Snopes.com — The popular debunking website which describes itself as having all “latest rumors, urban legends, myths and misinformation gathered together in one nifty list,” was forced this week to demonstrate that the 1990s film Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray was in fact FALSE. Rumors started circulating last week on social media that the popular movie had some truth to it; that it was possible for humans to repeat a day over and over again using quantum mechanics and string theory.
Groundhog Day tells the story area weatherman Phil, portrayed by Bill Murray, who is out to cover the annual emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets caught in a blizzard that he didn’t predict and finds himself trapped in a time warp. He is doomed to relive the same day over and over again until he gets it right.
The false rumor started when an Internet meme began circulating in “Alternative Consciousness” Facebook groups, but soon spread to more mainstream ones including Twitter, Reddit and even Stumbleupon, which many thought had died years ago. The meme featured a screen capture from one of the more iconic moments of the film, where Phil is about to take his life with the Groundhog he believed at the time to be the source of his troubles.
It wasn’t until Saturday night that the meme had gone viral that the editorial team at Snopes.com sprung into action and began preparing an article to debunk the obvious fake assertion. However some are questioning Snopes’ acknowledgement of such an obvious parody.
“It’s hard to say what Snopes was thinking,” said Professor James Badwater of the University of Chicago’s Badwater Institute of Public Policy. “But they are the experts on this kind of foolery. So they must have felt the need to address it. I guess I’m an optimist, because I would like to think even the most intellectually challenged of us out there would see that this is ridiculous.”
As of this morning, the meme was still being aggressively shared around the Internet. In a related development, a GoFundMe.com page was started by a Derry, New Hampshire man claiming that he could make the entire SNOPES.COM editorial staff repeat the same day over and over again using common household appliances like toasters. He’s raised over $960 after 24 hours.