This video of a seagull stealing a pizza is a graphic creation

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An American Internet user would have filmed an unusual sequence where a seagull would have taken a whole pizza on a table and would have escaped with its meal in its beak. Copied by several Internet users on social networks, the video, seen more than a million times, is actually a graphic creation, the details of which the author has given us.

Verification in a nutshell

  • Video of seagull flying away with pizza in mouth goes viral on multiple posts, sometimes reaching up to a million views
  • The video is a graphic creation by Robert Tolppi, a content creator with special effects
  • The latter explains that he did not claim anything in particular by making this video in barely six hours

In the 8-second video, a young man walks over to his empty pizza box, and exclaims “Oh my god, who ate the pizza?” He then turns around and sees a seagull flying up into the sky with the whole dish in its mouth, before bursting into laughter.

Screenshot from one of the posts claiming to show a seagull flying away with a pizza. © Facebook

A search for the video with the Invid WeVerify tool (see how to proceed here) allows you to find several occurrences, in particular on TikTok. One of them, with more than 16 million views, was posted by Robert Tolppi, a young American who presents himself as a “creator of content with special effects”.

Listening to other videos posted on his TikTok account, we recognize the same voice as in the video of the seagull stealing the pizza. In particular, he explains in one of his videos how to create a filter for Snapchat with a bionic eye.

“It took me about six hours to make the video”

Contacted by the editorial staff of France 24 Observers, Robert Tolppi confirmed that he was the author of the video, and that the seagull had been created using computer-generated images. He sent a tutorial video explaining how he did it.

Video tutorial by Robert Tolppi

Video screenshot tutorial Robert Tolppi
Video screenshot tutorial Robert Tolppi © Robert Tolpi

It took me about six hours to make the video. I didn’t expect her to fool a lot of people, but apparently she did!

The video doesn’t really have a deeper message than just a funny video of a seagull stealing pizza. As far as people stealing my video, I’ve gotten pretty used to people posting my content without credit. This is a reality for any independent creator on the Internet. When something goes this viral, it’s inevitable. People forget who originally posted the video because they probably got it from someone else who didn’t know my username either.

Videos featuring animals are regularly viral on social networks, but sometimes they are graphic creations. In 2018, our editorial team explained in particular how to prove that a video of ducks crossing at a pedestrian crossing was in fact a graphic creation.


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