51

On a flight over Utah, I spotted a strange shape on the flight route app on the seat LCD that looks just like an airliner:

Easter Egg lake

Not believing my eyes, I checked OsmAnd and sure enough, it's there!

Here it is on OpenStreetMap: http://openstreetmap.org/#map=11/41.27/-111.8

Pity it was clouded over, so I couldn't see it for real...

Its Wikipedia page doesn't mention its shape: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineview_Dam

Could it be an Easter Egg or just pure coincidence?

  • At first I thought it was airplane's shadow. – Francois Oct 8 '15 at 9:48
  • 4
    This lake is almost begging for a plane to crash in it. I wouldn't fly over it. – blankip Oct 8 '15 at 19:05
  • 1
    It's probably where one of the fanless DC-8s crashed 75 million years ago. You're not going to have a perfect safety record when transporting ~10 trillion people. – Nick T Oct 10 '15 at 15:44
  • 1
    "a man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest ..." la la la – Mawg Oct 11 '15 at 9:41
49

It does remotely look like an airplane as Google Maps / Earth reveals:

enter image description here

  • 4
    Looks like a bird to me, well airliners are kinda oversized birds anyway. – Furkan Omay Oct 8 '15 at 5:38
  • 32
    @FurkanOmay A bird? A plane? It's super-lake! – Hagen von Eitzen Oct 8 '15 at 6:01
  • 9
    I clearly see a Saturn V as it passes through the sound barrier. – dotancohen Oct 8 '15 at 12:32
  • @dot what is the split tail, then? If they are stabilisation fins, where are the thrusters? – John Dvorak Oct 8 '15 at 14:38
  • 2
    Rocket exhaust! – dotancohen Oct 8 '15 at 14:40
37

It's clearly visible in Google Maps, where you'll also notice that it is much larger than a real airliner.

The human brain is very good at recognizing pattern, and in your case it identified this lake loosely resembling an airliner. The phenomenon of recognizing patterns in random data is called Apophenia.

So in summary, there is no reason to assume this lake is not real and its shape anything other than coincidence.

  • 1
    Also humans can deliberate build such forms like a city in the shape of a airplane – jean Oct 8 '15 at 11:20
  • 6
    You say apophenia, I say pareidolia – John Dvorak Oct 8 '15 at 14:42
  • That's what I was wondering: Did the reservoir builders intentionally build it so? – Gnubie Oct 8 '15 at 19:51
  • @Gnubie Unlikely it was deliberate. The humans only really choose where the dam goes; the shape of the resulting reservoir is down to the landscape provided by mother nature. – Nigel Harper Oct 10 '15 at 7:31
  • @jean sadly link is now broken :/ – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Apr 18 '16 at 12:50
19

That's Pineview Reservoir. It has a three-fingered shape (or fuselage-and-wings shape) because it was built at the confluence of several streams. It is indeed a real body of water, but not technically a lake.

Sources:

  • I've been there many times. – zwiebelspaetzle Oct 7 '15 at 21:56
  • 4
    "not technically a lake" A man-made lake is still a lake. – David Richerby Oct 8 '15 at 7:59

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