By: Sam Doak
April 25 2023
This video was not taken during Ramadan in 2023. Instead it shows swarms of crickets that appeared in early 2019.
In recent days, a video has circulated online showing insects in what appears to be Mecca. Social media users have claimed that it shows events in the holy city during Ramadan. One such post, which was shared on Facebook on April 16, captioned the clip with the statement, “This is happening in Mecca, a downpour fell on the grave of Mohammed - a flood on millions of people who came to celebrate Ramadan. A minute after the rain, millions of cockroaches crawled out of the ground, so the prayer stopped and everyone ran away shouting: -Stop it, get out!”
Since it was published, this post has garnered over 3,500 reactions on Facebook and has been viewed more than 458,000 times. Many of the comments consist of users seeking to make religiously motivated points denigrating Islam.
While this video has been widely shared, Logically Facts has determined that it does not show events during Ramadan as claimed.
A Google search for the term “insects swarm mecca,” returns numerous results concerning an event that took place in 2019. According to Morrocco World News, on January 7, “Flying insects invaded the Grand Mosque of Mecca, Islam’s holiest site in Saudi Arabia.” The outlet report generated a significant amount of interest and content on social media at the time.
Following this event, Gulf Business reported local officials had stated that “Swarms of black crickets that covered the Grand Mosque in Saudi’s Makkah and also spread to other parts of the city were cleared up following heavy fumigation.”
A video of this event, uploaded to YouTube on January 7, 2019, is markedly similar to the one currently circulating online. The user behind this video identifies the location as Masjid al-Haram, otherwise known as the Grand Mosque, in Mecca.
While the location shown in this video appears to be Mecca, as is being claimed, it was not filmed during Ramadan. In 2019, Ramadan began on May 6 and ended on June 4, months after the swarms of insects emerged and were subsequently removed.
From this information, it is possible to conclude that the video in question does not show Mecca being swarmed by cockroaches during Ramadan in 2023. Instead, it depicts large numbers of black crickets that affected the city in early 2019.
This video does not show cockroaches swarming in Mecca during Ramadan. News reports and social media posts prove that it shows crickets that appeared in January 2019, months before Ramadan. This claim has therefore been marked as false.