The photo above is real. Yes, it is a dog. Yes, those are wings. But the dog isn’t spreading its wings and attempting to fly. No, it’s merely a unique optical illusion, a photograph snapped at just the right moment, making it look as if the dog is about to take flight.
A dogbird is what many are calling it.
In reality, it’s just a dog running toward a mostly obscured seagull, which spreads its wings to fly away from the approaching canine. Megan Whiteley took the well-timed photo just before the seagull lifts off.
Whiteley posted her photo on Quora, a question-and-answer website, and answered the question, “What are some well-timed photos?”
“I took this photo at Opotiki beach, New Zealand,” Whiteley wrote. “This dog was obsessed with chasing seagulls, and I was zoomed right in as it ran up to a sitting bird, and managed to get a perfectly timed photo just as the bird took off, making it look like a flying dog!”
We learn from the U.K. Daily Mail that “dogbird” is a friend’s dog named Snoopy, and that the 22-year-old photographer followed the dog, taking photos with a zoom lens on sports mode “to capture shots quickly.” The Daily Mail also has an earlier photo showing the seagull sitting on the beach and the approaching dog just moments before the special moment.
The dogbird photo, also posted on Whiteley’s Facebook page, subsequently showed up on Imgur, where it’s getting quite a bit of attention.
“I’ll believe this when dogs fly,” wrote one commenter. “Oh, I guess I believe you then.”