Gastonia and Switzerland don’t have a lot in frequent. But a viral TikTok video influenced a Florida woman to go go to what she thought was a small pastoral village surrounded by snowy mountains in North Carolina.
Olivia Garcia street tripped together with her household to the Carolinas from Jupiter, Florida, to take a look at the snow throughout Winter Storm Izzy final week. While driving to Angel Oak Park in Charleston, S.C., the 26-year-old discovered a TikTok video labeled “Gastonia, NC.” Mesmerized by the mountains within the video, she satisfied her household to make a detour.
“I’m from south Florida, so the closet thing we have to mountains down here are landfills, which is why I was so excited when I saw the TikTok,” Garcia informed the Observer. “I had never heard of Gastonia before, but the name sounded like something out of a Disney movie.”
What Garcia didn’t know is that the TikTok was really a video of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, not Gastonia, west of Charlotte.
“I realized when we were like 20 minutes out that something wasn’t right,” she mentioned.
There have been no mountains in sight, solely “run-down gas stations” and no working bogs, Garcia mentioned. The solely close by mountains was a mountaineering park, she mentioned.
“I’m sure there’s a nicer part of town, but we didn’t stick around long enough to find out,” Garcia mentioned.
Embarrassed, Garcia made a TikTok of her personal acknowledging that she received “RickRolled” into believing that Gastonia was a village in Switzerland.
“Moral of the story, don’t believe anything you see on the Internet,” Garcia mentioned.
The offender behind the TikTok Garcia discovered was 22-year-old Zachary Keesee, who felt dangerous about the entire state of affairs.
“I told her I was sorry on her video,” Keesee mentioned. “She seemed to take some humor out of it, and said it was OK.”
Keesee’s TikTok of “Gastonia” has over 5.7 million views and is one in every of 19 “Not Carolina” movies he’s posted over the previous a number of weeks. The mislabeled movies have been impressed by a pal who went snowboarding within the Rockies and posted an image of his journey on social media with the caption “I love skiing in Boone,” Keesee mentioned.
The movies in Keesee’s TikToks are from totally different locations he has traveled to through the years. In a video with over 318,000 views, he took a video of the Duomo di Milano Cathedral in Milan, Italy, and labeled it “Concord Mills Mall, North Carolina.” A separate video of Venice, Italy, has over 143,000 views, and it’s mislabeled “Raleigh, NC.”
The video used within the mislabeled Gastonia TikTok is from a visit to Switzerland Keesee took along with his father in January 2020. Keesee mentioned he likes to journey as a result of his father, a software program engineer, went locations for work and introduced him again souvenirs.
Although Keesee has over 500 movies posted on his profile, the “Not Carolina” TikToks have garnered essentially the most views. People love telling others that they’re mistaken, and that’s why the movies have achieved so effectively, Keesee mentioned.
Keesee, who lives in Durham, is consistently bombarded by folks in his remark part telling him how inaccurate his movies are.
“People are telling me how I have never been to Gastonia, or not from there,” Keesee mentioned. “I’m sorry if they don’t understand the humor I intended with the videos, but hey, you can’t trust everything you see on the Internet. Always research!”