(VERY) weird things happen when a camera’s shutter syncs with a helicopter’s rotor

A helicopter hovering without its rotors moving? Seems like sorcery or something from a sci-fi film, but it’s actually just some clever photography.

A video uploaded by YouTube user ‘Chris Fay’ has baffled viewers who can’t figure out how a helicopter is hovering with its blades completely still. As it turns out, it’s an optical illusion involving matching the camera’s shutter speed with the aircraft’s rotor.

Basically, shutter speed is the length of time a camera spends to gather light. The longer it’s open, the more motion blur it captures. But when the shutter speed is faster – say, as fast as a helicopter can rotate its rotors – then you’d get something pretty surreal.

That or the Matrix is not working again.

Check out this video from HowStuffWorks to know more about this fascinating camera technique.

Via Digg