Mystery of ‘One in a Million’ iPhone Photo Solved

iPhone glitch wedding dress photo
Tessa Coates’ reflection looks different from her in both mirrors, but there’s seemingly a simple explanation.

The viral “one in a million” photo of a bride standing in front of two mirrors with different reflections has been apparently solved by an iPhone expert.

YouTuber Faruk Korkmaz took a look at the metadata of the photo — which was shot on an iPhone 12 — and spotted that the dimensions were off. Tessa Coates, who is the person in the photo, says the picture was not a panoramic — but Korkmaz says that it is.

“The resolution [of the photo] is 3,028 by 3,948 [pixels], it’s an iPhone 12 and it is shot with the 26mm lens, everything seems normal, actually it isn’t,” Korkmaz explains in a YouTube video.

“This is not the 4:3 [aspect ratio] and this is not the resolution that would normally come out of an iPhone 12, the resolution coming out of an iPhone 12 is 3,024 by 4,032 so something is different.”

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Korkmaz concludes that the photo must have been taken in panoramic mode.

“I’m guessing that when she went to the Apple store they said this is not a panorama because there’s no panorama sign,” he says. “But here’s the thing, there is no panorama sign because the photo’s not panoramic. When you’re in the panoramic mode and the photo doesn’t go wide enough it doesn’t get the panorama sign.”

He says that it’s all quite simple and panoramic photos by their very design stitch different photos together and that’s how Coates got different reflections in the mirrors. Korkmaz even recreated it himself quite easily in a bathroom mirror.

iPhone glitch wedding dress different reflections

Coates, an actor and comedian from the U.K., said the “fabric of reality crumbled” after she looked at the photo and freaked out when no one could give her an answer.

She went to an Apple store in London to get an explanation and a technician told her that it was to do with computational photography and it “made an AI decision” that was “one in a million.”

However, Korkmaz’s explanation appears more plausible and believes that the person taking the photo might have accidentally slipped into panoramic mode for a brief moment.

Image credits: Photographs by Tessa Coates