A conceptual animated video has been taken out of context. The creator of the video says the facility is not real, and no such prototype has been made
A 30-second video recently went viral on social media supposedly showing an incubation facility that can produce up to 30,000 lab-created babies every year. The video shows rows of egg-shaped mini incubators, each containing a fetus inside. As the video pans, it reveals electronic equipment powering these incubators. A few people dressed in protective gear are seen pacing and talking to each other. A female voiceover in the video says, "Introducing EctoLife, the world's first artificial womb facility. Powered entirely by renewable energy. EctoLife allows infertile couple to conceive a baby and become true biological parents of their own offspring. It is a perfect solution for women who had their uterus surgically removed due to cancer or other complications. With EctoLife, premature births and C-sections will be a thing of the past (sic)."
The video has been shared on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube shorts, with the belief that such a facility has already been developed. A Facebook video shared by user Lady J Gist Corner also claims that "technology has enabled" couples to "adjust the mental capabilities" of the child and "select the language" that they want the child to speak. The video was also shared on Facebook by British comedian and actor Russell Brand, who termed the "baby factory” a "terrible idea".
However, the facility described in the now-viral video does not exist. It is merely a concept created by science video producer Hashem Al-Ghaili.
We found that the viral clip is part of a longer 8:39-minute video describing the animations of these "artificial wombs" in detail. The video was originally uploaded by Al-Ghaili on his YouTube channel on December 9, 2022. In the video, at the 7:55 mark we hear the voiceover saying it is a "concept" of the EctoLife facility "imagined and designed by biotechnologist and science communicator Hashem Al-Ghaili."
Al-Ghaili has released a press statement on the concept, describing himself as a Berlin-based producer, filmmaker, and biotechnologist.
Logically contacted Al-Ghaili for further clarification about this viral claim. In an email response, he said, "The video itself was taken out of context by users who shared it. EctoLife is NOT a real facility and there is no work being done to create the prototype as of now. The video is intended to showcase how far science and reproductive technology have progressed and initiate the discussion around such technology." He added, "I used the word "concept" right from the announcement itself. I did it across all social media platforms."
A 2021 report published by the Prospect, a U.K.-based magazine, noted that "no human embryos have been grown outside the womb beyond 14 days," which is the very early stage of becoming a baby, as per laws in place in many countries. Though research groups worldwide are exploring the possibility of artificial human gestation, no such facilities are currently available.
The facility depicted in the video is fictional. EctoLife is not a real facility, and there is no prototype being worked on.