Greta Thunberg could be a time traveler, claims Twitter | News | DW | 21.11.2019
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Greta Thunberg could be a time traveler, claims Twitter

The Swedish teen activist has a doppelgänger in a 120-year old picture of a girl in Canada. Twitter users have dubbed her a time traveler. A DW investigation shows the photo of Thunberg's look-alike is no fake.

Twitter blew up a tiny bit this week after users identified a girl in an old photo as Greta Thunberg. The similarity between the climate activist and the girl in the picture is striking, right down to the long braids the two wear.

The original image is part of the University of Washington Libraries' photo collection. It is credited to photographer Eric A. Hegg and titled "Three children operating a rocker at a gold mine on Dominion Creek, Yukon territory, ca. 1898."

Three children operating rocker at a gold mine in Canada, ca. 1898

The children were apparently extracting water from a well

Hegg was a Swedish-American photographer who documented the Klondike and Alaska gold rushes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The real deal

DW investigated the photo for telltale signs of fakery but was unable to find any.

A reverse-image search showed the same picture has been used in the past, long before Greta Thunberg began her "school strike for the climate" in 2018, in which she made her name as an activist.

Read more: Greta Thunberg, the teenage eco-activist who took the world by storm

A forensic investigation of the photo showed no signs of manipulation (see top photo).

A Facebook user posted the picture on November 8, writing that she had seen it at Seattle's Pike Place Market, a popular tourist destination. The image with comments about time travel appeared days later on Twitter.

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