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By on December 30, 2012, with 32 Comments

Before we dive into today’s piece, let me first distance myself a bit, and disclaim how I know nothing about it’s origins, where it is located, nor how it came to be. I’ve received this from an anonymous source claiming it’s an aerial shot of a rock formation that became viral lately. Because of the amazing similarity to an actual animal, I suspect it’s not real (as I think if it was, the news would reach me sooner). So be sure to take all this what I’ve just said into account before you proceed. More info would be more than welcome! This is why I’m always reluctant to post “Google Earth” illusions – either they’re too pareidolic, or too good to be true fake.

Elephant Rock Formation Illusion


32 Responses
  1. z2d4th says:

    Fake.. you can notice on the edge of the image.

  2. articulett says:

    It’s the imprint of an actual imprint of an elephant in the sand from Chester zoo… it looks like it’s a relief, but it’s an indentation similar to the famous mask illusion.


  3. Eric Douglas says:

    I copied the image into google images and found this:
    I’ve never really thought about how elephants slept. Pretty cool.

  4. Indy says:

    Google likes to put thus sort of thing in Google earth as ‘Easter eggs’ now and then.

  5. Pussy Pop In My Candy Shop says:

    Ooooh an elephant! Yea, looks too contrived, most likely photoshop.

  6. Pussy Pop In My Candy Shop says:

    Oh yea I’m first! Don’t really care but everyone says it lol

  7. Greg Hitchings says:

    I wonder how they faked that face on the moon!

    Just kidding. The elephant looks carved or faked.

  8. eric says:

    i think the trunk, ear and jaw are in part real, the rest was added in. a good photoshop – but thats all
    aw well… one time i saw snowing on the peak of a mountain – looked exactly like a polar bear!

  9. Jyri says:

    I Think your skeptical approach is justified. But.. the real story behind this image is almost as good ;)


  10. Kelsey says:

    It seems like the real story is that it is the imprint of an elephant’s head in mud left while it was sleeping at Chester Zoo, UK.

  11. Karla B. says:

    I can spot at least three (partial) elephant images within the illusion.Clever, but undoubtedly anthropogenic.

  12. Roland says:

    A simple image search on google leads you to several websites, such as:

  13. You are correct, this is not an aerial shot. it’s actually a lot smaller than that. This is an impression of a zoo elephant in it’s bedding.

    Here’s the original link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2205330/Chester-Zoo-Perfect-imprint-elephant-left-sand-fell-asleep.html

  14. Charlie says:

    Actually, what happened here was that an elephant lay down on some wet mud and then the mud dried leaving the imprint. It was taken at Chester Zoo in England. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2205330/Chester-Zoo-Perfect-imprint-elephant-left-sand-fell-asleep.html

  15. Mark Pilgrim says:

    The picture is real, however it was taken at Chester Zoo, It is the
    imprint an elephant left after sleeping peacefully in the soft sand of its inside enclosure. Chester Zoo has one of the best breeding herds of Asian elephants in Europe and is world renowned for its excellent animal welfare. amazing picture!

  16. Jim says:

    This is an impression of a baby elephant at the zoo. You can read about it at optical spy http://www.opticalspy.com/1/post/2012/12/elephants-and-impression.html

  17. Tim says:

    A google reverse image search reveals that this is an imprint in the sand made by a sleeping elephant at Chester Zoo in England.


  18. Wilf says:

    Sand imprint from Chester Zoo according to their site: http://www.chesterzoo.org/must-sees/zoo-news/sundara-imprint

  19. xaveir says:

    its fake!

  20. taz says:

    Well, nope, it’s not a formation somewhere in the deserts. Its the imprint of a real sleeping elephant at some british zoo.
    –> http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2205330/Chester-Zoo-Perfect-imprint-elephant-left-sand-fell-asleep.html

  21. Micah says:

    Hard to tell if it’s a topography shot from a satellite or a photo that is much closer (e.g. 3-4 feet away)

    I don’t think it’s a google earth shot since I can’t find any other reference to it on the web.

  22. chixmon says:

    From a quick search on the web it appears that this is an imprint in the sand left by a sleeping elephant at the Oregon Zoo.

  23. Quincy says:

    This isn’t an illusion nor a rock formation, it is an imprint in sand left by an actual elephant


  24. Martha says:

    Getting a bit tired with all the fakes and low-quality content here. Used to be one of my fav websites, but apparently its all about selling ads now.

    Seems like all the illusions gave you the illusion that this would qualify as an illusion.

    Im disillusioned.

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