No evidence of ‘nanobots’ in Covid-19 test swabs

16 August 2021
What was claimed

Covid-19 nasal swabs contain nanobots.

Our verdict

There is no evidence for this.

A video shared on Instagram claims to show “nanobots” in a Covid-19 PCR test swab.

In the video, the material on a swab is scraped onto a plate and alcohol and water added. It is claimed, when viewed through a magnifying glass, this causes small dots of light to appear in the solution which are pronounced to be nanobots. 

This is not evidence there are nanobots in nasal swabs. There is no evidence that there are nanobots in nasal swabs.

Nanobots are tiny devices being developed for a number of purposes, including within the human body. For example, nanobots have been developed to deliver drugs to hard-to-reach parts of the human body.

Nanobots can be made out of various materials, including organic substances like proteins. 

The PCR test swab shown is made by Canadian company Switch Health. We have asked Switch Health what its swabs are made of, but it had not responded at the time of publication. The Canadian government says that swabs should be made of polyester, rayon or nylon.

It’s unclear what exactly is behind the specks of light that appear in the video. 

It could simply be small clumps of the swab material reflecting the limited light in the room, itself intensified by the magnifying glass, giving the appearance that the specks are glowing.

Or it could just be a reflection of other objects in the room on the alcohol. 

It’s worth noting that, at the beginning of the video, before any of the swab material is scraped off, you can see similar specks of light reflecting off the surface of the plate.  

We tried to replicate the experiment, but no glowing specks, nanobots or otherwise, were observable.  

We have been unable to track down the original poster of the video to ask them more about their “experiment”, and the TikTok accounts from which it originated appear to have been deleted. 

We have previously written about false claims that nasal swabs are being used to deliver nanoparticles or parasites into the body.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because there is no evidence for this.

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