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Fact Check: Truth behind the viral video showing moving roots of Shivnaga tree

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The viral video does not show the roots of the 'Shivnaga' tree.  There is no plant or tree named 'Shivnaga' and roots of no plants move like this. The creature seen in this video is a kind of worm, most likely horse hairworm.

Recently, a short video clip is being widely shared on social media platforms claiming to show roots of 'Shivnaga', a tree whose roots allegedly move like worms and remain alive for days. 

The video was shared on a Facebook page with a caption, "The root of Shivnag brich, which remains in the same year for 4 days after cutting." The video is being widely circulated on Facebook.

A Twitter user named Prashant shared the same video with the caption, "WhatsApp fwd..this is the root of a tree called shivnag which keeps on moving even after it is rooted for 15 this true."

The video has also been uploaded on YouTube with the description, "Rare tree shiva nagam tree roots when they are cut from the tree they will continuously move till it gets dried." This video has over 12,000 views. 

We also received several requests to check the veracity of this claim. 

The truth behind the claim 

In our investigation, we found this claim to be false. Experts have clarified that there is no plant or tree named 'Shivnaga' and roots of no plants move like this. The video shows a kind of worm, most likely horse hairworms. 

When we analyzed the comment section of the YouTube video showing the Shivnaga tree's roots, we noticed that many users have commented that the video shows 'horse hairworms.'

When we searched about the worm on google, we found many videos of Horse hairworms on YouTube in which one can see that the creature seen in the viral video is very similar to the said worm. 

Fazil Basheer, a YouTuber with more than 2 lakh subscribers, and a science journalist Vijayakumar Blathur, also stated in their YouTube videos that the creature seen in this video is a horse hairworm. However, it was still not clear. 

On further research, we found a report by Malayalam Samayam about the viral video in which they have quoted Dr. P Sujanapal, the Senior Scientist at Kerala Forest Research Institute.  Dr. Sujanapal clarified that the video does not the show roots of any plant but it shows horse hairworms only. 

Horsehair worms develop as parasites in the bodies of grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches, and some beetles. They are found in water or wet areas, such as in or alongside streams or puddles but they can occur in cisterns, livestock watering troughs, or most open outdoor containers with water. These harmless, curious creatures writhe slowly, contorting their hair-like bodies into intricate knots.

In Malayam Factcrescendo's report, Dr. Ancy Joseph, a scientist at the Aromatic Medical Plants Research Station, Odakkali, clarified that the roots of no plant on earth move like this. She said, “I have never heard of a plant called Shivanagam. In any case, it is safe to say that the roots of any plant on earth do not move like this. It sometimes takes 10-15 days to dry after separation from the plant. Otherwise, surely, the roots do not move like this. There are plants like Shivalingam and Nagapoov. None of their roots are special. ”

We also searched on the internet with the keywords 'Shivnaga tree' and 'roots of Shivnaga tree', but did not find anything. 

In conclusion, the viral video does not show the roots of the 'Shivnaga' tree.  There is no plant or tree named 'Shivnaga' and roots of no plants move like this. The creature seen in this video is a kind of worm, most likely horse hairworm.

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