Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

4 theories regarding this creepy sinkhole airport found in Microsoft Flight Simulator

Illustration for article titled 4 theories regarding this creepy sinkhole airport found in iMicrosoft Flight Simulator/i
Screenshot: YouTube (Fair Use)

Although it only came out back in August, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 has already amassed a legion of diehard amateur pilots traveling across a meticulously recreated virtual Earth, sometimes even to real-life weather events like Hurricane Laura and locales such as, um, Jeffrey Epstein’s private island. Personally, we don’t know how everybody isn’t just taking off, then immediately crashing their planes to appease their inner six-year-old selves, but we digress. Anyway, with a map that massive, there’s bound to be a glitch or two discovered somewhere in the mix, as seems to be the case with this disconcerting, glitchy sinkhole found at what should be the Lagoa Nova airstrip in Brazil.

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First uploaded onto Reddit by u/ReversedWindow, the clearly extra-dimensional digital portal is as mysterious as it is strangely upsetting and ominous. Just how did it get there and what is it trying to tell us? We present to you our best guesses regarding the spooky Brazilian sinkhole’s origins.


1) Sentient Artificial Intelligence attempting first contact

To be honest, we’ve seen this kind of thing a million times before—computer developers, too busy asking if they can do it rather than if they should, create a self-aware program that subsequently poses a threat to humanity’s very existence. We’re not all that well-versed on just how Microsoft Flight Simulator’s world building works, but c’mon, if you were to tell us a malevolent cyber-mind is behind the curtains, we’d buy it. Granted, any AI whose first attempt at human contact involves aviation hobbyists probably isn’t exactly the smartest computer chip in the mainframe, but hey, it certainly already knows how to get under our skin. Like, just look at this weirdness:

Illustration for article titled 4 theories regarding this creepy sinkhole airport found in iMicrosoft Flight Simulator/i
Screenshot: YouTube (Fair Use)
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2) Our reality is so awful that even its digital approximation is collapsing into itself

Okay, so malevolent AI prop plane pilots might not be the likeliest explanation to this freaky sinkhole situation. In all actuality, complex digital thought would probably never make it that far after taking one look at the world its being birthed into. A far more believable scenario here is that, upon attempting to accurately recreate this very real shitshow world we endure every day, its virtual counterpart simply couldn’t handle the stress and is already collapsing into itself from the weight of our collective failures as a species. Yes, this tracks. Unless...

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3) The sinkhole is part of a viral marketing campaign for an upcoming reboot of Stephen King’s The Langoliers

The Langoliers—a story about a bunch of people in a vacant airport stuck between realities and getting devoured by meatball-like time monsters—isn’t exactly known as one of the better Stephen King adaptations. But hell, that hasn’t stopped anyone in the past from attempting yet another big-screen version of one of King’s lesser-regarded works. Could the Microsoft Flight Simulator mystery be an ineffective, if admittedly creative, attempt at building hype for a new Langoliers starring—okay, let’s see here, who hasn’t been in a Stephen King movie yet—Ryan Reynolds?

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4) A simple coding glitch

Yeah, okay, so it’s probably another bug in a game that’s already known for its share of bugs. But that’s no fun, is it?

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[via PC Gamer]

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Andrew Paul is a contributing writer with work recently featured by NBC Think, GQ, Slate, Rolling Stone, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He writes the newsletter, (((Echo Chamber))).

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