The students behind this week's viral video hoax of a golden eagle apparently swooping down to briefly pick up a toddler, got A's for their effort.

That's right. Canada rewards its citizens for making people in the United States look stupid.

According to Today.com, the eagle and the baby were digitally created by four students at Montreal's Centre NAD, a 3-D animation school, who spent more than two months and 500 hours putting together the clip.

"We did all the basic steps of integrating 3-D elements for a film,'' co-creator Normand Archambault told NBC News. "We rigged the eagle, the kid and then we integrated it into the clip. The way we were graded, if you get 100 views, you get a 100 (grade), and we surpassed that, so it was great,'' Archambault said.

Yeah, they surpassed it ... by about 16 million views.

This is not the first video hoax created by students from Centre NAD, which also fabricated a digital clip of a penguin escaping from a Montreal zoo.

Doesn't Canada have anything else to do? Shouldn't they be out waiting in miles-long lines for health care or something?

Hoaxes have become big business in the advertising world. Viral video marketing agency Thinkmodo recently fooled the public into thinking three people were flying through the skies of Manhattan when it was really a stunt to create buzz for an action film. The "people'' were elaborately-equipped remote-controlled aircrafts, but the video racked up seven million views on YouTube.


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The Internet: Where real life goes to die.

"At the end it's about us creating something that's super, super cool and awesome, and it's a 'wow' factor and people share it and just go, 'Hey, you got to see this video,''' Thinkmodo co-founder Michael Krivicka told NBC News.

Contact Tony Hicks at thicks@bayareanewsgroup.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks.