This Car Is So Shiny That It's Almost Invisible - And People Think That It Looks Like The Predator

People on the internet love a weird optical illusion and, boy, this one is a doozy.

It's a photo of a car that is so shiny that it gives the impression of being invisible - like completely, totally invisible. I'm confused, too.

Credit: Reddit
Credit: Reddit


It's all about the angle, really. The car is black, which helps not to impart any specific colour on to the reflection.

However, the shininess of the car and the angle at which the photograph is taken, with the camera right next to the vehicle, allows the reflection to blend into the rest of the environment.

The only thing that really makes it clear that there is a car at all is that you can see the wheel, which is obviously covered in a highly non-reflective tyre. Other than that, it's basically not there.

People on the internet were quick to make comparisons to great invisible cars that we have known.

On Reddit, where the image came to light, some people compared it to the aliens in the Predator movies.

"Dude, no kidding. That gave me total Predator vibes when I noticed the distortions," wrote a Redditor in reference to the classic 80s movie in which the Predator alien can blend into its background, giving it the impression of being invisible.

Another cited a joke in hit TV show Atlanta, where two characters speculate that a third has an invisible car - "It's Marcus Miles. You know he got that invisible car," writes one Redditor.


Reddit manages to be both a repository of procrastination-worth material and simultaneously a hive mind of incredibly smart people, one of whom was happy to explain just what was happening here.

"I don't typically do CGI/3D modelling but I believe there's a concept in PBR (physically based rendering) where, when viewed at an extreme angle, everything is 100% reflective just like a mirror, but for most surfaces it's only at the most extreme angle possible and near-impossible to see," said the professor of banter.

"In Blender (a computer graphics software) it's called fresnel (unrelated to Fresnel lens AFAIK) but not sure if it's different elsewhere. Since cars are normally pretty glossy, it's possible to photograph the effect here."

So there you go - apparently, there is science at play here. Science and an awful, awful lot of turtle wax.

Featured Image Credit: Reddit

Mike Wood

Mike Meehall Wood is a freelance journalist and translator. He writes for LADbible, VICE and countless sports publications, focusing on rugby league, football and boxing. He is a graduate of Leeds University and maintains a fizzy pop obsession. Contact Mike at [email protected]

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