RINCON SANTA

Merry Christmas! Because this is December 25th I thought I would let you in on a little-known secret: an optical illusion that today I’ll officially coin “Rincon Santa.” This effect, that happens on the South Coast right near Mussel Shoals, makes it appear that Santa’s sleigh and reindeer are coming in for a landing. To see Rincon Santa you need to be driving northbound on the 101 freeway at NIGHT. As you approach Mussel Shoals, over the ocean you will see Rincon Island and the Richfield pier which is lined with lights. To the left and above the island you will see a series of lighted offshore oil rigs far off in the distance. At night time, as you drive north toward Mussel Shoals, the rigs can appear to some to be a sleigh and reindeer that fly through the sky then suddenly race along the pier. Rincon Santa is a cool sight to see and it happens year round.

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8 Responses to RINCON SANTA

  1. Glenn says:

    Are you sure you been not smoking Mistletoe again? I will try it but what if Santa crashes into me?

  2. Johnny says:

    It’s true. My dad showed me the illusion over 15 years ago
    and before that, he told me that the Island is where Gilligan’s
    Island was filmed. Ah,storytelling, youth and imagination!

  3. Tex says:

    One (or more) of the Santa Barbara Airbus drivers occasionally points this out to riders – he calls it the “Rincon Train.”

  4. Shelley says:

    You can see it going south as well but wouldn’t advise the driver to look!

  5. Glenn says:

    So I tried it tonite coming back from Magic Mountain and it was neat! Another person in my car just blurted out, that looks like Santa and his reindeer before I could even mention this post! Neat effect!

  6. Chris says:

    I’ve known of this and have been calling it either the ‘Silent Train’ or ‘Night Santa’ for 15 years

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