'Strange object falling from the sky' is seriously confusing people
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Featured Image Credit: sedafarout/reddit
Look up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... actually we're not really sure what it is but it's an opportunity for lots of people to clown around on the internet.
Americans have had some pretty compelling reasons to keep their eyes on the skies in recent weeks, what with all the Chinese spy balloons, and several objects which probably weren't spy balloons, getting shot down.
The thing is when you're on the ground, it can be pretty difficult to figure out exactly what you're looking at up in the sky.
Obviously, the answer is that it's definitely aliens and all those people claiming UFOs were real were right all along, but there were a number of theories posited on what it might be.
Many thought it was yet another balloon getting shot down and took the opportunity to spin the idea into a sequence of paraphrased Star Wars quotes about the 'balloon wars'.
Someone else reckoned we were witnessing 'the best star balloon pilot in the galaxy' and the object was dubbed the 'helium falcon'.
While another said the weird trails in the sky looked 'like my eye floaters', and someone else said it was 'obviously a Chinese UFO from the future that has torn a hole in the continuum'.
Some of those claiming to have a familiarity with aviation have said it's actually a contrail, the vapor trails left by planes as they fly through the sky.
And several people claiming to be pilots backed up the idea that it was a contrail, with one claiming they knew 'unequivocally that this is indeed a contrail'.
However, someone else saying that they 'come from a family of commercial pilots' didn't agree, but another commenter pointed out that would be 'like me saying I come from a family of doctors' and trying to give medical advice.
Meanwhile, another person claiming to be a contrail (welcome to the internet) tried to deny those claims, but since we're pretty sure contrails can't post on the internet, we can discount that one.
While it doesn't look like a usual contrail, the time of day the video was taken could explain all of that handily, as a contrail against the setting sun can produce an optical illusion where it looks vertical rather than horizontal.
It actually wouldn't be the first time such an illusion had been confusing people, as back in 2010, people mistook a vapor trail for signs of a missile launch and the North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad) had to reassure people nothing had been fired.
Experts explained at the time that the trail had simply been 'illuminated by the setting sun', producing the optical illusion which had led some people to worry when they saw it over the Californian sky.