Fact checks about countries

FACT CHECK: Philippines doesn’t have the largest deuterium deposits in the world

FACT CHECK: Philippines doesn’t have the largest deuterium deposits in the world
Filipino scientists have debunked the claim that there are large deuterium deposits in the country

The claim: The Philippines has the largest deuterium deposits in the world. A YouTube video claims that “Deuterium, also known as the white gold in the Philippines, is most prevalent in an area more widely known in the whole world as the Philippine Deep, which is located here in Surigao.” 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video containing the claim has 227,522 views and 2,700 likes as of writing. 

The facts: According to the United States National Library of Medicine website, deuterium is a hydrogen isotope described as a “colorless, odorless gas that is highly flammable.”  

Old claim: Claims about the Philippines being rich in deuterium are not new. The first claims about deuterium in the Philippines can be traced back to 1987, when an article released by the Media Mindanao News Service claimed that the largest deposit of deuterium could be found in the Philippine Deep in Surigao Norte. This article has been debunked by both Rappler and VERA Files. The claim, first made by “scientist” Cesar Escosa, has not been backed by any reliable sources. 

VERA Files also fact-checked a similar claim that was made in a Facebook post that claimed that the richest deposit of deuterium gas could be found in the Philippines. Rappler also previously fact-checked a claim that said the Philippines has started mining deuterium gas. – Katarina Ruflo/Rappler.com

Katarina Ruflo is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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