Optical Illusions and tricks
 
(items to fool your eye)

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     Seeing is not always believing as you will discover by examining the selections on the menu below.   The graphics contained in this section may cause you to see things that are not there, or not see things which are there.   Not all of the selections are true optical illusions, some may just have some form of graphic trickery such as finding hidden figures within a larger picture.   All of them, however should give you something to think about and hopefully spend a few moments enjoying.   Have fun,
JP

 

 

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Is it a balcony or a patio?

     Here is an Escher type picture what will get your eyeballs looking at each other. As you follow the ladder or the line your eyes tell you something is wrong. Looking at the people at the top, on the balcony, it seems normal, or looking at the people on the bottom on the patio, everything looks normal there too. It is when you try to connect them and make sense from it that you get a bit brain dizzy.

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Nonexistent Black Dots
(try to count the black dots)

 Now you see them now you don't.  When you stare at the figure above, you will see numerous black dots appear at the intersections of the gray lines. It will appear as though the white dots are turning black. That is until you look directly at them, and then they turn white again. They only appear black when you are not staring directly at them, like ghosts and near dimensional entities, they vanish when you try to see them directly.

    

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Angled, Parallel lines
(are they straight & parallel?)

     The figure above will lead you to imaging that the horizontal lines separating the rows of black and white squares are not parallel but are wandering up and down and even curving in one or another direction. To prove the lines are indeed straight and parallel, just place the edge of a sheet of paper up against the monitor screen and align the paper with one of the horizontal lines in the figure. You will be surprised to see that they only wave and wander in your mind, and not in reality.

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Old Hag, or Young Woman ?
(Beauty is in the eye of the beholder)

     Looking at this picture, do you see an old lady with sleepy eyes or do you see a young girl ?   You can see both if you look at the graphic correctly.   The old lady is easy to see but the young girl is a little more difficult.   The old woman's nose is the young girl's chin, as she gazes off in the other direction from the viewer.   The old woman's eye becomes the girl's ear with some jewelry adorning it.

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Eight Legged Elephant ?
(How many legs do you count?)

     Here is another one of those eyeball benders that lead your view in two impossible directions at the same time.  The ponderous Pachyderm is looking much like an overweight arachnid the way the artist drew in his legs.  There are many variations of this same type of illusion.

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Imaginary Motion
(counter-rotating circles)

     This one will make you see motion where there is none.  The two circles of parallelograms will rotate in opposite directions when you stare at the little black dot in the center while changing the viewing distance to the screen.   Bring your face closer and back off again, moving closer and back from the screen.   As you move closer the outer circle spins clockwise and the inner circle spins counterclockwise. Moving outward from the screen the outer circle reverses and rotates counterclockwise while the inner circle spins clockwise.

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Is It Vanity or Death ?
(it depends on how close you are)

     This is one i have seen often. If you look at this photo from a close view point, say one foot or less distance from the picture, you will see a young woman sitting in front of a Vanity dresser with some bottles of "ladies-know-what", and a large round mirror.  Now if you get up and walk back a few paces from the screen, you will see a shocking transformation as the pretty woman disappears and the skull takes her place.


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The Vanishing Haze
(watch the shadows disappear)

     In this illusion we depend on eye fatigue to work the magic.   You will notice that there is a gray haze around the little black dot in the middle of this graphic.   If you stare at this black dot for 30 seconds or so, the gray haze will vanish into the white background.  The more steady and concentrated your stare at the black dot, the less you will see of the gray haze.

 

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Window Scene
(Changing pictures)

    Here is another of those changing pictures that look like one thing while in reality it is quite another subject.   From a distance you will see a naked woman looking into a shuttered window. However if you come in close enough you will see that there is NO woman in the photo, only a cat looking out of the window, a wine glass, some laundry, drapes and a potted plant.  

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One Face or Two ?
(Front or profile)

     Do you see a person looking straight at you from behind a candle stick, or do you see two people, looking at each other, nose to nose?   Again, it all depends on how you look at it.

  It is easier to see the two profiles if you let you eyes sweep the picture from the bottom upward. You see the chins, lips, nose, etc. just fine but staring into the eyes, seems to bring back the single face looking straight at you. If this doesn't work, then cover on side and you will see the profile perfectly.

 

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What Animal Do You See ?
(Is it a rabbit or a duck?)

     Depending on how you view this picture, you will either see a duck, facing left or a rabbit facing right.   Because the figure is upright it can cause confusion but if you rotate it 45º to the right, you see a rabbit, if you rotate it 45º to the left, you will see a duck.  

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What Are You Looking At ?
(A Woman or a Saxophone Player ?)

   Here is another of those double picture illusions. Do you see a man playing a horn, or do you see the face of a woman, looking straight at you?    You may be able to see the woman easier if you step back from the screen a bit, or just squint.

 

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How Many People Can You Find ?
(there are 9 in here somewhere)

    I don't know about this one. I have been trying for a long time to find all nine people in this picture but have never gotten close. If i count the dog and the bird, i still can't get nine. Eight is the most "people" i could find. The dog and the birds do not count, of course. They must be people and there are supposed to be nine hidden in this picture. Can you find them all?

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Poggendorf's Illusion
(a classic judgment destroyer)

    Follow the white line through the gray rectangle and determine which colored line is the continuation of the white line. Write that color down. In the second figure, do the same thing and write the color of the line that is in alignment with the white one.
     If you said the yellow line in both cases then you got this one right. However, if you picked any other color, you were fooled by Mr. Poggendorf.

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Twisted Spiral
(Is it really a spiral ?)

     Although it looks very convincing disguised as a spiral,  the figure to the left has no such animal.  What appears to be spiraling curves, growing smaller and vanishing in the center, are in reality concentric circles that do not go anywhere but follow their own circumference.  Don't believe me?   OK, then try to trace one to the center and see how dizzy you become.
    It is the light colored stripes that make the line look like a twisted cord, which throws your eye off of the true curve of the circle and causes your eye to hop to the next line as the contrasting light and dark pattern on the line guide your eye inward like a magnet.

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For Still MORE Optical Illusions, click here