Greta Thunberg lookalike photo from 1898 prompts confusion: ‘She’s a time traveller sent to save us’

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A 121-year-old photograph has inspired a joke theory that Greta Thunberg is a time traveller on a mission to save the planet.

The picture shows three children working at a mine during the Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon TerritoryCanada, in around 1898.

One of them, a girl with braided hair and a hat, is said to bear a resemblance to the 16-year-old climate change activist.

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“I’m not one for conspiracy theories but Greta is 100 per cent a time traveller,” commented Twitter user Simon Binns.

Another joked: “Maybe she is from the future who was sent back in time to key moments in history to stop climate change.”

leftCreated with Sketch.
rightCreated with Sketch.

“Greta’s a time traveller, from the future, and she’s here to save us,” said author Jack Strange. ”She obviously tried to go back 120 years, didn’t work, and now she’s here. Obviously!”

The original picture was taken by the Swedish-American photographer Eric Hegg, who also took part in gold-digging expeditions as well as capturing the daily life of prospectors.

It is possible the girl was a member of the Swedish community in the Yukon at that time. There are now just under 1,000 Swedish-Canadians living in the territory.

The connection appears to have first been made on 9 November by a Facebook user from Virginia who posted the image on a paranormal community group.

It was added to the ArtAlienTV Youtube channel six days later under the title “Greta Thunberg Found in 120 Year Old Photo?”, though many immediately claimed it had been digitally altered.

From there it was picked up by The Sunday Express on 17 November, only for the story to be mysteriously deleted within 24 hours.

The photograph, which can be found online in the Eric Hegg special collection at the University of Washington, then quickly spread across Twitter and other news sites.

Ms Thunberg is sailing on a boat from the US to Europe for the UN Climate Change Convention in Madrid.

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