People Can’t Get Their Heads Around Train Appearing To Be Moving At Different Speeds

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 30 Aug 2021 15:46
People Can't Get Their Heads Around Train Appearing To Be Moving At Different Speedsu/sighdoihaveto/Reddit

Redditors are bamboozled by a video showing a train that appears to be moving at different speeds depending on which window you look out of.

The clip was shared on Reddit thread ‘r/confusing_perspective’, and confusing doesn’t even begin to describe it.


In the video, a train passenger films the moment they notice that when looking outside the left side of the train, the locomotive appears to be going at high speed, however, when they turn to look out of the carriage’s right window, it appears as if the train’s slowly chugging along.

My first thought was that it was obviously a train passing by on the left, but when you watch carefully, it looks as if it’s a brick wall you can see flying past – not another train.

The person who took the video captioned it, ‘Why’s that side going faster [?] Wtf.’


Confused? You’re not alone.

People have since shared their thoughts of the Inception-like video. One person said, ‘Pretty certain this is Liverpool Lime st. There’s no turns, it’s the parallax effect. The cutting is about 14m/46ft wide.’

For those of you who don’t know what the parallax effect is (like me), Collins Dictionary defines it as ‘when an object appears to change its position because the person or instrument observing it has changed their position’.

Meanwhile, someone else queried whether it was simply another train passing by. Another science boffin echoed the idea of it being a parallax effect, however.

Confused Zombieland 2 scene (Sony Pictures)Sony Pictures Releasing

They replied, ‘Not necessarily, it doesn’t even look like another passing train usually does, even if graffitied.’

‘It’s the combined effect of looking through a window at a greater distance than the other one; and the parallax effect, meaning the wall is probably closer to the train on that side. Makes all the difference,’ they continued.

As Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman would say: ‘Yeah, science!’


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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Science, Now, Optical Illusion, TikTok, train, Viral


  1. Reddit