Did this live-streamer accidentally capture tiny tree people?

@itsbobbyopp/TikTok (Licensed)

‘DON’T FEED THEM’: Did this live-streamer accidentally film tiny tree people in the forest? Were they duendes?

‘If it is real, this would be a major discovery.’


Alexandra Samuels


A content creator went viral on TikTok after he, perhaps accidentally, revealed the identities of tiny tree people during a livestream. User @selflextion, who identifies as a “spiritual teacher, healer, and adviser,” posted a snapshot of what he captured during his livestream in a recent video uploaded to TikTok. “This was on live!!! What y’all think? [Anyone] know what that was?” he asked viewers in the accompanying video caption. 

In the video, which has since amassed more than 12.6 million views, @selflextion captured himself talking to the alleged tree people. 

“Come back out,” he said to the people, who were hidden within a tree hollow. In the brief, 18-second clip, @selflextion asked viewers whether he should try to befriend the people or bring them food. 

Who are the tiny tree people?

In the comments, viewers warned @selflextion to be careful. Some said that the miniature mischief-makers come from the world of folklore, where they’re affectionately referred to as “duendes.”

“Some duendes are not friendly,” one user commented. “Be careful.”

“These are called duendes and they are very much real,” another said. 

“DONT FEED THEM duendes are extremely chaotic creatures that have been known to cause misfortune to those who see them,” a third viewer warned. “It’s best to just pretend it’s not there.” 

What are “duendes”? 

According to Mental Floss, duendes are elf-like creatures from Iberian folklore. They’re reportedly known to be both good and bad, though some, it writes, are “prone to mischief-making and will exact revenge if they feel they have been wronged.” The site goes on to say that, in the Spanish-speaking world, some parents will use the tale of the duende to encourage their kids to behave. 

Of course, not everyone believed that the content creator had actually captured duendes—or tiny tree people—on his livestream. Earlier this week, another TikTok user, Bobby (@itsbobbyopp) reposted a snippet from @selflextion’s video and asked viewers whether they believed the people were real or CGI. 

“I think this is real,” Bobby said. “If it is real, this would be a major discovery.” Bobby then told viewers a tale about a young boy named Carlos, who came across duendes in the forest one day. According to Bobby, the boy spent what he thought was “a little bit of time” with the creatures. But, when he came home, Bobby said that Carlos didn’t recognize anything about the real-world. 

“His family no longer lived there. The buildings looked different,” Bobby said. That led Carlos to ask a local shop owner what year it was. Carlos thought he had just spent a few hours with the creatures, but he hadn’t. In fact, Bobby said, the shop owner told Carlos that 76 years had passed. 

Of course, this is all familiar sci-fi folklore.

“I believe the veils of consciousness are being pulled back,” Bobby said. “And I believe that we’ll be experiencing some crazy metaphysical things in these upcoming years.”

He ended his video with a somewhat ominous message: “Truth is stranger than fiction.”  

Still, viewers were torn over whether @selflextion’s video was real.

“I’m skeptical,” one commenter said, noting that they wanted to believe it was real.

@selflextion This was on live!!! What ya’ll think? About know what that was? #selflextion #selflove #truth #consciousness #selfhealing #awakening #spirtitual #chakras #chakrahealing #chakrabalancing #kemtectic #allseeingeye #meditation #alignment #mystical #oneness #motivation #highvibrations #selfhelp #change #pinealgland #fypage #fyp #trending #viralvidoes #thirdeye #trendy #trendingvideo #soul #viral #trending #viraltiktok #wakeup #oneness ♬ original sound – Selflextion

“I zoomed in and the little person is super pixelated,” another wrote. “I don’t think it’s real.”

“These days, unfortunately, you can only believe something if you see it with your own eyes,” a third person wrote. 

The Daily Dot has reached out to both Bobby and @selflextion via TikTok comment.

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