A video claiming to show a rain of worms on cars in Liaoning Province of China has been circulating on social media. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Visuals of worms raining in Chinese Province of Liaoning.
Fact: Chinese media outlets and authorities made no such reports of a worm rain phenomenon, and close inspection of the video showed the so-called worms were not visible on nearby roads. Chinese residents and journalists identified them as the catkins of the poplar tree, which are a common sight during spring. Catkins are groups of flowers that hang from trees and do not have petals. They can be found on many types of trees, and the wind helps carry pollen for reproduction. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
First, we conducted a thorough search of Chinese media outlets to determine if there were any reports of a worm rain phenomenon. However, we could not find any such reports. Additionally, we did not come across any announcements from Chinese authorities asking people to take shelter due to raining worms, as claimed in the post. Additionally, upon closer inspection of the video, it becomes apparent that the so-called “worms” are not visible on the nearby roads, which would have been the case if they were raining down from the sky as claimed.
After the video went viral, several Chinese users and journalists took to Twitter to debunk the claim, stating that the alleged “worms” were the catkins of the poplar tree.
It is worth noting that poplar trees are widely grown across China, and catkins are a common sight during the spring season. Furthermore, we found similar images of catkins dropped on cars parked under trees in China, which can be seen here, here, and here.
According to Britannica, a catkin is a group of flowers that hang from a stem and do not have petals. They can be found on many types of trees like willows, birches, oaks etc. The wind helps carry pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers so that they can reproduce. Some plants have both male and female flowers on the same plant, while others have them on separate plants. More visuals of Catkins can be seen here and here.
To sum it up, the viral video claiming rain of worms in China actually shows poplar tree catkins.