Sunday, August 28, 2022

Iridescent Pileus Cloud

Photo by Beckie Bone Dunning

An iridescent pileus cloud forms when tiny frozen ice droplets above the top of a cumulonimbus cloud bend the light into colorful bands.

Below is an even more amazing image claiming to be of an iridescent pileus cloud.

This screengrab is from a viral video posted by Twitter user Science Girl, who later took the image down, not sure of its authenticity. A fact-checking Twitter account called Hoax Eye later determined that the image was manipulated. Already, AI-generated images have started to appear of iridescent pileus clouds

If you're wondering whether a given image is a real, photographic capture or a faked image, one of the best ways to check it is with reverse image search. Drag the image into the search bar of Google Images and you can figure out where the image originated and where else it has appeared.

This is a pretty benign example of a questionable image. With so many photo-real fakes appearing right and left, we have no choice but to be skeptical about the authenticity of everything we see online.


arturoquimico said...

Even before AI, my momma used to say, "Don't believe anything you hear and only about half of what you see!"

David King said...

I wish more people would be skeptical of images and videos online. People seem to take these things at face value if they support their world view and don't even take a moment to even consider if the "content" they are consuming might be fake.

Crul said...

For a more advanced reverse image search, I use (there is a bookmarklet linked there for convenience) to access more (reverse image) search engines. I usually use these 4 which can also be used just adding the image URL at the end of these links:

- Google:
- Bing:
- TinEye:
- Yandex:

Johnpaul Morrow said...

You can tell this was done by a robot because for better or worse, a human would have added my little ponies.

Luca said...

The PC (photoshop, AI, etc) made the photo editing easier, but it has always existed: think to the famous Lenin photo with Trotsky removed, for example. And before photography editing was applied to paintings: for example researchers found that David painted the Lavoiser as a noble and rich couple before the Revolution, but then he modified the portrait as a scientists couple (the version we know) after the Revolution to try to save their lives (with no success). Let's say that the difference is that once editing was for propaganda, now is for having more likes on the web...