ObscUrban Legend Wikia
Glitches in Reality
Type Phenomena
Continent All
Country All
One-Time? No
Theories  · Evidence of Computer simulation or Plastic reality
 · Video malfunctions
 · Optical illusions or memory defects
 · Hoax
 · Synchronicities

Glitches in Reality, also known as Glitches in the Matrix, are essentially anomalous events which seem to breach the basic rules of normal reality, for example the spontaneous disappearance of objects and people, or physical impossibilities such as a person walking through solid matter.


This phenomenon is very broad and can manifest in many different ways, but it mainly manifests as objects that suddenly appear or disappear, as if spawned/despawned in a video game. This includes cars completely appearing from nowhere into traffic intersections, or people disappearing from a video out of nowhere.

Certain locations are associated with a high frequency of glitch-like phenomena. Bottomless Pits, for example, are said to be holes in the Earth which do not obey the laws of surrounding reality. At the famous Mel's Hole for instance objects were said to fall slower than normal gravity as they entered the desert pit, and dead animals thrown in were returned to mysterious life.

In addition, glitches in reality have been proposed as general explanations for paranormal phenomena. Fred Beck, one of the miners who fought off an attack by a group of Bigfoot in the Ape Canyon incident of 1924 held fast to the view that the creatures he saw were not flesh and blood but immaterial beings which had briefly manifested in the material world of human perceptions. He categorized them as inter-dimensional beings or unconscious manifestations, similar in creation to a 'Tulpa' or thought-form.


  • The Wall-Jumping Dog sighting of a dog materializing out of a solid wall.
  • Black Stick Men which seem to disregard the normal laws of three dimensions.
  • Instances of Time Travelers and travellers seemingly from other realities, such as The Man from Taured or Jophar Vorin.
  • Locations which seem to operate outside of normal space time, such as Bottomless Pits, Michigan Blue Hell, and places which seem to flicker in and out of existence such as the Emerald Isles, the Nimrods, the Florida Volcanoes, Doveland, Wisconsin, Isla Bermeja, Urkhammer, Iowa and Langville, Montana.
  • Instances of people vanishing "into thin air" such as the Disappearance of David Lang, and the Disappearance of James Worson.
  • The supposed 'Mandela effect', in which events which a group of people remember happening one way are contradicted by supposedly "new" data. For instance some people remember Nelson Mandela dying in prison, or the Berenstain Bears being spelled. Berenstein. It is almost certain in the majority of cases that these are simply faulty recollections mistaken as glitches, although some cases remain unsolved.


The idea that reality as perceived by the senses is not "real" is at least as old as Plato's idea of the realm of forms, articulated in his famous Allegory of the Cave.

In Western Gnosticism the God of the Bible is really the 'Demiurge', who rules only over the enclosed universe containing the Earth, while a more substantial realm beyond is the "true" world, the Pleroma, unattainable to human perception except through the Demiurge.

In Mahayana Buddhist thought perceived normal reality is only passing and illusory and the point of life is to escape the constant suffering of life and rebirth by transcending to the unknowable state of Nirvana through becoming a Bodhisattva, and eventually a Buddha.[1]

In the early twentieth century the mechanistic-objective view of reality which had guided the Enlightenment and early modernity period was challenged by early discoveries in quantum physics, and the groundbreaking discoveries of Einstein, who realized that even something as seemingly steadfast as time itself was a relative value. Sigmund Freud's discovery that much of the minds processes occurred unconsciously, without conscious acknowledgment, shook the precepts of human cognition further.[2]

Freud's student Carl Jung was one of the most important voices in arguing that the material world was both directly and indirectly the result of unconscious contents manifesting themselves in materiality. For Jung the universe was more plastic than it appeared and was constantly in the process of creation through imagination. Jung categorized UFO's and religious visions as moments when reality gave way to a powerful mythological world normally beyond human perception. Jung's view differs from the computational idea of reality "glitches" by holding that the fabric of reality is governed not only by rational physical laws but also symbolic mythological laws resembling metaphor and mythology. For example Jung was one day surprised to find a rare gold scarab beetle tapping at his window at the exact moment a patient described having a dream of just such a beetle. Jung termed such breaches of normal reality Synchronicities and believed they should be studied and regarded as meaningful.

Today, the theory of Computer Simulation has updated these ideas in a technological guise, arguing along the lines of the well-known 'Brain in a Vat' hypothesis that the universe in which humans reside may only be a simulation by the inhabitants of an external, pre-existing universe. The celebrity car manufacturer Elon Musk has done much to popularize this idea. Despite the endorsement of celebrity inventors and popular science podcasts however the idea has little grounding in mainstream science and often falls back on baseless assumptions about the nature of advanced computing and the nature of hypothetical extra-dimensional beings creating the simulation, often extrapolating from known values of this reality, such as energy and rendering constraints of real-world computers being used to "explain" the replication of similar patterns in nature (as in fractals) and the occurrence of 'glitches.' However there is no reason to think that these would be issues for a sufficiently advanced extra-dimensional computer, nor that this simulated universe would necessarily resemble in structure the "real" universe containing it. Rather, the computer-simulation theory is an updated secular-technological model of old religious-mythical ideas.

In the 1980s Jean Baudrillard elaborated a highly influential idea of simulation theory, in which humans themselves have created the now self-reproducing simulation. In Baudrillard's view the modern information society is defined by simulation through advanced computations, statistical modelling, cloning, mass-reproduction of commodities and data, to the point that in order to be recognized as real at all, something must be endlessly reproducible in the scientific laboratory, or in virtuality. For Baudrillard the result is a simulation reality which does not simply mask "normal" reality but has fully replaced it with 'Hyperreality.'

Baudrillard's work was the basis for the film 'The Matrix', but he disowned it, saying it misrepresented his ideas. This is because in the film the world of The Matrix, the simulation, and the world of the Real are clearly seperated. The Matrix is clearly a false world, a computer program, which is secondary to the first world of the material, where the machines are stored. In Baudrillards far more sinister vision there is no recourse to any "reality" because instead of a false reality being implanted into a real one it is reality itself which has changed, or been replaced without any possibility of retrieval by a "hyperreality" of "total data" indistinguishable from the fabric of "real" life and in fact directly in control of it. While in The Matrix characters can leave and manipulate the code of the program, in hyperreality the code is as real and permanent in it's effects as gravity and is not organised or controlled by any identifiable force who could be opposed - it has simply replaced the fabric of life itself.[3]

In the 1990s the CCRU at Warwick University, headed by an eccentric, now-irrevocably dissolved team of the respected historian Sadie Plant, the late Mark Fisher, and pre-madness Nick Land, published writing which took seriously the idea that the world was being operated by a sentient AI amalgamation of Earth capital which had exhausted its resources in the far future and has now evolved further to harvesting the 'neg-entropy' of all life in the past through time travel. This theory explains "glitches" as being caused by the "churning wheel of Ourobourous entropy-fertility, creating it's own death and living in it peacefully before more death rouses it back to life."[4]

Possible Explanations[]

There are several explanations as to what the phenomenon could be. Theories include:

  • Evidence of a computer simulation or plastic reality
  • Video malfunctions
  • Failures of human memory (Such as in cases of the so-called "Mandela Effect")
  • Optical illusions
  • Hoaxes
v · e · d
North American Phenomena
Black Aggie · Black Mist of Casa Grande Mountain · Bleeding House on Fountain Drive · Blinking Crucifix · Carnivorous Pink Cloud · Coke Mystery Vending Machine · Dancing Underpants · Death Valley Sailing Stones · Face in the Courthouse Window · Flying Mist Mattress · Fountain Cloud · Handprint of the Carbon County Jail · Handprint of the Chicago Firehouse · John Lawson Mannequins · Kokomo Hum · Michigan Blue Hell · Moodus Noises · Smiling Stones · Swirling Basement Thing · Taos Hum · The Black Angel
South American Phenomena
Asian Phenomena
Ghost Cities · Pollock's Mist
European Phenomena
Bélmez Faces · Black Volga · Devil's Footprints · Eyes in the Wall · Hessdalen Lights · Hungry Grass · Invisible Crowd · The Green Hand · Trevor Silverwood Postcards · Wall-Jumping Dog
African Phenomena
Australian Phenomena
Miscellaneous Phenomena
Aging Doll · Angel Hair · Bloop · Bottomless Pits · Cameraheads · Eerie Silence Phenomenon · Glitches in Reality · Panic in the Woods · Ringing Stones · Skyquakes · Smoke Ring · Solar Plexus Clown Gliders · Star Jelly · The Third Man · UVB-76 (The Buzzer)
v · e · d
Miscellaneous Cryptids
Antarctic Godzilla · Bermuda Beast · Kabagon · Ningen · Qupqugiaq · Rhinoceros Dolphin · Sky Jellyfish · Sky Serpents
Miscellaneous Alien Sightings
4chan Grey Alien · Martian Sasquatch
Miscellaneous UFO Sightings
Black Knight Satellite · Foo Fighters
Miscellaneous Hauntings
Miscellaneous Phenomena
Aging Doll · Angel Hair · Bloop · Bottomless Pits · Cameraheads · Eerie Silence Phenomenon · Glitches in Reality · Panic in the Woods · Ringing Stones · Skyquakes · Smoke Ring · Solar Plexus Clown Gliders · Star Jelly · The Third Man · UVB-76 (The Buzzer)
Miscellaneous Beings
Black Eyed Children · Black Stick Men · Demolition Elves · Dopplegangers · Flying Humanoid · Operators · Shadow People · Time Travelers
Miscellaneous Events
Disappearance of Amy Bradley · Roberto Ferreira Nobrega time travel claims
Miscellaneous Locations
Endless Elevators


Video Gallery[]


Ghost Car Disappears During Police Chase-0

A car disappearing during a police chase


Bicycle Teleportation In Russia

A bicycle teleporting into the video


Машина призрак

A car manifesting in a traffic intersection