Fact Check

Is This 3D Cat Really Just a Flat Billboard?

The giant cat is located near one of the world's busiest train stations.

Published Jul 10, 2021

 (Screenshot, Nippon TV News 24 Japan)
Image Via Screenshot, Nippon TV News 24 Japan
A massive cat seen in Tokyo is actually a flat billboard with a high-resolution, 3D display.

In early July 2021, pedestrians in Tokyo and viewers on social media were equally impressed by what appeared to be a massive, three-dimensional cat perched several stories above ground level.

From the angle seen in the tweet above, it looks like a huge animatronic cat. Turns out, it's not. It's a very-realistic looking 3D image on a high-resolution 4K billboard screen.

According to the Japanese news blog SoraNews24, the billboard is right outside Shinjuku Station, one of the world's busiest train stations, in the heart of Tokyo's Shinjuku commercial and administrative hub.

But as technology news site Gizmodo reported, the display was clearly only intended to look impressive from a certain angle. When viewed from a different angle, it's apparent that the billboard screen is flat — as is the cat:

What’s the catch? The video only appears three-dimensional from one particular side of the street. There’s a video livestream of the billboard on YouTube, but don’t expect to see something in 3D from that. Not only does the cat only appear periodically in between 2D ads at the moment, the livestream shows an angle that doesn’t look anything like the angle above.

Although the only 3D image on the billboard has been the cat, Gizmodo also reported the billboard company said more images would be coming starting on July 12, 2021.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

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