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Bunny Outruns Airliner
June 19, 2006 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Bunny versus Airbus A380. The bunny was on the runway as the A380 came in for a landing, but managed to avoid getting pancaked by bolting as the behemoth decelerated. We salute you, Runway Bunny.
posted by brownpau (146 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
[via accordion guy]
posted by brownpau at 10:21 AM on June 19, 2006


Yay.
posted by isopraxis at 10:25 AM on June 19, 2006


I'm disappointed that we only have still photos, not video, but I am of course pleased that we did not end up with a bunny with an airplane on its head.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:28 AM on June 19, 2006


I call bullshit... there is no way that photo is real. It's too good to be true.
posted by Acey at 10:29 AM on June 19, 2006


The rabbit didn't understand the concept of moving sideways?
posted by sharksandwich at 10:32 AM on June 19, 2006


I want to call bullshit, but I want it to be true more.
posted by marxchivist at 10:33 AM on June 19, 2006


sharksandwich, anyone who has driven down a rural road at night would affirm that, no, rabbits do not understand that concept.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:37 AM on June 19, 2006


After lots of driving in northern Arizona/southern Utah I'm convinced that rabbits only understand the concept of moving sideways if moving that direction would put them in more danger (ie. crossing a road with one car bearing down on them with no other cars for miles). I'd like to add, though, that I missed them every time.
posted by inigo2 at 10:42 AM on June 19, 2006


That rabbit is so focused.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:44 AM on June 19, 2006


I also think it's BS. I find it extremely unlikely that the rabbit can run at the same speed as the plane, which it would have to be doing to avoid either being blurred (like the background) in the photo.
posted by Godbert at 10:45 AM on June 19, 2006


So you're trying to tell me an airplane that is touching down in one end of the frame and a rabbit mid-sprint on the other end would be the only objects in focus? Hah.
posted by prostyle at 10:48 AM on June 19, 2006


If you look closely, you can see Wile E. Coyote piloting the plane.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:49 AM on June 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


it looks like the plane was coasting.

and that rabbit is one speedy mofo! go bunny go!
posted by Doorstop at 10:50 AM on June 19, 2006


I once owned a rabbit that could generate over 20,000lbs of thrust. The little sucker just dissappeared one day.

True story.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:50 AM on June 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


The image itself screams photoshop, from the perfectly-focused-and-crisp edges of the plane to the canned-filter motion blurring of the background.

That said, bunnies. YAY!
posted by verb at 10:52 AM on June 19, 2006


posted by Godbert I also think it's BS. I find it extremely unlikely that the rabbit can run at the same speed as the plane, which it would have to be doing to avoid either being blurred (like the background) in the photo.

The reason the plane and the rabbit are crisply focused while the background is blurred is because the photographer used a technique called panning.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:55 AM on June 19, 2006


Small mammals in general seem to have a problem with turning to get out of the way of things. Some human-type mammals do as well, generally in bad action scenes.

Those photos do look all kinds of fake, though. The bunny is too crisp (visually crisp, not sucked into jet engine crisp). But who would fake something like this? Seems too prosaic for a hoax.

on preview: what everyone else said.
posted by brundlefly at 10:56 AM on June 19, 2006


Oryctolagus cuniculus don't look particularly long legged or fast which makes it all that more remarkable. This guy (Lepus californicus) would have just jumped over the plane.
posted by m@ at 10:56 AM on June 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


whoops, wrong link.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:57 AM on June 19, 2006


The image itself screams photoshop, from the perfectly-focused-and-crisp edges of the plane to the canned-filter motion blurring of the background.

What do you think the people who do those pictures with Photoshop are imitating? Photographers have been capturing fast things for decades before Photoshop existed. It's not easy, but it's pretty far from "hard", too, especially when you've got a tripod that lets you pan smoothly along one axis.

The copyright on the bunny pictures is Airbus's. If that professional photographer wasn't capable of taking perfectly-focused-and-crisp images of a rapidly-moving airplane, I doubt he'd have been hired by Airbus in the first place.
posted by mendel at 10:59 AM on June 19, 2006


One would think that the reverse thrust jet blast from the aircraft would have dusted the critter.

Rabbits are unbelievably stupid critters sometimes. I saw one get slurped into a Boeing 737's engine at the Sacramento Int'l Airport once. The rabbit looked like it was going on a suicide mission. Aircraft throttled up a bit to taxi away, and *splat* - one shredded rabbit.

Rabbits are fast, but not *that* fast. These photos not only look Photoshopped, but they look like some crap from Microsoft Flight Simulator.
posted by drstein at 11:02 AM on June 19, 2006


So you're trying to tell me an airplane that is touching down in one end of the frame and a rabbit mid-sprint on the other end would be the only objects in focus? Hah.

Yes. Looks to me like the photographer was panning--moving the camera with the plane and rabbit, and if they are going about the same speed and the photographer is lucky, they will be sharp and the background will be blurred. Doesn't look 'shopped to me. There's only one photo; the second is an enlargement of the first.

On preview: what mendel said.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:03 AM on June 19, 2006


This plane is still in testing, no? They are probably shooting super high definition photos of every landing (and take off) just in case there is a problem. Just this time, they happened to catch a bunny on the runway.
posted by jmgorman at 11:03 AM on June 19, 2006


AFAIK, rabbits tend to try and outsprint their pursuers, and then wait until the last moment to bolt in a different direction so as to throw the pursuer off track.
posted by Drexen at 11:04 AM on June 19, 2006


This photo is fake.

Why?

Because the bunny's legs aren't blurred.

His little legs have to be moving backwards at the same speed that the background is, or else he wouldn't be moving forward fast enough to stay still in frame. His pavement-touching leg is frozen on the pavement, not blurred. Ergo, it is a Photoshop job.

It's also very, very unlikely that any photographer could rotate exactly fast enough to capture plane + bunny perfectly, while the background was moving that fast.
posted by Malor at 11:04 AM on June 19, 2006


P.S. It has to do with motion, not focus.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:04 AM on June 19, 2006


make that this guy (Lepus californicus).

Not to be confused with Roadrunnerus fastus, or Coyote noncomposmentis
posted by m@ at 11:06 AM on June 19, 2006


Most all airports are surrounded by grass lands (for safety and noise reasons). In consequence they support large rabbit populations, members of which often get killed on runways and access roads.

This roadkill attracts scavengers such as vultures and vultures are the leading cause of airplane bird strike accidents.

I've heard that one of the lowest jobs you can get at an airport is "bunny patrol" - basically a crew of guys with snow shovels and a pickup truck whose job is to steal the vultures lunch.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 11:11 AM on June 19, 2006


The reason the plane and the rabbit are crisply focused while the background is blurred is because the photographer used a technique called panning.

I do some photography and am familiar with panning (and how it's not as easy as it looks), but when you consider the speed of a big A380 landing (which, based on the amount of blur in the back, indicating either a longish exposure or fast movement) and the top speed of a rabbit, it's unlikely they'd be moving at similar-enough speeds for both objects to be sharp in the frame. And, like Malor said, there's no blurring of the rabbit's legs.
posted by Godbert at 11:12 AM on June 19, 2006


His little legs have to be moving backwards at the same speed that the background is, or else he wouldn't be moving forward fast enough to stay still in frame. His pavement-touching leg is frozen on the pavement, not blurred. Ergo, it is a Photoshop job.
And...
P.S. It has to do with motion, not focus.
Precisely. I'm more than aware of what panning looks like. I grew up in a family of professional photographers and work with cameras recreationally. But there is a marked difference between panned photographs and photoshopped imitations of panned photographs. Subtle details like the blending of the colors along the fuzzy edges of objects that hint at mask-jobs, other indicators like the aforementioned motion of the rabbits' legs, and so on, all scream photoshop.

I could be wrong, obviously. They could have some freaky-insane high-res super-fast cameras capturing every second of every takeoff and flight, panning to keep the plane in focus. There might be a perfectly reasonable explanation. But my money is on fake. A cute fake, but a fake nevertheless.
posted by verb at 11:15 AM on June 19, 2006


The A380 could've been at the end of the landing strip coasting along at 40kmp/h or so. Everybody seems to be assuming it's just touched down...
posted by PenDevil at 11:16 AM on June 19, 2006


Oryctolagus cuniculus don't look particularly long legged or fast which makes it all that more remarkable. This guy (Lepus californicus) would have just jumped over the plane.
posted by m@ at 10:56 AM PST on June 19


And this guy, would have just turned into a bat to outfly the plane.
posted by onegreeneye at 11:16 AM on June 19, 2006


From the article:

"Wild rabbit is considered a delicacy in Germany."

Mmmm... hasenfeffer.
posted by GuyZero at 11:17 AM on June 19, 2006


I'd like to see a similar encounter between a seagull and Navy aircraft trapping aboard an aircraft carrier, but with ~30 kt of wind over the deck to start with, no seagull is going to be sitting there immobile to start with.

At the park where I speedmarch with weights, I see grown rabbits and li'l bitty baby bunnies. The former scoot when they see me yomping down the trail toward them, but the little ones just sort of sit at the edge and watch me come by.
posted by pax digita at 11:17 AM on June 19, 2006


Let me phrase that another way: if the rabbit and the plane are visually in sync, then the rabbit's legs and the background must be in sync. The shutter speed isn't fast enough to 'freeze' the motion... not even close, from the smear of the background. So the rabbit must be moving at the same speed as the plane, and his legs must be moving at the same speed as the background.

They're not.... so it has to be a fake.
posted by Malor at 11:18 AM on June 19, 2006


Not shopped. To my eye the bunny is not as sharp as the plane and he (she?) seems to be at maximum front leg tuck, just a moment before the back legs come down for another thrust. Of course this would all be a lot easier looking at original res images...
posted by scheptech at 11:19 AM on June 19, 2006


posted by Malor This photo is fake. Why?

Because the bunny's legs aren't blurred.

His little legs have to be moving backwards at the same speed that the background is, or else he wouldn't be moving forward fast enough to stay still in frame. His pavement-touching leg is frozen on the pavement, not blurred. Ergo, it is a Photoshop job.

It's also very, very unlikely that any photographer could rotate exactly fast enough to capture plane + bunny perfectly, while the background was moving that fast.


The rabbit's legs are blurred. Also, if the photographer was using a relatively fast shutter speed--which you'd be using for panning shots of airplanes--you'd probably get minor blurring of the rabbit's legs, like in the photo.

Also, what possible motivation Airbus would have in conducting such an elaborate and easily-debunked hoax? The PR isn't exactly great: "Look how slow our new plane is--rabbits can outrun it!" I mean come on.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:19 AM on June 19, 2006


And! Last I checked, cheetahs were the fastest animals on Earth, not rabbits. A cheetah's best speed is 64 mph for a short burst. A plane lands at 200mph plus.

There's no way this picture is real.
posted by Malor at 11:21 AM on June 19, 2006


fandango, if the shutter speed was fast enough to freeze his legs, it would have been fast enough to freeze the background.
posted by Malor at 11:22 AM on June 19, 2006


I see some peculiar pixelation around the bunny in both pictures when I zoom in. It looks a bit fishy, I mean bunny.
posted by lemhuxley at 11:23 AM on June 19, 2006


Drexen's got it. Ask anybody that's done coursing.
posted by warbaby at 11:25 AM on June 19, 2006


another vote for fake
posted by horsemuth at 11:32 AM on June 19, 2006


Malor: the flaw in your logic is that there is a great deal of "leverage" vs. the background when panning. That does not apply to the object being panned, including the rabbit's feet. So a shutter speed that will stop the motion of the feet can still not stop the background blur. Imagine following the rabbit with a flashlight: in the time it takes the rabbit to move his foot a centimeter, say a sixtieth of a second, the flashlight would have swept by several meters of background.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:33 AM on June 19, 2006


The European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was on the runway as the aircraft (F-WXXL) decelerated after its flight.

Where in that does it imply that the plane JUST landed? As mentioned above, it may already have decelerated to a far slower speed, one where the rabbit could certainly outrun it.

The amount of blur on the background is not because the plane is moving so fast, it's because the background is further away from the lens, so all you photo types do know that this means the background in relation to the lens is moving much faster than the plane in the foreground.
posted by linux at 11:34 AM on June 19, 2006


Why would Airbus fake something like this and include it in a technical presentation on the A380? Their entire future is riding on the success of this plane; I would think that they'd avoid obvious digital manipulation of the photos they distribute to the press.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:35 AM on June 19, 2006


Can't we just enjoy a good picture anymore? All this "Photoshop or Not" talk is so disheartening.
posted by agregoli at 11:38 AM on June 19, 2006


from The Fine Article:

The European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was on the runway as the aircraft (F-WXXL) decelerated after its flight.
posted by scheptech at 11:39 AM on June 19, 2006


And I thought I needed better ways to spend my time..
posted by unmake at 11:39 AM on June 19, 2006


I agree with PenDevil on this one.

The European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was on the runway as the aircraft (F-WXXL) decelerated after its flight.


For all we know, the plane could have been close to stopping when the picture was taken.
posted by facapulco at 11:41 AM on June 19, 2006


and with scheptech...:)
posted by facapulco at 11:42 AM on June 19, 2006


The headline says the plane is taxiing. That's usually pretty slow.
posted by zsazsa at 11:45 AM on June 19, 2006


posted by Malor And! Last I checked, cheetahs were the fastest animals on Earth, not rabbits. A cheetah's best speed is 64 mph for a short burst. A plane lands at 200mph plus. There's no way this picture is real.

You're assuming the rabbit outran the jet, which, I agree, is highly unlikely. The more plausible explanation is the photograph was snapped as the rabbit was sprinting to safety as the jet bore down on him, and the rabbit was about to snap into a different direction (as Drexen noted) so the rabbit appears to be outrunning the jet.

fandango, if the shutter speed was fast enough to freeze his legs, it would have been fast enough to freeze the background.

Wrong. When you're panning, you're keeping a moving subject of the photo--in this case, the plane--in the frame and in focus while the background is left to go blurry. The foliage in the background is probably very far from the runway--remember, this is an airfield--and the photographer is using a long lens to capture the image. Additionally, the photographer is probably using a shallow depth-of-field in order to focus the attention of the photograph on the plane. I'm guessing this photograph has been cropped from the original, which probably includes more of the plane, and the photographer discovered the rabbit after he shot the picture. I've worked for and with professional photographers and I retouch photographs on a regular basis, and to effectively pull this off would require a great deal of work.

I also work with marketing and PR agencies, and I can assure you the marginal gain in press attention from such an elaborate, costly, and easily-debunked hoax would be far outweighed by the potential for negative press it would generate ("Airbus almost kills innocent rabbit!" Airbus's newest jet is so slow, even jackrabbits can outrun it!" "Airbus lands planes on unsafe runways!", etc.) because corporations--especially airplane manufacturers--do not engage in Photoshop hoaxes to draw attention to their newest prototypes.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:46 AM on June 19, 2006


the plane could have been close to stopping when the picture was taken.

And the rabbit may not have been in the way of any of the wheels either. There IS a whole lotta space that a plane body+wings pass over VS where the wheels touch.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:48 AM on June 19, 2006


Back and to the left... back and to the left...
posted by PenDevil at 11:52 AM on June 19, 2006


Also: by looking at the picture, you can see that the rabbit is further in the foreground than the plane. It could be tens of feet closer to the camera. It would then not have to be moving as fast as the plane to be captured by the panning camera.
posted by zsazsa at 11:53 AM on June 19, 2006


That is one rarebit fiend.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:53 AM on June 19, 2006


Motion parallax. christ guys, anyone who's played an SNES game before should be able to catch that
posted by jimmy at 11:56 AM on June 19, 2006


I've just received an email back from the photographer. He says it took a few tries, but it was done with a carrot on a stick tied to the plane.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:01 PM on June 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Or that airbus thinks it's a greyhound...
posted by PenDevil at 12:06 PM on June 19, 2006


it was done with a carrot on a stick tied to the plane

Which, ironically, was Photoshopped out of the picture.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:06 PM on June 19, 2006


if the rabbit and the plane are visually in sync, then the rabbit's legs and the background must be in sync.

What w-gp and linux and f-matt said. Think of it as geometry; you're not moving the camera along in a straight line, to keep the plane (and the rabbit) in frame, you're describing an arc. Holding a moving object in the foreground motionless in the lens does not mean you're holding the background motionless. The depth-of-field adds to the background blur.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:10 PM on June 19, 2006


The smaller the stakes....
posted by lodurr at 12:19 PM on June 19, 2006


Sigh.

Look, if you've ever done photoshop jobs, there are key signs to look for. Two giveaways lie in the motion blurring: first, it's perfectly, absolutely horizontal. That's the way photoshop's canned filter does it. Second, look at the line of the airplane's cockpit. Notice the subtle dark aura that radiates out, following the line of its cockpit perfectly? That's what happens when you mask an object, then motion blur its background, without carefully compositing in 'filler' pixels of the correct color.

Again -- it is possible that a photographer captured this with a camera, no tricks, no photoshopping. What is interesting, though, is how hard he had to work to make it look like an obvious photoshop job.
posted by verb at 12:23 PM on June 19, 2006


The smaller the stakes....
Sad but true. I am part of the problem.
posted by verb at 12:24 PM on June 19, 2006


Jury is still out for me, but given the clarity of the airplane's shadow, shouldn't the rabbit have one as well?
posted by saladpants at 12:28 PM on June 19, 2006


If you look carefully you'll see the bunny was actually running from a missile fired from the plane.
posted by cillit bang at 12:32 PM on June 19, 2006


Two giveaways lie in the motion blurring: first, it's perfectly, absolutely horizontal.

There are image stabalized lenses that can be set to only do IS in the vertical plane, just so you can still do side-to-side panning with the lens. So, if the camera was automated, or on a tripod, or the photographer had a steady hand and/or an IS lens, the fact that it's horizontal is not enough to conclude it's fake.
posted by Godbert at 12:33 PM on June 19, 2006


The photo is real, but this thread is fake.
posted by Sprocket at 12:36 PM on June 19, 2006


Also, it's no accident that the canned photoshop filter produces that effect. It's supposed to look like a panning camera picture. To say that's a "giveaway" that it's fake is putting cart before horse.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:37 PM on June 19, 2006


posted by verb Look, if you've ever done photoshop jobs, there are key signs to look for. Two giveaways lie in the motion blurring: first, it's perfectly, absolutely horizontal. That's the way photoshop's canned filter does it.

Here's the image. I see a lot of horizontal streaks, and diagonal wavyish streaks that are not the product of Photoshop's motion blur--they're the result of a handheld pan or a pan on a monopod, on an image-stabilized lens.



Second, look at the line of the airplane's cockpit. Notice the subtle dark aura that radiates out, following the line of its cockpit perfectly? That's what happens when you mask an object, then motion blur its background, without carefully compositing in 'filler' pixels of the correct color.

Again -- it is possible that a photographer captured this with a camera, no tricks, no photoshopping. What is interesting, though, is how hard he had to work to make it look like an obvious photoshop job.


Can you please explain what possible motivation Airbus would have in concocting this hoax, and how all parties involved managed to keep it a secret?
posted by fandango_matt at 12:39 PM on June 19, 2006


poor rabbit
posted by dontoine at 12:40 PM on June 19, 2006


Uh-oh. fandango Matt has played the Conspiracy Theory card. Now we're in for it!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:44 PM on June 19, 2006


That little dude is just haulin' ASS! He gots to GO! I'll see you motherfuckers LATER!

Every time I look at that picture I clap my hands with glee. If that is the work of photoshop then more photoshop please.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:45 PM on June 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Can you please explain what possible motivation Airbus would have in concocting this hoax, and how all parties involved managed to keep it a secret?
I wasn't suggesting some kind of X-Files conspiracy theory or something -- just that it set off all my usual red-flags, especially in the absence of any supporting information or anecdotes. "This showed up as a lighthearted ha-ha moment in an airbus technical presentation" doesn't to me say "A huge company is staking their reputation on the veracity of the image." I've seen screwier, goofier joke images taken seriously by people at respected industry publications before. That said, what Godbert said caught my attention:
There are image stabalized lenses that can be set to only do IS in the vertical plane, just so you can still do side-to-side panning with the lens. So, if the camera was automated, or on a tripod, or the photographer had a steady hand and/or an IS lens, the fact that it's horizontal is not enough to conclude it's fake.
That's something I hadn't considered. Thanks for pointing it out. Like I said, it's perfectly possible that it's an actual photograph, just that all the individual elements of it set off 'fake flags.' It's not terribly important, and it is a funny image.
posted by verb at 12:50 PM on June 19, 2006


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:53 PM on June 19, 2006


Wild rabbit is considered a delicacy in Germany.

Oh god, it's that awful overused phrase is considered a delicacy... writers just can't ever seem to stop trotting it out. If it's considered a delicacy, it IS a delicacy already. It doesn't mean everyone has to like it. Spare us the cliched, passive phrasing!
posted by rolypolyman at 1:03 PM on June 19, 2006


The weird thing that's throwing everyone off here is that it's not even a rabbit - it's obviously some freakish genetic hybrid of a koala bear and an ostrich, and has just escaped from the hold of the Airbus
posted by Flashman at 1:10 PM on June 19, 2006


rpm - flashman considers that pretty funny.
posted by Flashman at 1:11 PM on June 19, 2006


Can you please explain what possible motivation Airbus would have in concocting this hoax, and how all parties involved managed to keep it a secret?

No reason. People on MiFi just love to play "bullshit-detective" even if there is nothing to detect.

Makes 'em feel important.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:13 PM on June 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


is considered a delicacy... writers just can't ever seem to stop trotting it out. If it's considered a delicacy, it IS a delicacy already.

No it's not. Something *is* a delicacy if and only if *I* like it a lot. If you like it a lot, it's merely "considered" a delicacy. Wrongly considered to be one, that is. If they like it a lot, it's a culinary oddity.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:15 PM on June 19, 2006


Mmmm... hasenfeffer.

I guess that would make this hasenfefferfilter.

Kill dah wabbit!!!

Hope he remembers to turn left at Albuquerque.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:20 PM on June 19, 2006


Fake. Whoever it was that said the legs should be blurred, too, is absolutely correct. The bunny would have had to have been sliding down the runway in a static pose for this shot to have happened. And the background looks like Photoshop work to me.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:22 PM on June 19, 2006


No reason. People on MiFi just love to play "bullshit-detective" even if there is nothing to detect.
Just like people love to play bullshit-detective-detective. C'mon. It's the internet.
posted by verb at 1:26 PM on June 19, 2006


Somebody has to hold Airbus's feet to the fire.
posted by Flashman at 1:34 PM on June 19, 2006


This website seems to have shots from the same day, and looks like it's from the same angle. No rabbit seen, but at least it shows the plane in the photo was actually in Hamburg on the day in question...
posted by saladpants at 1:34 PM on June 19, 2006


Can you please explain what possible motivation Airbus would have in concocting this hoax, and how all parties involved managed to keep it a secret?

is there any indication that airbus is actually involved in this? i mean this picture is on a third-party site, and there's no mention of it on the official airbus site (none that i can find anyway). this could be a prank by the hosting site, or perhaps someone's pulled a fast one on them?

it looks pretty fake to me too. but hey, i'm just some guy.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 1:35 PM on June 19, 2006


It's not fake. It's the same effect as if you were panning at the Daytona with a super-fast shutter speed and shallow depth of field. You would get sharp images of the cars, and a blur of the spectators. Moreover, the photographer was clearly having to take as many shots as possible of the landing, because it's not like they're taking the plane off again and again until they get a clear shot. This pic is probably the only one clear enough to be worth showing.

MeFi: Long live cynic chic.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:36 PM on June 19, 2006


pleased that we did not end up with a bunny with an airplane on its head.

I don't understand what you just said, so here's a picture of a bunny with an airplane on it's head...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:37 PM on June 19, 2006


There are lots of real photographs that look fake. It might have been that the airbus was simply taxiing slowly around and so the rabit was going as fast as the plane. Or maybe it was fake.

Etheir way, uberlame FPP.
posted by Paris Hilton at 1:38 PM on June 19, 2006


Yep, SweetJesus, internet detecting is my life. I'm a sad little man.

Lots of good counter-arguments in the thread... I don't think any of them completely convinced me. I wish the picture was a little sharper. It looks like the runway is blurred too, and that's at the same distance... but it's really hard to tell at that resolution.

While I'd bet on fake, I am forced to concede the picture is possible. So I withdraw my assertion that it absolutely isn't real. I'll substitute that I think there's at least one screwy thing about the picture, and I consider it very suspect. Perhaps there's something we're not being told?

Sorry if I derailed the thread. It is funny. :)

By the way, to those who argue about parallax... don't things that are further away move slower?
posted by Malor at 1:39 PM on June 19, 2006


This thread is a wonderful showcase for the fact that MeFites are especially good at sounding like they know what they're talking about while focusing narrowly on the one or two things they do know and just assuming that's what was important.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:40 PM on June 19, 2006


While you may not be able to figure out exactly how far the rabbit and plane are supposed to have travelled, you can get a good idea of a relative distance if this was a true panned shot. Don't try converting meters in the background to meters in the foreground. Just look how much of an angle of the picture the building is blurred.

The rabbit has to traverse the same angular distance in the same time the shutter is open. This is because the rabbit needs to be in the same spot in the photo throughout the whole time the shutter is open. This means that the length of the blurring on the photo is the distance the rabbit has travelled on the photo. This angular distance is a couple of rabbit body lengths. I don't know much about a rabbits gait or anything, but I doubt it's legs are in the same position for a couple body lengths of it's stride.

I do indeed believe it is a fake, but just the ghosting of the airbus is enough to tell me that. The dark ghost in the sky and the light ghost in the ground/building part. I bet it was some photographer that snapped a picture of the rabbit there and to make it more humorous by motion blurring the background to seem like things were going faster. He probably was just trying to make people in the meeting get a chuckle and didn't intend on it being shown publicly.
posted by Phantomx at 1:40 PM on June 19, 2006


I don't know about a rabbit getting out of the way of a 200 mph airplane, but birds don't have a good record against 95 mph fastballs.
posted by Ber at 1:45 PM on June 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


I bet it was some photographer that snapped a picture of the rabbit there and to make it more humorous by motion blurring the background to seem like things were going faster. He probably was just trying to make people in the meeting get a chuckle and didn't intend on it being shown publicly.
Nonsense! Either it's God's Own Truth, or a Nefarious Airbus Plot. You have to pick a side in this fight, man.
posted by verb at 1:47 PM on June 19, 2006



posted by Saucy Intruder at 1:48 PM on June 19, 2006


You know. It's entirely possible this picture was real, and then photoshopped by the graphics department in order to "clarify" things, which is kind of SOP in corporate communications like these.
posted by furiousthought at 1:50 PM on June 19, 2006



posted by puke & cry at 1:56 PM on June 19, 2006


This plane, it has snakes?
posted by ceribus peribus at 1:58 PM on June 19, 2006


Of all the harebrained ideas...
posted by NationalKato at 2:04 PM on June 19, 2006


Rabbits Under A Plane
posted by Flashman at 2:06 PM on June 19, 2006


Criminy. We're just a few minutes away from bunnyse poking its butt through a hole in the ceiling, right?
posted by rosemere at 2:10 PM on June 19, 2006


MetaFilter: Focusing narrowly on the one or two things we do know and just assuming that's what was important.
posted by SmarterChild at 2:11 PM on June 19, 2006


MetaFilter: Focusing narrowly on the one or two things we do know and just assuming that's what was important.
Clearly, I have missed the important broader philosophical context of this single-link FPP about a bunny rabbit outrunning an airplane.
posted by verb at 2:15 PM on June 19, 2006


Small mammals in general seem to have a problem with turning to get out of the way of things. Some human-type mammals do as well, generally in bad action scenes.

Naturally you were thinking of Jet Li fighting himself in The One before he switches from Xin Yi to Ba Gua, right?
;-)
posted by Shane at 2:18 PM on June 19, 2006


Here are some photos of animals using the panning technique. Notice how their legs are always blurred? Notice how they look very different than the bunny?

The bunny image was captured with a very fast shutter speed. The background is either fake, or captued with a panning technique. These two things can't go together.

I vote faked.
posted by Binkeeboo at 2:20 PM on June 19, 2006


It's faked. The motovation for doing it? It makes a good light-hearted filler for that Powerpoint Sales Presentation. I've seen worse things done, believe me.
posted by JJ86 at 2:39 PM on June 19, 2006


I have missed the important broader philosophical context

Well ok, if it really needs to be spelled out:

The rabbit is MeFi - and the big airplane is Reality. So far MeFi has completely avoided Reality and so, Yay!

Notice how their legs are always blurred

I dunno, the cheetas legs aren't that blurred and it appears to be a closer shot of a larger subject, the buns legs are much smaller relative to the frame and further away.

Ok - I've just completed an indepth experiment (actually a completely ad hoc experiment) on this. With a longer focal length (180mm on digital) it is certainly possible to fill a frame with side to side motion blur at reasonable shutter speeds (125th). Background subject: a condo tower two blocks away.
posted by scheptech at 2:41 PM on June 19, 2006


verb writes "Two giveaways lie in the motion blurring: first, it's perfectly, absolutely horizontal."

Which is what you get with a panning head on a tripod. Video pods even include a built in level to make this task easier.

Binkeeboo writes "Here are some photos of animals using the panning technique. Notice how their legs are always blurred? Notice how they look very different than the bunny?"

This picture of a cheeta looks much like our rabbit.
posted by Mitheral at 2:42 PM on June 19, 2006


also a fake
posted by Flashman at 2:59 PM on June 19, 2006


Every picture is fake and you can't prove otherwise!
posted by puke & cry at 3:02 PM on June 19, 2006 [1 favorite]



posted by fandango_matt at 3:03 PM on June 19, 2006


My whippet is WAY faster than any rabbit I was rooting for the plane. Rabbits drive my dog crazy.
posted by shockingbluamp at 3:07 PM on June 19, 2006


This thread is a wonderful showcase for the fact that MeFites people are especially good at sounding like they know what they're talking about while focusing narrowly on the one or two things they do know and just assuming that's what was important.
Fixed that for you.
posted by raedyn at 3:16 PM on June 19, 2006


Both the rabbit and the aircraft are on the same focal plane -it's real.

I believe !
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:30 PM on June 19, 2006


And here's a squirrel outrunning a car.
posted by seanyboy at 3:41 PM on June 19, 2006


I'm going to side with the people that believe its real. The plane had probably significantly decelerated at that point, essentially taxi-ing along.

Sometimes its too easy to be a skeptic when you see something amazing. But I want to believe!
posted by [insert clever name here] at 3:42 PM on June 19, 2006


116 comments and no-one's mentioned that it escaped by a hare's breadth?
posted by matthewr at 3:47 PM on June 19, 2006


C'mon, you guys ... there's no such things as cameras or airplanes. It's all photoshop.
posted by hattifattener at 3:49 PM on June 19, 2006


I'm reminded a bit of a thread a while back (I'm not even going to try to find it) that involved a photo or photos and some mefite pronounced that it was so obviously "photoslopped". Of course, a little later in the thread, the picture was shown to be, in fact, real.
posted by Stauf at 3:50 PM on June 19, 2006


I think I've been guilty of that a couple of times. Well, not using the neologism "photoslopped," which obviously calls for death, but the general swing-and-a-miss action, yeah.
posted by furiousthought at 3:53 PM on June 19, 2006


Aw man. I was gonna put ceilingcat on the plane but fandango_matt beat me to it.

My own theory that nobody seems to have considered: The image is Photoshopped, but legitimate. Perhaps the original was too sharp, and the photographer wanted to emphasize speed, so the background was blurred. I do think the "aura" around the nose of the plane (like near the white part on the tip) seems consistent with masking + blur filter.
posted by neckro23 at 4:52 PM on June 19, 2006


This thread was worth it just for that image fandango.

and yeah, I'm calling faked. The scale is out and the rabbit looks less crisp that the rest of the photo.
posted by a. at 4:52 PM on June 19, 2006


Run Rabbit Run, never ever stop little guy!
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:54 PM on June 19, 2006


If you triangulate the relative positions of the photographer, bunny, plane & building, you can only conclude that the plane would be at least *double* the height of the Pentagon in the background. An obvious forgery.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:24 PM on June 19, 2006


I have been throwing paper airplanes at my rabbits for the past two hours.

Besides Grendel, who attempted to eat one of the planes, they've been mostly nonplused by man's mastery of the skies inside my apartment.

Ergo, this is totally fake.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:03 PM on June 19, 2006


For God's sake, it's a friggin' FAKE! Even the lighting is wrong (bunny is lit from front left, plane from rear left) let alone the impossibility of the bunny skidding along frozen in exactly this pose for the entire duration of the shutter opening (somewhere around 1/60th perhaps). Maybe the background is faked too, that I can't tell, but absolutely the bunny is pasted in.

However, why do I care? Is this post a fake? Am I really johnbunny?
posted by johngumbo at 6:06 PM on June 19, 2006


It might not be photoshopped. It could be a small alien spacecraft, shaped like a bunny, moving horizontally at the same speed as the plane (hence no leg movement). You'd be surprised how often this happens. You've probably seen it loads of times but they, you know, zap you so you forget. Silly mistake to let it get caught on film.
posted by missbossy at 6:08 PM on June 19, 2006


I'm intrigued by how much so many people claim to know about this picture, based on looking at a couple of JPGs on a web page. For example, you claim to be able to discern halos around the plan, the lighting angle of the bunny, and so on, all while studiously ignoring something that any professional (and by that I mean, "gets paid to do this for a living") web geek ought to remember:

Photos posted to the web are all modified. Just like photos posted in major magazines are all modified. As neckro23 points out, even if the photo is real, it's most likely also "fake".

What's most interesting is that so many people have become so invested in "debunking" this image. I wonder if it's not the working-out of some election-related issues....
posted by lodurr at 6:14 PM on June 19, 2006


What's most interesting is that so many people have become so invested in "debunking" this image. I wonder if it's not the working-out of some election-related issues....
Sweet mother of God, people.

It looks fake. Some people said it looked fake, and then got shouted at. They explained why. Then someone started whining about conspiracy theories. It's a picture of a bunny running away from an airplane.

Start a religion around this bunny. I don't care! It's just a monday, and I for one didn't feel like doing any productive work. :-)
posted by verb at 6:50 PM on June 19, 2006


Meanwhile, everyone ignores the reflection of the rabbit in the nosecone of the plane...
posted by five fresh fish at 6:52 PM on June 19, 2006


Wait! Beef just took off running from Paper Airplane #254.

Progressing to "trot after bunnies making airplane noises" stage of the experiment.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:00 PM on June 19, 2006


sure, it might not be real. does it really matter? if nothing else, the story of kaycee's death this brave bunny's survival was a moving experience for some people. which is more than you can say for a lot of weblogs. (including mine.) if the story is not genuine, certainly the intentions of the wellwishers are as well.
posted by rdr at 7:08 PM on June 19, 2006


Sgt. Serenity - Both the rabbit and the aircraft are on the same focal plane -it's real.

The backgroud is blurred not because it is out of focus, but because the camera is moving. The bunny and the plane are the same distance from the camera, so for both of them to be clear, they'd have to be moving the same speed. If it was a fast shutter speed, the background would be less blurred.

The fakeness of the photo makes it lame, but perhaps only photographers would see the signs. It is a good promo picture in that sense.
posted by Titania at 7:24 PM on June 19, 2006


Is this still MetaFilter?
posted by ninjew at 8:16 PM on June 19, 2006


Every picture is fake and you can't prove otherwise!

The Intelligent Designer placed fake pictures of the bunny on the Internets to make you question your faith.
posted by swell at 8:26 PM on June 19, 2006


blue_beetle: You're my new favorite bug.

verb writes: Clearly, I have missed the important broader philosophical context of this single-link FPP about a bunny rabbit outrunning an airplane.

It is a visual emblem of the proletariat being overrun by the bourgeoisie. Vive La Revolucion, little bunny comrade!

Ah ha! There's the conspiracy. The photographer is a secret Marxist. Yeah. And he's working to overthrow Airbus, even though they let him keep all the hasenfeffer he could scrape off the runway. But, as a vegan, he's disgusted by this job perk, and he vows to bring down the evil corporate giant, and the government to which it is a lackey. So, not only is the bunny symbolic of the plight of the proletariat in the modern world of global outsourcing, he also forces you to look at the image more closely.

Especially the background. Where the subliminal messages are buried. The subliminal messages that tell you to sell your items and join a collective somewhere. Raise daisies. Build giant Trotsky statues made completely of icepicks. It's true. For I, here on the Internet, have said so, and I'm an expert on conspiracy theories that I've just made up.
posted by dejah420 at 9:29 PM on June 19, 2006


Seen it all before. Joseph Mallord William Turner painted a rabbit running in front of an early steam train.
posted by Tarn at 9:39 PM on June 19, 2006


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery: Bugs Bunny — Falling Hare (1943) [Google Video].
posted by cenoxo at 11:13 PM on June 19, 2006


Look, if you've ever done photoshop jobs, there are key signs to look for.

Yes indeedy, if you're experienced with the program you can "see" how fake compositions have been put together. I've been using Photoshop since the early 90s for print publishing.

Two giveaways lie in the motion blurring: first, it's perfectly, absolutely horizontal. That's the way photoshop's canned filter does it.

It doesn't look "perfectly, absolutely horizontal" to me, though it's hard to tell. I don't see anything with the motion blur itself that rules out use of a tripod, which the photographer would be using on a job like this. To my eye I some slight unsteadiness in the pan.

Second, look at the line of the airplane's cockpit. Notice the subtle dark aura that radiates out, following the line of its cockpit perfectly? That's what happens when you mask an object, then motion blur its background, without carefully compositing in 'filler' pixels of the correct color.

Free clue: Unsharp Mask plus jpeg compression artifacts.

The Unsharp Mask filter increases local contrast in an image. This creates the light and dark "auras" around boundaries such as this one. This filter is very often used (and abused) in professional workflows prepping photos for publication. I'm not surprised in the slightest to see it used here.

This image could be real; it could be fake. The low resolution and jpeg compression artifacts make it difficult to draw any firm conclusion.
posted by D.C. at 11:13 PM on June 19, 2006


Until we see a bigger resolution on this, I don't see how ANY of you can say that you see details around the bunny. I can't tell if his legs are blurred or not, not with an image this small.
posted by antifuse at 1:48 AM on June 20, 2006


Fake. In real life, the rabbit would have flipped, rolled over twice and exploded into flames.
posted by klarck at 4:39 AM on June 20, 2006


Dude. That is a GIANT bunny.
posted by etoile at 10:30 AM on June 21, 2006


Just to add one final comment to this thread, because I'm not sure that these points have been adequately spoken to:
  • The bunny and the plane are not the same distance from the camera. The bunny is probably 30-40 meters closer to the camera than the plane. (Hint: Look at the point where the bunny's feet touch the tarmac, and look at the front wheels of the plane.)
  • The pictures are production JPGs. That means they're a lot lower-res than the ones that the Airbus corporate runway-camera actually took. In fact, they're so low-res and so inherently munged by virtue of being JPGs that any discussion of artifacts and tell-tales here is a bit like studying the postage-stamp version of the Mona Lisa to learn about Leonardo's brush technique. All you folks crying "fake!" and then talking evidence are just engaging in the moral equivalent of bullshitting over beers.
posted by lodurr at 8:12 AM on June 22, 2006


All you folks crying "fake!" and then talking evidence are just engaging in the moral equivalent of bullshitting over beers.

Exactly. That's what makes this thread awesome.
posted by brundlefly at 10:00 AM on June 22, 2006



posted by brundlefly at 10:20 AM on June 22, 2006


That's what makes this thread awesome.

If by "awesome", you mean, "like watching a bunch of 12 year olds pick their scabs", then I agree completely.

Also: Dude, that is a GIANT bunny Rabbit.
posted by lodurr at 5:14 AM on June 23, 2006


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