The 'UFO' on Google Street View of Florida looks more butterfly than alien spaceship

With a little help from an entomologist, one could probably put a finger on the exact species, too.

Online news is abuzz with a story about an unidentified flying object spotted in a Google Maps image of a field in Southern Florida in the US. But it doesn’t take much more than a few clicks or screen pinches to identify this particular flying object.

Looking at the image in street view does make one wonder what a metallic-looking object that could easily pass for an alien hoax is doing peeking out from between the clouds. It looks odd, sure.

Care to wing a guess? Image: Google Maps

Care to wing a guess? Image: Google Maps

Zooming in on the image shows that the strange-looking blip isn’t all that alien. It’s really just one of the most wonderful, vibrant fluttering creations of nature stitched with Google’s Street View snapshots of a Florida field.

Could be a moth, a butterfly perhaps. With some help from an insect scientist, one could probably put their finger on the exact species of insect.

But the pattern of coloured spots on the wings are a dead ringer for something with an origin in the Papilionoidea family rather than a jazzed-up, inexplicable asteroid-comet from the extrasolar abyss. Yes, ‘Oumuamua. That means you.

An instant explanation for this is in the fact that when you "step to the side" in Google Street View, the UFO-butterfly chimera seems to have flown away and out of the frame. The camera likely captured one image as the insect began passing into the frame and another of the same landscape after it flew along, and unwittingly stitched the two images together.

Oh well, at least there’s one less UFO in the world to identify. Now that’s a win for science.

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