Parallax Effect: Planes Stopping Mid Air

 In General, Holidays, Travel

Has it ever happened to you that you are travelling in a car and suddenly look out the window and see a plane or planes stopping mid air? Now if you have seen it, then it must have confused you because you never knew that a thing like that existed, right? 

If you are one of those people who haven’t seen it, then the next time you are travelling in your vehicle, look out the window and look for an aeroplane, and there is a high possibility that you may find a plane staying still mid air.

A lot of speculation went on when a man shared a video of a plane staying still mid air with people concluding that maybe that is how time travel works and it is the reason for mysterious flights disappearances like that of MH370, which has been the greatest mysteries in the history of aviation.

Why does this happen? What could be the reason for planes stopping mid air? Does it even happen or is it just an illusion that confuses people or is it a glitch in the matrix? Let’s solve the mystery. 

Reason For Planes Staying Still Mid-Air


If you are wondering if planes stopping mid air is a part of the flight and is normal, then you are wrong because planes do not stop or hover mid-air, helicopters do but not planes.

Now the reason why some people have reported about it is because of the Parallax Effect. The Parallax Effect is a type of illusion that you may encounter if you are in a moving vehicle and you see a plane, which appears to be staying still in the air, but in reality, it is moving. 

So why does it appear stationary when it’s actually moving? It happens because the Parallax Effect makes it look stationary, and if you stop your vehicle, you will see that it is moving and isn’t stationary or hovering in the sky. 

High Order Brain Structure


As per studies, this Parallax Effect makes us see planes stopping mid air because our brain has structures that normally let us put information from our senses into mental images. For Example, if someone is telling you a story, you make a mental image of the entire story, even for the places mentioned, you form a mental image. This is called the high-order structures that help humans collect information and make the complete picture in their minds. 

If we talk about relative motions, then suppose you are in a moving vehicle, your perspective will be influenced by the vehicle you are in. If the plane is flying in the same direction and at the same speed, it will appear stationary to you, creating a paradox that the plane has stopped mid-air. 

If we talk about the perception of distance, involving apparent changes in the object’s position at different distances. Suppose the plane is at a considerable distance and is flying in the same direction as your vehicle, again due to the Parallax Effect, it will appear stationary. 

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Parallax Effect is a fascinating combination of specific angles and relative motion that will create an illusion that the plane stays still in the air, even when it’s moving. 

This image or the perception of the plane hovering in the sky is a result of the interaction between your vehicle, the plane’s movement and the interpretation of your brain’s visual cues.

Can planes really stop in mid-air?

No, planes do not stop mid-air, though it may appear to stop due to the parallax effect but in reality, planes do not stop mid-air.

Why do planes sometimes appear to stop in mid-air during airshows or aerobatic displays?

Planes can sometimes appear to stop mid-air because of an illusion called the Parallax Effect when relative motion and some specific angles create an illusion that makes it look like it has stopped but in reality, it does not stop, not even in the aerobatic displays.

Are there any situations where planes can temporarily remain stationary in the air?

Planes are built to fly forward, and as per the reports, planes cannot stay stationary or hover in the sky, whereas helicopters can do so because they have propellers which lets them stay in one place and airborne. 

What are some reasons why a plane might appear to be stationary in the sky?

The only reason a plane looks stationary is because of an optical illusion called the Parallax Effect, where our brain creates visuals to form the complete picture, especially when we are in a moving vehicle and there is a plane flying parallel to the vehicle, If you stop the vehicle, you will be able to see the plane moving again.

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