A tiny shire in outback Australia which filmed a road being built and posted it online was stunned to discover that the video has gone viral and been viewed more than fourteen million times.
The shire of Moora, a small wheat farming district with a population of 2,800, used a drone to film a three-mile stretch of road being resurfaced and posted the footage on Facebook in December.
Alan Leeson, the shire’s chief executive, said he thought the computer system had been “hacked” when he discovered the video had been viewed by millions and shared more than 360,000 times.
"We had a lot of views by Christmas, might have been about 5000 which we thought, ‘that's a lot', but around New Year it just took off," he told Fairfax Media.
"We thought, ‘we've been hacked’, but it's all been checked out."
The original footage lasted fifteen-minutes but was sped up to produce the three-minute video. It has attracted interest from around the world and generated in-depth discussion – in various languages – about the best way to seal a road.
Mr Leeson said the council bought a drone last year to make videos to promote the region.
"I suggested we film the work because a lot of people don't have a perspective about how roads are bituminised... we thought it was be a good opportunity to show what we do," he said.
The two-day road upgrade, which cost £270,000, was conducted on Airstrip Road, which lead to the region’s airfield.
The video has generated more than 5,000 comments, including detailed discussions of the process for sealing and resurfacing roads.
“Whatever these guys are getting paid they deserve a 50% pay rise… Respect to all the contractors,” said one comment.
Another said: “This looks very efficient, probably not most resistant and precise, but when the basework was good, why not, much better than a dust track!
The bizarre viral response comes just over a year after the events of the Drummond puddle.