The fireworks display in the following video took place in Japan and was meant to be a tribute to Led Zeppelin’s song Stairway to Heaven.
The claim first appeared in 2019 and continues to be shared across social media platforms.
Our investigation found that the firework display was not meant to be a tribute to Led Zeppelin but was an art installation. It was created by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang and took place in 2015 in Quanzhou, China. Guo-Qiang is a pyrotechnical artist who specializes in works that use gunpowder as a medium. The installation was the subject of a 2016 Netflix documentary.
The flaming ladder was created by Guo-Qiang to commemorate his grandmother’s 100th birthday and had nothing to do with Led Zeppelin’s hit song. The 500-meter (1,640 foot) wire ladder was attached to a large weather balloon that pulled it into the sky. It was lined with fireworks and gunpowder which created the spectacular display.
This was Guo-Qiang’s third attempt at creating the impressive ladder. His first trial took place in 1994, more than two decades earlier.