There isn’t a single day when either one of us sees a WhatsApp forward which potentially goes viral irrespective of it being real or fake. The reason? ‘Forward this message to everyone you know’, almost all of us have read this message in one of our WhatsApp chats, however, it is a well-known fact that this is exactly from where Fake news go viral on the instant messaging app.
One such WhatsApp forward has been doing the rounds of the platform recently which says that people need to drink as much water as they can between May 22 to May 28 as they might be prone to dehydration. Now, we all know how good water is for us and it is recommended that a human body needs at least 4 litres of water daily on an average, then what exactly is so special about this WhatsApp forward that has made it go viral?
Well, this new WhatsApp viral message reads something like this, “Drink more water for the next seven days (May 22-28) due to EQUINOX (an astronomical event where the Sun is directly above the Earth’s equator). Resultantly, the body gets dehydrated very fast during this period. Please share this news in maximum groups. Thanks”.
For the unknown, Equinoxes occur when Earth is tilted neither toward the Sun nor away from it. The word is derived from a Latin word: ‘equi,’ that comes from aequus, meaning equal, as well as nox-‘, meaning night. Hence, an equinox is a point in the year when both daytime and nighttime are of the same length i.e. 12 hours each.
Yes, the phenomenon does exist but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the WhatsApp forward is genuine, in fact, it indeed is fake. While Equinoxes do occur twice every year, this happens around 20 March as well as 22-23 September. This pretty much proves that WhatsApp viral message is fake and is also spreading false information.
“There are two equinoxes every year — in March and September — when the Sun is directly above the Equator and the length of night and day are nearly equal. Social media users are posting without checking the credibility of the messages,” Karanam Ramachandra Rao, Director, Cyclone Warning Centre, was quoted as saying by Deccan Chronicle.