TikTok user shares disturbing tale of waking up in an ’empty world’

A TikToker claims to be trapped in an alternate reality where everyone on Earth has disappeared, and now a new “episode” of the series has dropped — igniting “ghost ship TikTok.”

The point-of-view (POV) series by @kilianandmaruta is blowing up on social media. However, there are many unanswered and lingering questions about the mysterious account and its creator (or creators). Here’s why people are intrigued by this fictional universe. 

What is the ’empty world’ POV series on TikTok? 

“I am very scared. I woke up in an empty world,” @kilianandmaruta 

declared in the account’s very first video. 

The clip was posted on March 23 and has since amassed over 4.3 million likes and 23.5 million views. It showed footage of empty streets, a vacant supermarket and an abandoned McDonald’s. The ominous clip had plenty of people wondering what was going on. 

The account now has over 2.3 million followers who tune in to see what happens next as @kilianandmaruta’s story unfolds. Like other POV series on TikTok, you can think of each new post as a new chapter in an ongoing story. 

While many followers believe the video from March 23 is the first from the series, there’s an earlier clip from February 18. In the TikTok, @kilianandmaruta asked for help after receiving an email from an uncle that disappeared who was a nuclear engineer. The uncle sent a code that needed to be deciphered.

On April 11, @kilianandmaruta revealed a bit more of the backstory. 

“What I have done is illegal,” the captions read. “I was a classified AI programmer working for a huge tech company. I hacked my way into the company’s Quantum Computer. Unlimited access. I uploaded my own code to the computer, and it started learning. I respawned in an empty world. And now I am ALONE.” 

Is @kilianandmaruta one or two people? 

What’s interesting about the TikTok account is that there videos from 2020 and 2019 that are totally unrelated to the alternate reality. They appear to be ordinary posts you’d expect from a regular user.

These older videos have caused people to speculate that @kilianandmaruta is two people, a man and a woman who may be from Tokyo. 

There’s some evidence that the videos are filmed in Rome

Snopes noted that some videos show locations that are distinctly Roman, like Ristorante Target, the Hotel Patria and Hotel Richmond

What is the ‘ghost ship’? 

On June 1, @kilianandmaruta claimed to be trapped in a new location: a ghost ship. Footage showed a dining hall, hallways and swimming pool on a cruise ship — and not a soul was to be found. 

The “ghost ship” story arc featured the protagonist hunting down food and exploring the vessel. By the sixth ‘ghost ship’ video, @kilianandmaruta had discovered food, a lifeboat and land. Many believe that a new arc in the narrative will begin next. 

Fan theories 

Some believe the series is a simulation or the product of video editing. Others think the videos are easy to pull off because the world is under lockdown and people are staying at home. 

“Rome is in quarantine, LOL,” a user commented on an earlier video.

People speculated that the ‘ghost ship’ footage was recorded on an old Disney Dream cruise ship or even a ferry in Ireland, according to Snopes. 

“It’s likely that the videos were recorded and people were later removed in the post-production process,” Snopes determined. “Some of the videos shot in cities appeared to be recorded early in the morning, which would mean fewer people on the street to later erase when editing.” 

This isn’t the first time a story like this was told on TikTok

The user @únicosobreviviente, which translates to “the last survivor” claims to have woken up in 2027 Spain where all the people have disappeared. 

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