This is NOT an image of a road built to avoid cutting down one tree in a desert!

Altered Environment

Preserving our environment, including its vital components like trees, is crucial for humanity’s survival and our planet’s well-being. Many social media users regularly discuss the importance of the natural environment and the urgent need for conservation efforts. However, some social media posts use deceptive or manipulated content when conveying these messages. This investigation aims to shed light on such a misleading image, which gets shared occasionally in many parts of the world.

Social Media Posts 

Recently, a viral image on social media depicted a seemingly remarkable scenario: a road that had been intricately curved to avoid cutting down a single tree in a desert. The caption celebrated the act as a testament to the value of trees and the ingenuity of engineers who saved this lone tree, as seen below.

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Users commented on it like below.

We also noticed that many social media users had shared the same image, hence decided to check the facts behind the claim.

Fact Check 

Upon closer examination, several anomalies within the photo emerged. Notably, the directions of the shadows cast by objects in the image appeared inconsistent. Shadows should align in the same order for objects in a photo taken simultaneously, yet they did not in this case.

A pattern of bushes or stones also seemed to repeat in a marked section of the photo. As we all know, it is a rare scenario in natural settings.

Uncovering the Truth 

Moreover, a reverse image search targeting the section of the photo featuring a line of vehicles led to the discovery of a similar image within the “Getty Images” photo collection. This finding confirmed that the viral photo had been fabricated by combining elements from different images.

The genuine image from Getty Images depicts US Route 160, a road that follows a conventional, direct route. Google Maps also corroborated this information.

Historical Context 

This photo was initially created for an environmental protection project titled “Save Every Tree as If It’s the Last,” led by a Korean advertising agency, ” ‘The Jeski Social Campaign’ of Korean advertising designer Jesok Yee. The campaign emphasized the importance of preserving trees and was featured on the now-defunct website. There was a lot of discussion about this in 2020, also.

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A thorough investigation shows that the viral photo circulated on social media is not an authentic depiction, but a manipulated image created for an environmental campaign project by renowned Korean designer Jesoik Yee. The picture does not represent a road curved to save a single tree in a desert. This case serves as a reminder to critically assess the authenticity of viral images and stories before accepting them as fact.


Title:This is NOT an image of a road built to avoid cutting down one tree in a desert!

Written By: Fact Crescendo Team 

Result: Altered

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