Photo Of Deer Frolicking Together Does Not Turn Out The Way It's Supposed To

Can you solve the mystery? 🕵️‍♀️

There’s an area near Nikoletta Mucsányi’s home in Tiszavasvári, Hungary, where lots of animals like to frolic and play, and lately she’s been going there to practice her wildlife photography. She’s seen many different animals there, like birds and rabbits, but on this particular visit, she was focused on the deer.

wildlife photography
Nikoletta Mucsányi

Mucsányi spent time snapping photos of the deer, some regal and some silly, before heading back up the long road from the farmlands to where she lives. On the way back, she noticed two deer chasing each other around a field, and she quickly hopped off her bike to capture some more pictures.

The deer were leaping around in a joyful frenzy, so it was hard for Mucsányi to know whether she’d gotten any good shots. Eventually, the pair noticed her watching them and scattered, so she headed home, excited to see what kinds of pictures she’d managed to get.

wildlife photography
Nikoletta Mucsányi

“I didn’t expect any good photos … I didn’t even bother checking my settings or composition,” Mucsányi told The Dodo. “I just wanted to capture the moment somehow.”

She hadn’t really known what to expect — but one of the photos was definitely beyond anything she could have imagined.

The next day, Mucsányi was scrolling through the photos she’d taken and landed on one that made her burst out laughing. She had no idea what was happening or how it had happened, but whatever it was, it immediately brought her so much joy.

deer photo
Nikoletta Mucsányi

In the photo, there appeared to be two deer — one who was normal-looking and one who looked like a ghost. Curious about how this had happened, Mucsányi decided to post the photo online and get some second opinions.

“I couldn’t even imagine, so I uploaded the photo to some Facebook groups hoping that someone could explain,” Mucsányi said. “Two days later, a kind group member gave the explanation: ‘I think I know what you've done … There's a setting on the Canon D series that is supposed to be for creating higher contrast in photos (when used with a tripod). It takes three photos and then layers them up, one main and … one more faded. If you look closely, you'll see everything has a ghost double just slightly down and to the right (but since the deer was moving, it appears directly below).’”

wildlife photo
Nikoletta Mucsányi

This appeared to be a perfectly reasonable explanation — except for one small problem.

“According to this, there should be only one deer in my photo,” Mucsányi said. “Now, I saw two deer on the field, and they were running very close to each other all along until they reached a bush next to the road. This photo was taken in the middle of the field, so I'm fully convinced that there were two deer in the frame, but from a technical viewpoint, it seems impossible."

Mucsányi captured some other strange and mildly confusing photos, too, but none that topped the ghost photo. It seems the photo might remain a bit of a mystery — although plenty of other people had their own thoughts and theories about it.

deer photo
Nikoletta Mucsányi

“My family thought it was funny and interesting, that’s why I decided to share it with other people … and I got the funniest reactions: ‘The deer’s Patronus is also a deer, awesome way to distract the Dementors!’ ‘Maybe you can actually see ghosts, so it looked real to you, but the camera wasn't fooled.’ ‘Defense mechanism to confuse hunters.’ ‘He’s surfing on a ghost deer. Seen that a million times.’ ‘You caught her having an out-of-body experience!’ ‘No part of this picture looks real. It looks like a painting.’ ‘You scared it so bad her soul left her body,’” Mucsányi said.

No one may ever know for sure what’s actually happening in the photo, but Mucsányi is grateful for it either way. It certainly is one heck of a conversation starter.