A GoPro spinning at 1800rpm looks like it’s entering a wormhole to another universe

Jan 6, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

A GoPro spinning at 1800rpm looks like it’s entering a wormhole to another universe

Jan 6, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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It’s difficult to come up with original GoPro footage these days. Everything’s just been done. But this is something I haven’t seen before. YouTuber Mr. Michal secured what looks like a GoPro Hero 7 Silver one into his lathe and spun it at various speeds up to 1800 revolutions per minute.

At slower speeds, it looks pretty cool, like a handheld motorised gimbal in “vertigo” mode. As the speed increases, though, so does the nausea factor. But at certain rpms, you see the rotational speed sync up with the frame rate and the shutter speed and it gets pretty interesting. At 1800rpm it gets very cool.

The video starts off fairly tame, spinning at a modest 14rpm. Then it goes up to 22,rpm then 35rpm and by 56rpm it’s already starting to feel a little dizzying. At 90rpm you’ll definitely want to be sitting down and by 112rpm it’s already starting to look a bit of a mess. But on he goes through 140rpm, 180, 224, 280, 355, 450, 560, and 710 until we start to see things sync up around 900rpm. After brief stints at 1140rpm and 1200rpm, we finally reach 1800rpm.

It’s certainly not your standard way of moving a camera, and it bothers me somewhat that it wasn’t positioned in the lathe jaws centred around the axis of the lens, but rather central to the whole camera. Of course, if the lens had been centred, it probably would’ve thrown the balance of the whole thing off and wouldn’t be able to get up to that speed and stay stable.

It would be interesting to see footage with the shutter speed and framerate manually adjusted at different RPMs to see how it affects the weird warping effects and the different patterns it would produce as everything syncs up. Shooting at a high 240fps frame rate (he’d have to switch to a Hero 8 Black, of course) with moving subjects in front and slowing it down to 24fps on playback could also make for some very interesting footage.

It’s maybe worth mentioning that you probably shouldn’t try this at home.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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100 responses to “A GoPro spinning at 1800rpm looks like it’s entering a wormhole to another universe”

  1. Dunja0712 Avatar

    This looks insane! I love it!

    1. Ali Mckellar Avatar
      Ali Mckellar

      This is exactly what I thought of when I saw it! :D

  2. guillebot Avatar

    So sad he didn’t centered it right.

  3. David Santoro Avatar
    David Santoro

    Okay ? thanks ????? I had too stop watching

  4. Hans J. Nielsen Avatar
    Hans J. Nielsen

    Somehow this was actually quite funny. Put a smile on my face.
    A little sad though, that it seems like the GoPro doesn’t have a fast enough shutter speed for action.

  5. Andrus Chesley Avatar
    Andrus Chesley

    Never ever dreamed of doing that when I was into operating lathes. So neat.

  6. Zygmunt Zarzecki Avatar
    Zygmunt Zarzecki

    Lathe clamping is different

  7. Stee Green Avatar
    Stee Green

    Some people have to much time on there hands

  8. David Papadopoulos Avatar
    David Papadopoulos

    Strange because the lens of the gopro is not in the center of the spinning machine like in the video…

    1. Gary Roberts Avatar
      Gary Roberts

      Yes, the spindle-clamp at the opposite end is certainly filmed as being centred with every change of RPM…

    2. John Anderson Avatar
      John Anderson

      The change in location of the objects in the distance is small based on the offset of the lens. I was wondering the same thing until I thought about it a bit.

  9. Toby Joe Hammer Avatar
    Toby Joe Hammer

    At least once hit 90rpm when states 1800?!

    The fuck are you talking about 90?…. smh

  10. Bernard Klismet Avatar
    Bernard Klismet

    Amazed you could lower the clamp pressure so low as to not crush the camera.

    1. Bernard Klismet Avatar
      Bernard Klismet

      Sorry. At first I thought it was a hydraulic chuck. My bad.

  11. Mark Callaghan Avatar
    Mark Callaghan

    cant see a purpose, maybe its art? the fast rpm wasn’t a problem but the slow speeds really spun me out (pun intended)

  12. Scott Garno Avatar
    Scott Garno

    Cat hypnotized itself watching this.

  13. Kieth Moreland Avatar
    Kieth Moreland

    Somewhere a GoPro is asking for a couple of Tylenol.

  14. Hauke Schache Avatar
    Hauke Schache

    And thats how to kill Thanos

  15. Carl Kirton Avatar
    Carl Kirton

    would’ve been better if theyd centred the screen

  16. Ron Theusch Avatar
    Ron Theusch

    Judging by the angle of the sun. I guess machinist day drink too.

  17. Dom Dimatteo Avatar
    Dom Dimatteo

    its easy to recrate this when you eat shit on a dirtbike going 40+ and your gopro goes flying into oblivion

  18. Scot Niemczyk Avatar
    Scot Niemczyk

    Good Camara

  19. Graf Toadwart Avatar
    Graf Toadwart

    That’s a good practice for high rolls with the quad. 10k degrees or even hight ?????

  20. Mike Randall Avatar
    Mike Randall

    that was cool , I’m impressed that the GoPo didn’t explode or fail in some way

  21. Eric Robarge Avatar
    Eric Robarge

    I want a lathe that changes gears like that! I’d be changing speed just for the hell of it. Sounds like a shotgun.

  22. Dennis Cormack Avatar
    Dennis Cormack

    That was cool. More impressed that the GoPro held up.
    Sell it to them for an advertisement. Hell I’m going buy one now just because!

  23. Jaf Qureshi Avatar
    Jaf Qureshi

    That was DOPE!!!! Just what i needed!!! Thank you!!!

  24. Gary Reid Avatar
    Gary Reid

    The build quality of the gopro is impressive

  25. Derek Cummings Avatar
    Derek Cummings

    Now use the hero max and test this MAX HYPERSMOOTH

  26. James Kamohalii Avatar
    James Kamohalii

    I could watch anymore I started tripping lol

  27. Shane Belknap Avatar
    Shane Belknap


  28. Paddy Eff Avatar
    Paddy Eff

    Honistly made me throw up my dinner watching it spin

  29. Shatxouh Txuj Chahar Vaj Avatar
    Shatxouh Txuj Chahar Vaj

    Bet if you can time travel in that phase unless create enough density to withstand all of the laws of physics lmao jk

  30. Cliff Smith Avatar
    Cliff Smith


  31. Robert Velasquez Avatar
    Robert Velasquez

    Thanks that was badass, and I got a free one!??

  32. Troy Hutchinson Avatar
    Troy Hutchinson

    Another cool trick is to take video into a tv or monitor showing the video you’re taking of the monitor. Try it.

  33. Brandon Simmons Avatar
    Brandon Simmons

    Someone has too much time on their hands.

  34. Simon Gregory Avatar
    Simon Gregory

    Shall we try 10k?!

  35. Steve Hill Avatar
    Steve Hill

    “My god, it’s full of stars!”

  36. Man Alive Avatar
    Man Alive

    .. AND?? ?

  37. Kayla Huemer Avatar
    Kayla Huemer

    You can guesstimate the fps of the camera based on the fact that it started to alias between 450 and 560rpm (must be between 225 and 280Hz). Turns out it’s 240fps – cool demonstration of a signal processing concept!

    He should try turning it at 480rpm (or any multiple of 240) to then see if the image would stand still!

    1. Suzanne Levitch Avatar
      Suzanne Levitch

      There are a lot of science and engineering minded girls and women out there. I hope you meant that you wish sexism and institutional misogyny had not prevented women for advancing and excelling in those fields for so long.

    2. Kevin Kesler Avatar
      Kevin Kesler

      Anthony Ambrosio The lens wouldn’t need to be centered. If the rotational speed exactly matched the capture rate the picture would look still because every frame would be captured at the same place. However, this would require higher speeds. ie for 60 fps capture, a rotating speed of 60 RPS or 3600 RPM would be needed to look like a still image. At that point though, you’d likely have an issue with how long it take for each frame to be captured. The longer this capture takes, the more blurry the image will look.

    3. Rolf Fischer Avatar
      Rolf Fischer

      It’s a CMOS sensor, not a CCD. So there’s rolling shutter to deal with…

    4. Kris Hidalgo Avatar
      Kris Hidalgo

      Ludovico Verducci Glad someone brought up the RPM vs FPS inconsistency. That being said, there are ways to minimize the motion blur. I’m fairly sure gopro has an advanced setting where you can adjust your Shutter-Speed without it effecting the frame rate. This is how you adjust the shutter angle. The smaller the shutter angle, the less motion blur. Think Saving private Ryan brought to the extreme.

    5. Vinnie Davis Avatar
      Vinnie Davis

      Ludovico Verducci it’s easier to have to less exposure than more. Yes, the GoPro will have quick enough response

  38. Jack Mielarczyk Avatar
    Jack Mielarczyk

    Thru a wormhole!

  39. Daniel Reed Avatar
    Daniel Reed

    eureka you may be on to something here!

  40. Paul Coco Avatar
    Paul Coco

    Thank God for my ability to fast forward to last minute

  41. Apolena García Avatar
    Apolena García

    Gosh I’m dizzy

  42. Eunice Bergin Avatar
    Eunice Bergin

    this should come with a health warning! ?

  43. Buz Ozburn Avatar
    Buz Ozburn

    Wow … now everyone can view how I see the world after too damned many tequila shooters. And they wonder why I sometimes stagger a little bit.

  44. Larry Silva Avatar
    Larry Silva


  45. Marc Rochecouste Avatar
    Marc Rochecouste

    That has got to be one of the dumbest videos I have ever skipped through…..

  46. Kraig Gates Avatar
    Kraig Gates

    They all Made me sick I skipped to the last two

  47. Mike Hodapp Avatar
    Mike Hodapp

    Be cool if you could put the video on your phone then put the phone in the chuck to make the video stay still

  48. Daniel Burns Avatar
    Daniel Burns


  49. Graham Long Avatar
    Graham Long

    Anyone else almost puke?

  50. Paul Pommes Avatar
    Paul Pommes

    I’m impressed that a GoPro can function under the g-load.

  51. Rob Doty Avatar
    Rob Doty

    I would’ve guessed that above a
    certain speed the framerate would be slow enough that it wouldn’t look like rotation anymore, just random angled shots due to the strobe effect. But I guess the software tries to smooth it out?

    1. Jordan Bonecutter Avatar
      Jordan Bonecutter

      If this were a camera using film, (or a really fancy digital camera), yes. But a frame on a digital camera isn’t captured all at once. You can prove this to yourself by getting out a cheap camera (like the one on a smartphone) and recording a video while rapidly moving the camera left and right. If you watch the video back, it gives the world a “wobbly” effect. Essentially, it captures the image one row at a time, so row 0 is at a different time than row 1, and so on and so forth. Here’s a great video explaining the effect: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dNVtMmLlnoE

      If the GoPro did capture a frame all at once, I believe that 1800 rpm would appear to be a camera rotating clockwise very slowly (assuming that the shutter speed is much greater than the rotation speed).

  52. Keith Deines Avatar
    Keith Deines

    lol! machine shop.

  53. Ben Andryc Avatar
    Ben Andryc

    I can’t believe I just watched that. Interesting spin on the GoPro. No pun intended Jonathan

  54. Kevin Donoghue Avatar
    Kevin Donoghue

    So thats how they did this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksuPdtwHCE4

    1. Objectivist Avatar

      exactly what I was thinking

  55. Jason Forrest Avatar
    Jason Forrest

    Stuck it in a lathe! ?

  56. Rj Parker Avatar
    Rj Parker

    Just here to say I’m shocked he was able to get the go-pro to actually start recording, and the battery lasted long enough to make an 8 minute video. ?

  57. Terry Lee Avatar
    Terry Lee

    From too much to drink to another Batman scene transition.

  58. Ronald Fifer Avatar
    Ronald Fifer

    That was almost exciting

  59. Brian Young Avatar
    Brian Young

    @6:24 see 1400 rpm

  60. John Kaluta Avatar
    John Kaluta

    With an independent chuck they could have centered the lens. Also a shame they didn’t have variable speed, probably could have synced the image up like an old TV.

    1. John Kaluta Avatar
      John Kaluta

      Alex why?

  61. Parker Russell Avatar
    Parker Russell

    Already seen it on yt, but thanks for embedding the video rather than just pulling it from yt, more media sights should be like you

  62. Lesley Cardinal Avatar
    Lesley Cardinal

    What’s a wormhole ??‍♂️

    1. Shannon Der Aldinger Avatar
      Shannon Der Aldinger

      Another name for an Einstein-Rosen bridge …

  63. Carlos Alexander Blanco Avatar
    Carlos Alexander Blanco

    DMT trip at 1800RPM????

  64. Ian Wright Avatar
    Ian Wright

    I’m surprised it can handle that kind of centripetal force

  65. Rick McAllister Avatar
    Rick McAllister

    A 4 jaw chuck. Why not center the lens?

  66. Craig Nickerson Avatar
    Craig Nickerson

    Why does it change directions at 1400? 60Hz lights? I think I know what we will be doing at work tomorrow.

  67. Tony Manuel Avatar
    Tony Manuel

    How does one know what what a worm hole looks like lol

  68. Jack Bassett Avatar
    Jack Bassett

    Should have played a bit of doctor who theme in the background…

  69. Brian McCormick Avatar
    Brian McCormick

    Very cool!!! Thanks for doing this

  70. Robin Mascall Avatar
    Robin Mascall

    I’d love to see this done with a horizontally mounted Insta 360 One X!

    1. Kaouthia Avatar

      It would be interesting to see how long the FlowState stabilisation could keep up, that’s for sure! lol

  71. Alex Valenzuela Avatar
    Alex Valenzuela

    I felt like I was supposed to die while I watched this. I made it. But I no longer feel feelings.

  72. Steve Stice Avatar
    Steve Stice

    My ship got stuck in a wormhole once.
    It didn’t look like this at all.

  73. Matt Patterson Avatar
    Matt Patterson

    ? I couldn’t watch for long

  74. Al Hanson Avatar
    Al Hanson

    Surprised the centrifugal force didn’t damage anything in the GoPro

  75. Mike Young Avatar
    Mike Young

    Now I know what my wheels see when I’m driving down the road ?

  76. William Phillips Avatar
    William Phillips

    Even changing the background and holding it at that speed longer would be cool

  77. James Eric Weeks Avatar
    James Eric Weeks


  78. Quentin Browning Avatar
    Quentin Browning

    I’m surprised it didn’t mess with the chemicals in the batteries.

  79. John Citizen Avatar
    John Citizen

    best vid ive seen this year, very surprised gopro dint fall apart or fail to record at those rpms

  80. Seva D. Aves Avatar
    Seva D. Aves

    with 3600RPM theoretically the video would become an image, bc of the 60FPS cam (my calculations might be wrong)

    1. Jordan Bonecutter Avatar
      Jordan Bonecutter

      No, I don’t think so… I believe the reason the image “stabilizes” because the camera makes one full rotation over the time period of a frame capture. Let’s look at the 1800 FPS footage. We can see that it A approximately appears to be an image rotating clockwise. Now, if we look at the footage of the camera at slower speeds, like 14 rpm, we see the footage is actually rotating counter-clockwise. So, at 1800 rpm the camera is completing just short of a rotation per capture (because the footage appears to be rotating backwards). I believe that if the camera were to rotate slightly above 1800 rpm, the footage would appear still.

      At 3600 rpm, as you suggested, I believe that the footage would still look very blurry (rolling shutter effect) but it would appear to rotate clockwise twice as fast as it did at 1800 rpm.

  81. dirk koy Avatar
    dirk koy

    her a musicvideo i made 2014 with the GoPro spinning on a car wheel

  82. dirk koy Avatar
    dirk koy

    here a music video I did 2014. just made with a GoPro spinning on a car wheel.

  83. Frank Jordan Avatar
    Frank Jordan

    The lens wasn’t centered in the chuck jaws but on the spinning axis of the jaws. That’s why the end point of the lathe stays in the center of the image. For the window to be in the center of the image, they would have had to move the lathe in line with the exact center of the window pane. May have been hard to move a 500 kg machine around the shop and raise it by a meter in height…

    Also, you can tell that the recording speed of the camera is around 30 fps, Proof of that is the synchronising of the image. Any rotational speed on the lathe that is an exact multiple of the camera’s frame rate will show the objects at the same place in a given period of time. Look at the window at 1800 rpm. It slowly moves clockwise (same rotational direction as the lathe) so the lathe’s speed is slightly faster that a multiple of the camera’s frame rate.

    1. Bugman Avatar

      4-jaw chuck needed for centering of the lens