Viral Clip of Plane Not Moving in Sky Bewilders Internet, Is It an Optical Illusion?

A woman's clip of a plane apparently hovering and "resting," unmoving, while in the sky is going viral on TikTok and raising a lot of questions

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Nov. 4 2023, Updated 9:57 a.m. ET

Viral Clip of Plane Not Moving in Sky Bewilders Internet
Source: TikTok | @.kadeshia

Footage of a plane in the air, laying completely still, has baffled TikTok users. Kadeshia (@.kadeshia) uploaded a video that's garnered a whopping 21.1 million views on the popular application and is the first clip she's ever posted to the app.

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Several folks who've see the clip were left scratching their heads as to what it could possibly be, however, a look at a similar viral phenomenon, along with speculations from commenters, does open up some practical explanations for the fantastical event.

Or, you know, it could be aliens.

"It is freaking weird. That is Southwest. Is that real? It is real, but it's like barely moving. What the f--- it's not moving at all? What the f---? How does that happen?" the two women in the car say as they pass by the airplane which appears to be stationary in the sky as they drive past.

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Source: TikTok | @.kadeshia

What makes the video even more strange is that the plane doesn't appear to be moving from three separate angles: as they're approaching it, it doesn't look like it's moving forward. From the side when they pass it, it still looks like it's just hovering in the sky. And then when the plane is behind the woman in their car, it still appears to just be hanging out in the sky, not moving.

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Weirdly enough, this same type of phenomenon has also been documented online when this viral clip of birds caught on camera that appear to be stuck in the sky, unmoving.

Some people called it a "glitch in the matrix," which also gave way to tons of conspiracy theories, including one that birds aren't real but rather a series of highly advanced aerial drones mean to keep tabs on us.

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So what could possibly be the cause of an airplane being stuck in the air? Well, the videos in question could be hoaxes and the individuals in question who uploaded them simply tossed up doctored footage in the hopes of garnering as much internet clout as possible.

But there does seem to be a scientific explanation as to why both the airplane and the birds were stationary the answer lies in headwinds.

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It could very well be that the speeds in which the birds/planes are traveling are equal to the headwinds that are directly pushing against them, causing a speed standstill if you will that either makes the birds/planes appear stationary or legitimately hovering in the same spot while up in the air.

However, there were some other TikTok users who responded to Kadeshia's video who had some theories of their own. One person wrote: "I’m going to assume it’s a massive kite held together by 2 or 4 strings"

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And there were many others who tried to pass off the sighting as a parallax effect, which is defined as: "the difference in the apparent position of an object when viewed along two different lines of sight. It's measured by the semi-angle of inclination between those two lines."

In short, due to the distance and the speed in which Kadeshia and her friend were traveling along the road, coupled with the expansive blue skyline, made the plane appear to be unmoving when in reality, it was.

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However, one TikTok user who saw the video said that it didn't seem like the video was an example of the parallax effect, given that there were telephone poles that could've been used as visual qualifiers to judge the distance and speed in which the plane was traveling. In this case, they believe the plane was indeed, hovering above the ground in the same spot.

"For everyone saying parallax effect explain the pole below it and how the plain did not move past it or even the building below it, just curious," they wrote.

What do you think? Do you believe it was a case of strong headwinds that kept the plane in the same spot? Did Kadeshia manage to capture a glitch in the matrix, providing proof that our lives are a computer simulation? Or was it just an optical illusion our brains just can seem to process?

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