'Levitating' Bird Baffles People As It 'Defies Gravity' in Viral Video

A video of a bird that appears to be levitating is baffling people online, after a clip went viral.

Twitter user Sander, from The Netherlands, shared a short video online from a home security camera.

It's angled towards a driveway, where a bird appears to glide through the air in front of it, without moving its wings.

"Wait? What?" Sander captioned the clip.

Thousands have watched the video after it was uploaded earlier this week, as people joked there was a "glitch in the Matrix."

Rather than it being clever editing, numerous people pointed out the phenomenon was caused by the camera's frame rate matching the beat of the bird's wings.

As they were perfectly in sync, the camera only captures the bird when its wings are down, making it appear as if it's levitating.

Commenting online, David from Norwalk asked: "A glitch in the Matrix?"

Wait? What? 🤯 pic.twitter.com/ir4cqxTKFU

— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden_) May 4, 2021

"Hitchcock was right," thought UGAGrad.

Mama G commented: "Defying gravity! What is going on?"

While Debi Babcock thought: "Damn bird got himself a rocket pack."

A few people worked out the science behind the clip, with Neil Malcolm writing: "Shutter frame rate at same frequency of birds wings, amazing though creepy."

It later emerged the clip was first uploaded in 2017, but has gone viral after it was shared on social media earlier this week.

The original author explained more about the incredible footage, and confirmed it wasn't a fake.

Posting under the name GingerBeard, he dubbed the feathered friend "floaty bird", saying: "The bird. He floats!"

Writing on YouTube, he said: "Yes it is a real bird. No I did not use strings. No the footage is not edited. Yes I have YouTube slowing it down to make it easier to see. Yes it is happening due to the capture frame rate matching the flap speed of the bird. No I did not adjust the camera for the bird.

After saying "birds are weird," GingerBeard revealed he captured the footage on his NVR (network video recorder), adding "camera is HIKVISION's DS-2CD2342WD-I. 2688x1520@20fps."

In response to claims he'd doctored the footage, he shared a nine-minute video, dubbed "the making of floaty bird," containing footage from the entire day.

"Here is the behind-the-scenes look at my NVR which captured floaty bird. Yes the bird was real, and really flying around a lot that day," he said.

And he also slowed down the footage, saying: "As you all can see, this is the unedited capture straight from the NVR. I have no video editing skills, obviously, and this is just the raw screen capture. You can see when I show various instances of the bird checking out the camera, and I slow things way down to get a more clear look on things."

Stock image of a sparrow
Stock image of a sparrow in flight. A clip is going viral appearing to show a bird 'levitating'. Getty Images/MriyaWildlife