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S-s-s-sham! Viral video of hawk dropping snake on family barbecue was a hoax

Alert your friends who shared it on Facebook. The popular video was all a stunt by an Australian sports team.

Did someone you know recently share a video of a hawk dropping a giant snake on a family barbecue? It's a pretty jolting half-minute of video. The bird soars over a river, lands briefly to pick something up, takes off again, circles and then dives right at the camera, flinging the snake like a toddler pushing a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios off his high chair. There's intent in that bird's toss, it's like it's got to make a basketball free throw or a soccer penalty kick.

The athletic comparison turns out to be appropriate, because on Thursday, Hawthorn Football Club, a team playing in the Australian Football League and nicknamed the Hawks, admitted it was all a hoax.

"We wanted everyone to know that it's September and the Hawks are on the attack and hopefully we've succeeded," a Hawthorn spokesperson said on the team's site. "Our aim was to create a real buzz around the launch of our seventh consecutive finals campaign and really get people talking. The debate over its authenticity has been had by various media outlets across both Australia and the globe. Hopefully we haven't scared too many people off a BBQ by the Yarra (River)."

Many viewers were wise to the scam from the start, pointing out, among other things, that the snake isn't even visible when the bird first supposedly grabs it, and a gull in the foreground doesn't panic when the giant bird of prey swoops down towards it.

The team worked with Melbourne production group, The Woolshed Company, which recently admitted to a two-year experiment during which it faked numerous viral videos.

That's it, mates. We're not believing anything out of Australia anymore. Kangaroos and koalas have always looked fake anyway, if you ask us, and don't even get us started on wallabies.