundable magic, keep the magical Foundables safe, and send them back to the wizarding world. By returning Foundables, you’ll earn unique rewards that can be tracked in the game Registry.
While this video would probably make a good viral marketing campaign for the game, VGomez doesn’t appear to be involved in any way with that effort. We reached out to Niantic for comment but did not hear back by press time.
A Kid with Underwear on Their Head Doing a Silly Dance?
The most logical explanation is usually the correct one. While we’d love to see some solid evidence confirming the existence of aliens, bigfeet, unicorns, or house elves, this video probably isn’t it.
Gomez’ Facebook page is full of photographs of an approximately 8-year-old boy. A few of her friends also took to the comments section to theorize that the video likely showed Gomez’ son (presumably) doing a silly dance in the driveway:
Viv, I think it’s Bobby! Too much fortnite! I hear your front door open and see the shadow.
Is Bobby sleep walking? I can see his little chicken walk.
The video also appears to show the “creature” exiting the door of this house. At the start of the video, just before “Dobby” enters the frame, a door-shaped shadow on the right side of the screen can be seen moving against the fence. Gomez’ son likely has access to the house. A fictional character from Harry Potter probably doesn’t.
While we haven’t been able to definitively determine what this video shows, the footage likely depicts a young child in a silly costume dancing in the driveway rather than an encounter with a fictional character.
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