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Loreben Tuquero
By Loreben Tuquero April 17, 2024

Videos showing a horse-drawn carriage are from the opening of a Swiss rail tunnel, not CERN

If Your Time is short

  • These videos show the opening ceremony of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland, not CERN.

  • Here’s how PolitiFact chooses which statements to fact-check.

Horses galloped into a tunnel drawing a carriage behind them. Dozens of people clad in orange jumpers slowly marched in. Moments later, they begin to dance.

It is not an event you’d expect in a nuclear research facility, but an April 14 Instagram post claimed this video showed the opening of CERN, or the European Organization for Nuclear Research. 

Elsewhere on social media, an April 7 Facebook video with the caption "Ceremony at Cern" showed an outdoor performance with a similar theme. The jumpsuit-clad performers marched and danced before a rock formation backdrop. The video’s narrator said, "The more I look at it, it seems to be a portal that they’ve opened. The workers appear to be doing some sort of ritualistic dance to gain access or to have the portal open up for them."

(Screenshot from Instagram)

These posts were flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Featured Fact-check

Neither of these performances happened at CERN, which was founded in 1954. Reverse-image searches showed that the videos were of the 2016 opening ceremony at Switzerland’s Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel.

The first video matched a YouTube video by Railway Gazette International from June 2016, titled, "Gotthard Base Tunnel opening ceremony." The second video matched a video uploaded by the Daily Mail in a June 2016 article about the tunnel’s inauguration.

Although CERN is also based in Switzerland, it is more than 120 miles away from the tunnel.

Misinformation about CERN has circulated for years, so much so that the organization has addressed some false claims about its work on its FAQ page. Its website says: "CERN will not open a door to another dimension."

We rate the claim that this video showed the opening of CERN False.

RELATED: Is CERN activating the world’s most powerful particle accelerator for the April 8 eclipse? No

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Videos showing a horse-drawn carriage are from the opening of a Swiss rail tunnel, not CERN

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