Do you like M.C. Escher paintings? Did you like staring at Magic Eye books as a kid? You aren’t alone. People have a fascination with pictures that trick the eye, looking like one thing when they’re really another. Here is a collection of some of the most interesting optical illusions we could find, starting with a classic.
This image is an award winning photograph by photographer George Steinmetz. If you take a moment to study it carefully, it’s a shot from directly overhead of a group of camels. The black shapes are their shadows on the sand…
Living On The Edge
Here we have a brave hiker, walking along a dangerous precipice without a hint of fear. Or do we? Upon closer inspection, his shadow doesn’t make sense at all, until you realize he’s walking along a perfectly safe and perfectly reflective placid lake.
This magical pool table seems to defy gravity, floating a foot or so off of the ground. But there’s no magic here. It’s just a really well lit room, eliminating the shadows your eye expects to see…
4 Squares, 4 Colors
If you look at the smaller squares, the square inside of the dark grey square pretty clearly looks like it’s a brighter color than the other small square inside the large bright green one. But if you cover up the larger squares, you can see that the two small squares are the exact same color.
No, there isn’t some new curvy marker fad going on. These are just some run-of-the-mill, 100% straight markers, placed at a slight angle…
It’d be hard to have the nicest lawn on the block if you were going up against this house. Their grass can fly! Except when looking closer, you can see that the illusion of a shadow is created by the wet pavement on the sidewalk.
This temple in Thailand certainly has a long staircase. What’s not quite as certain at first glance is if the steps are going up or down. If you focus on the trees, the answer is clear. Cover them and it looks like it could go either way…
This block looks like it’s pointing to the right… until it looks like it’s pointing to the left. You can switch it back and forth, if you look closely.
In this picture, there are a total of 12 dots at the intersection of the gray lines. I dare you to try and see them all at the same time…
It looks like this cat is suffering from a severe injury. It has a hole so big in its side, you can see straight through to the ground behind him.
Invisible… Until You See It
Somewhere in this picture is a hidden thing. It’s very hard to see but once you do, it’ll be impossible to not see. Stop reading for a moment and see if you can spot it. Did you get it? Right in the middle of the picture, sticking out of the wall is a cigar.
Your eye will tell you that there are some wobbly, roundish shapes. If you follow the lines of the shapes carefully, you’ll see that the shapes are actually perfect circles. The wobbliness is a trick caused by the color pattern…
It’s hard to tell what those brown things are sitting on top of those bar stools. If I told you they were coffee beans, it wouldn’t make much sense, until you realize that the “bar stools” sitting on the hardwood floor are actually espresso martinis sitting on a bar…
Wait For It
This is sort of a weird one. It just looks like some fuzzy blobs of color until you stare at it for a while. As you do, you’ll notice the color gradually fade away until it’s gone.
Circles and Lines
From far away, you can see 2 or 3 circles. But looking closely, you can see that none of the radiating orange lines, get close but never actually touch…
The interesting pattern in this picture looks like some busy diagonal lines. All of the lines are actually completely parallel.
This one really doesn’t need a description. If you want to increase the effect, try scrolling up and down…
At first glance, this photo just looks like a shot someone took of a lake from there car at some time in the fall. It must be cold because it looks like the lake is frozen. Except, there is no lake. It’s just a fence behind a line of trees.
Whoever set up this shot had a clear understanding of how to make the most out of angles. By positioning the mirror just so, they were able to make it look like you were looking straight through to the other side of the young woman.
Find the Cat
This one may take you a while. Somewhere in this image, there is a cat. I don’t want to spoil it for you in case you want to find it without help. If you would like a hint, the last sentence under the next picture will tell you where the cat is.
The heavy dip in the floor is sure to inspire a little extra caution while walking down this hallway. Maybe that’s what they had in mind when they painted the floor in such a way to create that illusion. The cat is on the right, in front of the stone wall.