Creepy fingers in Sports Illustrated photo


Sports Illustrated is running this photo of the amazingly talented gymnast Shawn Johnson. She's standing on a balance beam in a corn field. The creepy fingers coming out of the corn in the lower left make the photo seem like an ad for a scary movie. Creepy fingers in Sports Illustrated photo (via Photoshop Disasters)


  1. Clearly the local zombie clearance authority is not doing its job!

    They mistakenly certified this land safe for agriculture. (which it is clearly not)

    To compound the error, they have rated it safe for children!

    One day again, our world may be safe from the Zombies, but wishful thinking will not make it happen.

  2. I spent many of my growing up years watching my sister go to gymnastics meets. The Beam is the scariest of all of the apparatus on the floor of a meet because it is has so much potential to really hurt someone. So, yes, those fingers are holding down the beam, so that the gymnast will have a steady surface to do her routine on! Usually they use lots of weights and such to hold the beam steady, but I am guessing they didn’t think/have the budget to move all the needed weights for the photo shoot.

  3. Actually, judging from the color of the corn, the corn would be way taller than the balance beam. Hence, in order to have her balancing above the top of the corn, they probably had to have the beam propped up on something. In this case, the hands are indeed most likely meant to provide support.

  4. Directly below the ‘big toe’ of her left foot, between the leaves of the corn, is the eye of the person holding the balance beam. Obviously, this is just bad photography/editing on the part of SI.

  5. You’d think SI could have at least hired the guys who photoshopped the Army soldier’s heads to get rid of the creepy fingers in this photo.

  6. This is odd. Last year she went to my high school. Though her height (or lack thereof) was commonly noted, her fingers were not.

  7. Clearly a cornfield malfunction during prime time.

    Ok, so now get where parts the left arm that’s cut off went to. I can’t see the top of her head anywhere.

  8. The photograph is by Joe McNaly – it was discussed by him in this fascinating Google Authors talk:

    He said it was a nightmare shoot. The beam weighs a lot and they had to have a whole bunch of guys underneath it holding it steady. Then it rained. Mud. etc.. he tells the story in the Google video.

  9. #16 but.. but… where’s the stone pile ?

    As for the pic, even without the explanation it’s pretty clear that someone is holding the damn beam.

  10. Hah. I scoff at your so-sensible explanations. As a true Pirate, I can tell that this is photographic evidence of a Ninja attack foiled at the last minute, probably by the photographer’s flash.

  11. You would not believe how big a celebrity Shawn is in Iowa (my home state). If she, McCain & Palin, and Obama & Biden all came to town on the same day, you could go lawn bowling on the grass in front of the political rally stages.

  12. It is in fact a Joe McNally pic. As he states in his blog it’s also not the pic he would have chosen. I’m not suprised to see a grip’s hand in an untouched pic. I would hardly call it a PS disaster…

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