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By on March 30, 2006, with 33 Comments

This is a great optical illusion. Here we have a Lufthansa and a United 757 landing at the same time on parallel runways at the San Francisco International Airport. These two airplanes are separated by about 200 meters. Still looks impossible! Illusion of two merging planes in midair seems real because Jumbo being three times larger than the 757 and being behind – [via].

Merging Planes Illusion


33 Responses
  1. vurdlak says:

    I still can’t belevie no one is commenting on this illusion! This just doesn’t look possible to me. Is the second plane so big that it looks so close ?!

  2. James says:

    Yes, the plane is almost 3 to 4 times larger than the one in th front. You will notice thou how the fuselages look the same size at mid point of the front but clear the front of the plane in the back is a 2 story behemoth.

  3. Erwin Schlonz says:

    So what about that 4 miles separation every air controller has to maintain between two airplanes?

  4. Paweł Pluta says:

    Erwin, this (4 miles) separation is not about side by side, but about one after another. And anyway 4 miles is only one of many regulations depending on circumstances.

  5. Kevin says:

    the answer is the camera angle…..

  6. Farted says:

    uuuuhhhhhhh…… Im lucky I wasn’t on those planes

  7. lotto says:

    you can see the wing of the larger plane behind the grey one but still totally cool!

  8. Angela says:

    the little plane is painted on the larger plane
    i know this cuz i saw it on another site

  9. Phil says:

    Angela, I beg to differ; how would you explain the extra landing gear, extra tail and extra wing of the United Aircraft?

  10. Joe says:

    you guys……that is a true photoshop illusion. Thanks Adobe.

  11. alex. says:

    i call bulls**t on this one. the size of the windows is the main give away. if those two planes were 200 meters apart, that photo would have to be taken from miles away to achieve that little perspective distortion. my verdict is ‘shopped.

  12. th says:

    I hate to get all mad, but angela is completely wrong. what phil said is right.

  13. dxtr says:

    alex…I gather you have never heard of telephoto lenses?

  14. Hai says:


  15. Al B says:

    So where’s the other wing of the grey plane?

  16. physco says:

    whoa. r they SURE they’re separated by 200 meters? looks impossible

  17. Red. says:

    All i can say is if the jumbos three times the size of the 757, it must have some massive pilots cause its cockpit is the same size.

    I reckon its Photoshopped.

  18. Andres says:

    Yea red and Al b are right. If the one in back is 200 meters away, why are the windows the same size and were is the left wing of the grey plane? Deffinitely shopped.

  19. K says:

    this is definatley not photoshopped, the cockpit windows on the 757 appear much larger than those on the 747 even though the 747 has a much larger cockpit. They are landing on parallel runways very close to each other, the photographer was just lucky to take that photo, for further discussion check here http://www.airliners.net/open.file/0652327/M/ thats where i first saw this shot, its a great photo!

  20. sam da man! says:

    taht aint fotoshop!!!

    tahts a great optical illusion!

  21. lose34r101 says:



  22. Anonymous says:

    that not real, the wings are going into each other

  23. Anonymous says:

    I agree w/ th and phil.

  24. Natu says:

    I think its because of the size difference and the closeness of the 2 planes.

  25. filipino.girl says:


    i just realized,who took this picture?

    photoshopped indeed.
    amazing site vurdlak!

  26. U2freak says:

    this is a super cool illuision.!

  27. kelsey says:

    its sort of easy to figure out. the two different sizes of the two planes make it appear that they are connected. For example we were on a boat and there were two traing going opposite directions it looked as if they were going to crash but there were two tracks (fyi we had been up there before and there was only one track then)

  28. coolkid mcawesome says:

    i wanna drive that

  29. Laharl says:

    I’d say they almost look connected §.§

  30. Meegan Galante says:

    It’s just a plane painted on another plane

    • hmmm says:

      @Meegan Galante;

      if it was just painted on another plane then how can there be 2 tail fins, or whatever those big triangle like things are, and a extra set of wheels and the wing of the jumbo you can see behind the grey plane, oh and also theyre at different angles

  31. hehe (: says:

    can i just say i i was a passenger on one o these planes i would be freaked out to see another plane just 200 metres away

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