Over the weekend, special effects artist Bruce Branit posted a video on YouTube showing what looked like a small spider crawling out of his ear, which he claimed he got from swimming in a lake in central Missouri.
Many were grossed out and started to debate the validity of the impressively real-looking video.
Some were quick to point out that Banit has "FX" right in his YouTube username. Kind of a dead giveaway.
While others couldn't get past how downright icky the whole thing was.
The skeptical ones were clearly on the money, because the video is obviously an elaborate hoax. Branit fessed up to the clever forgery in a blog post on his website.
"Okay. So, yeah. I don't really have a spider in my ear. I did have a hell-of-a case of swimmers ear and that was the inspiration," he wrote.
Branit, an Emmy-nominated visual effects artist, told BuzzFeed News that as a writer and director he enjoys creating stories that affect people.
He also elaborated on his inspiration:
"I came down with a massive and painful plugged ear after swimming and held up my iPhone to see if I could see anything in there," he said. "The footage itself was pretty gross, so I imagined, what's the worst thing you might find in there? Having the ability to do things like that, I added our little furry friend and freaked out millions of people."
Though he's clearly talented at digital trickery, having worked on shows like Pushing Daisies and Lost, he told BuzzFeed News he was shocked at how viral the video went.
"I knew it was gross and horrific, and those things tend to have an audience on the internet. But I was surprised how many people, and reporters, never stopped to question it," Branit said. "Especially since it was posted on a channel whose other work are all visual effects."
Some of Branit's work.