Is Miley Cyrus really dead? All these videos on YouTube say so, and that she'll be missed. She was supposedly in a car accident on her way to film Hannah Montana, and that's when a big freight truck hit her car. She was rushed to the hospital, and that's where she died. Is all of this really true?

Let's take a look at this question through the unforgiving lens of science.

You sent me this on Sunday morning. If Miley Cyrus had died shortly before, then her corpse would have had only a day, tops, to resurrect, shower and go through hair and makeup before arriving at the MTV VMAs Sunday afternoon. Yes, Miley was wearing a black dress on the VMA red carpet. But it was spangly and festive, not funerary and somber. I don't think anyone—not even Tish Cyrus—would have buried her in that.

And, oh, one more thing: and a host of other outlets have declared the death reports a definite hoax.

Here's how the ugly rumor got started:

On Sept. 5, a prankster (or a group of them) planted a fake story on the Internet, claiming Cyrus had migrated to the big 3-D IMAX Hannah Montana concert in the sky. A truck supposedly had "run a stop sign" and careened into a car carrying the young singer; Cyrus was then "rushed in a critical condition" to one "Pacific Alliance Medical Centre," where she expired.

The report appeared to come from the news organization Reuters, though the fact that it was spelled Rueters in the fake story should have raised some skepticism. (The hospital in question is real, though it goes by Center, not Centre.)

Tribute videos immediately sprouted up on YouTube, playing Miley's songs and flashing her photos and lamenting the unfairness of it all. Of course Cyrus went on to appear at the Fashion Rocks event that very same day, Sept. 5, but apparently that didn't quash the hoax.

Seriously: There is no way we saw a dead car-crash-victim Miley zombie flashing the V sign on the VMA red carpet Sunday. She has not died in a car crash. Or a bus crash. Or a Humvee crash. Or a dune-buggy crash. Or a Herbie crash.

Now, here is another one of those numbheaded videos:

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