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Video of Japanese museum attraction turns into fake viral story of boy winning 20kg gold bar at Dubai International Airport

Recently a viral video that showed a boy winning 20kg gold bar at Dubai International Airport took the internet by storm. It was shared by many netizens and news sites, including Mothership.

It appeared that he was taking part in the “Gold Bar” challenge where he had to remove a 20kg gold bar from a small hole in a glass box. The winner of the challenge gets to be the owner of the gold bar without paying a single cent.

Although it may sound like an easy task, but in reality it isn’t. For a start, lifting 20kg gold bar is tough on its own, especially if you have to do it with one hand. In order to complete the challenge, one has to have immense concentration and perseverance to carefully maneuverer their hand to remove the gold bar from a small hole that is just enough for a hand to slide in.

A few other news sites also posted a video of some individuals in a different setting, trying to pull out the gold bar from the hole but to no avail.

After looking closely at the video posted by Aviator Anil Chopra and a search on Google, it appeared that this challenge was not held at Dubai International Airport. It was in fact conducted by Istanbul Gold Refinery using their trademark gold bar called GRAMGOLD. Based on the Turkish company’s website, this product was created as a new concept of “small investment bars” in the Turkish market.

A spokesperson from Dubai Airports has also confirmed with TOC that this gold bar challenge was never held at its premise. “Dubai Airports can confirm that this installation is not currently, nor has been in the past, positioned at either of our airports,” said the spokesperson.

Therefore, the question now boils down to where exactly did the young boy take part in the gold bar challenge. If you look closely at the video, you can tell that the background doesn’t look like an airport at all. A simple search online will tell you that this is actually a scene at the Sado Gold Mine Museum in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, which holds a similar challenge.

According to an article Nipponia, visitors who succeed in retrieving the 12.5 kg gold bar will have to give it back to the museum, but they will be given a prize for their efforts.

The diameter of the hole in the transparent box is just about 8.5cm, just 1 cm wider than the gold bar. In the seven years that the museum has opened, only 600 people have been able to do it. The museum, which was once Japan’s most productive gold mine, receives 260,000 visits each year, which clearly shows how difficult the museum’s challenge is.

Here’s a recording of individuals trying their luck in removing the bar from the box. If they’re able to do so, they will receive a gold card worth 4,500 yen (S$55).