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'Glitch in the Matrix' wedding dress photo horrifies viewers because it's totally unedited

'Glitch in the Matrix' wedding dress photo horrifies viewers because it's totally unedited

Tessa Coates (left and right) shared the wild story of her Black Mirror style experience


Wedding dress shopping is supposed to be an activity of dreams, but for one woman it swiftly turned into ‘Black Mirror’-style nightmare.

Tessa Coates, a podcaster and comedian, said she spent an hour trying on gowns in a London bridal boutique, with a staff member photographing her in the various options.

When she left the shop, she sent some of the snaps to her sister. But as they discussed the dresses, they suddenly spotted a jaw-dropping detail in one of the pics.

In the photo, Tessa is standing in front of two mirrors, but her arms and hands are in a totally different position in each.

“I looked at the photo and I had a full panic attack in the street,” she said in a video account of her ordeal. “Like, hands and knees, in the middle of Borough Market, just dry heaving.”

She said she tried to explain the visual phenomenon by reasoning that it must be a live image or a burst.

But she checked it again and, sure enough, it was ostensibly just a standard photograph.

Tessa then turned to social media for help, posting the picture to Instagram and Twitter/X, with the caption: “I went wedding dress shopping and the fabric of reality crumbled.

“This is a real photo, not photoshopped, not a panorama, not a Live Photo,” she stressed.

“If you can’t see the problem, please keep looking and then you won’t be able to unsee it.”

The photo racked up dozens of comments and more than 2,400 likes in two days, as viewers shared their horror and glee at the dumbfounding “glitch in the Matrix”.

“What in the Black Mirror is happening?” one wrote.

“This should be on the 6 o’clock news,” said another.

In a lengthy update, shared via her Instagram stories, Tessa said she’d gone back to the bridal shop for answers, asking the shop assistant if she could shed any light on the illusion.

But, like her, the woman apparently “lost her mind” and had no way of explaining the terrifying triptych.

Meanwhile, Tessa’s “very rational” sister was also on the case, and took the photo to members of the tech department in her office.

“There's (sic) eight men looking at the photo, and they're all screaming,” she reported back, leaving Tessa feeling even “worse”.

Eventually, she made a pilgrimage to the Apple Store in Covent Garden where she demanded to see a genius.

“It takes three geniuses before we find somebody, and each genius is more scared than the last,” Tessa recounted.

However, finally, a man called Roger was summoned – who, according to Tessa is “obviously the grand high wizard” – and he told her: “OK, I've never seen it this bad or this scary," but at least he knew what had happened.

Tessa said an Apple Genius final solved the mystery (@wheatpraylove/Instagram)

Roger explained that phones are computers not cameras, and so even when an iPhone takes a standard photo, it takes a series of burst images very quickly from left to write.

So at the precise moment the camera was snapping Tessa’s back, she must have raised her hands, causing it to process a completely different set of images on the other side.

“It’s made like an AI decision and it stitched those two photos together,” Roger explained.

Tessa further noted that Google Pixel has brought out new technology “where you take multiple photos and it chooses the best photo for you”, and that Apple is Beta-testing this technology for its iPhones.

Still, she said Roger admitted that the chances of what had happened to her occurring were “a million to one,” but at least his explanation made her feel better and she was finally able to sleep.

Wrapping up her account, the comic podcaster said ominously: “Is Roger the man that the Matrix bring out when you get too close to the truth? Who's to say?

“Did it make me feel better? Yes. Do I hope it makes you feel better? Yes.”

She also pointed out that the incident took place two days after Halloween, saying: “Is that important? No.

“But did it feel important at the time?


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