In the world of weird videos, most appear to be the result of simple tricks of the light, or deliberate obfuscation, such as green screens or other special effects. But what happens when the weirdness is just a result of the way the camera operates, as in this deeply unsettling video of a helicopter that seems to be floating in mid-air without moving its propellers.
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Is this obviously glitchy helicopter proof we are living in a simulation, or is there something else going on? The answer isn’t supernatural, but it’s still pretty cool. It has to do with the frame rate of the video camera, meaning how many still frames of video are being recorded per second.
Helicopters typically rotate their blades at 360 RPM, which is 6 revolutions per second. Since 6x5=30, that means this five bladed helicopter has 30 blades passing any given point in a single second. If the video is being shot at 30 frames per second, that’s a perfect match, and the blades will appear to be perfectly still. This is similar to the effect that happens in a strobe light, where people appear to be a series of freeze frames or stop-motion images.
But even though there’s a technical explanation for what is going on in this video, that doesn’t make it any less scary. The good news is, this effect is only seen on the video. If you were the person taking the video, the helicopter overhead would appear perfectly normal.