That Dinosaur Croissant Going Viral Right Now Is Tragically Fake

Have you seen that croissant made in the shape of a dinosaur that’s gone viral in recent days on sites like Reddit and X? It’s incredibly cute. But we regret to inform you this “Croissantosaurus” was made using generative AI. In fact, if you track down where this pastry was first posted, you’ll find an entire fake restaurant that never existed.

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“Babe, what’s wrong? You haven’t eaten your Croissantosaurus…” a viral tweet joked on X. The tweet has over 3.3 million views at the time of this writing.

But a reverse-image search of the admittedly cool-looking pastry will bring you to this Instagram page for a restaurant in Austin, Texas called Ethos Cafe. And if you notice something weird about the restaurant, you’re not alone.

“Unleash your inner paleontologist and savor our new Dino Croissants. Choose your favorite dinosaur and pair it with a delightful cappuccino. A prehistoric treat for a modern indulgence!” the Instagram post reads.

Strangely, Ethos doesn’t actually exist and appears to be some kind of hoax or art project by anonymous creators. Austin Monthly reported on the fake restaurant last year and a subreddit for Austin Food picked apart many of the weird things about this new restaurant when it first surfaced online almost a year ago.

For starters, all the staff at the restaurant appear to be AI-generated. Do you spot anything strange about this bartender, aside from the fact that he’s named Tommy Kollins? That’s right, he appears to be gripping that drink with a hand that has six fingers.

An image that appears on a fake restaurant website for Ethos Cafe in Austin, Texas that appears to be made using AI.

An image that appears on a fake restaurant website for Ethos Cafe in Austin, Texas that appears to be made using AI.
Image: Ethos Cafe

AI image generators like DALL-E, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion often have trouble generating hands accurately. And while many improvements have been made since they were first introduced, hands can still be tricky.

The website also has odd instructions for obtaining a reservation, which appears to be a commentary on the lengths some people will go to in order to eat at elite dining establishments.

“Reservations go live at 4:30 am every first Monday of every month. By using multiple devices simultaneously, you can access our system more easily, reduce competition from other users, respond faster, and have a backup option in case of any technical issues or internet connection problems. This approach maximizes your opportunity to secure your desired reservation promptly and efficiently,” the website reads.

Gizmodo tried to contact the Ethos Cafe through form on its website. We’ll update this post if we hear back. But in the meantime, just know that the Croissantosaurus is adorable, but totally fake.