Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: It Is NOT So Hot in Montgomery County That Corn Is Popping In The Field

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sat, 20 Jul 2019 22:52:37 Z)

Is it so hot in Montgomery County, Maryland that corn is popping on the stalk in the fields? No, that's not true: a joke tweet from a local fire department was copied by Fox 5 DC and went viral but it was not real.

The claim went viral via a tweet published by @fox5dc on July 20, 2019 (archived here) which read:

"It's so hot corn is popping in Montgomery County https://t.co/EMK1IjYAht"

Screenshot of https://twitter.com/fox5dc/status/1152634273024925699

That tweet in turn was based on this one, from the Montgomery County Fire Department:

The image itself dates back from at least 2016 as this Imgur posting proves:

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In a later tweet the firemen explained it was just a joke:

Fox 5 DC was gracious about being fooled by the firefighters:

It's (almost) so hot corn is popping in Montgomery County

UPDATE (3:12 p.m.): Montgomery County firefighters say what many Fox 5 viewers suspected: that the stalk of popcorn photo they shared is a fake. Sick burn, firefighters. We love corn dogs, unicorns, creamed corn & popcorn.

Corn turns to popcorn when the tiny bit of water inside a corn kernel turns to steam and makes the kernel "pop", typically this happens when the water reaches 212 °F. It might be hot in Montgomery County, but not that hot!

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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