Some Of The Best Optical Illusions We've Ever Seen

Take Another Look

The human brain is an amazing thing: it can recognize patterns better than computers can and create faces and forms that simply aren’t there. 

But, sometimes, it can get a bit confusing when we don’t know what we’re looking at. Some pictures are so mind-bending that even a computer would have a hard time understanding what it’s seeing. Read on to look at some mystifying photos and see if you can crack their visual riddles. 

Lining Up Perfectly

Sometimes, things line up so perfectly that you can’t help taking a double-take. This photo is confusing at first glance until you see that the Lay’s chip packet lines up perfectly with this man’s face. 

What’s even more impressive is that the man on the packaging has the exact skin tone as the man behind it. 

It’s Like A Test For Colorblindness

Surely this wasn’t done by accident? The little girl is wearing the exact same pattern on her dress as the blanket she’s lying on. 

Nevertheless, it’s quite mind-melting to try and figure out what’s going on here at first glance. The floral patterns make it difficult to make out the little girl’s form - it’s like perfect camouflage. 

Bookcase City

At first, it looks like the tiny cars below are driving through some kind of alternate reality where all the buildings are made from giant bookcases. 

The scene is whimsical and strangely beautiful - as though it is a landscape from a fantasy film. Looking carefully at the bookcases gives it away, though. 

Riding The Wave

Here’s another mind-boggling image that distorts our depth perception. The way the boat looks like it’s riding on the crest of a huge wave evokes thoughts of Hollywood sea adventures like “The Perfect Storm.” 

The reason the depth perception on this one is confusing is because the horizon line is barely visible. If you look at the upper left-hand corner, though, you see what’s really going on.  


This serendipitous photo was taken by a passenger riding on the London Underground. It’s a perfect illusion. 

The photo of the woman’s face on the magazine is perfectly proportionate to the woman behind it. And what are the chances that the woman’s hair would even be the same color and style? This was a serendipitous shot indeed. 

Two Cats

This photo was uploaded to Reddit with the caption: “One cat looks like 2.” And, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there are two cats in the photo - one with his head under the table, and another with his head sticking out. 

This optical illusion is actually a tribute to a cat’s flexibility. Cats are so flexible because they do not have collarbones - this little guy is a very talented contortionist.

An “AI-Generated Mess”

The caption on this photo that was uploaded by a user on Reddit reads: “My dog looks like an AI-generated Mess.” 

It’s actually extremely difficult to understand what is going on in this shot. We’ll take the Redditer’s word for it that this furry black mass is, in fact, a very unphotogenic dog.  

Showing Off

This amusing photo was uploaded to Reddit with the caption: “This sassy gal showing off her gams.” It’s not hard to see what the user is talking about. 

There’s something about the way the tree’s branches are positioned that makes them look exactly like a woman’s legs. The branches even appear to have knees and shapely calves.

Pitbull Man

This photo was uploaded to Reddit with the caption: “Giant rescued Bully Pitt’s head could easily be mistaken for mine.” 

At first glance, it’s actually very difficult to tell what’s going on here and mentally separate the giant pitbull from the man in the striped shirt. It looks like a Photoshop job until you look closer. Nevertheless, the result is hilarious.

All Your Sci-Fi Dreams

This image is reminiscent of a sci-fi book cover - it looks like a total eclipse and you can’t help but think whoever took it has an extremely powerful, telescopic camera or that it’s an official photo from NASA.

However, all of our sci-fi dreams are shattered when we learn what it really is: just “a desk lamp pointed at the wall.”

The Levitating Hand

It’s hard to tell what’s going on here - but, at first glance, it appears to be a disembodied hand holding a laptop bag. 

The stars aligned perfectly for this mind-melting shot - it takes a while to realize what’s actually going on. But, if you look at the middle of the left-hand side, you’ll spot the arm of the “levitating hand.”

Backward Feet

Now, this one is a brain-searingly difficult visual puzzle to solve. We can clearly see the man’s legs and feet, but something is terribly wrong. 

The problem is that we can also clearly see the man’s knees, so it doesn’t look like his legs are crossed. So, how are the positions of his feet possible? Honestly, I’m stumped. 

Giant Squirrel

This puzzling photo was uploaded to Reddit with the caption: “Went to the Grand Canyon and took a pic of a squirrel, didn’t notice the miniature Asian man trying to pet it.”

The foreshortening of the squirrel makes it appear to be huge - the illusion is probably created because we can’t see a horizon line to put things into perspective. Whatever the case, it’s a hilarious effect.

Three-Armed Presenter

At first glance, this still from a Belgian TV show is extremely puzzling - it looks like the woman on the left has three arms, or that the image caught a motion blur. 

However, the amusing illusion is shattered when you look carefully at the woman on the right. Look again - it’ll take you a minute to see it. 

An Optical Illusion

This photo was uploaded to Reddit with the caption: “A flat wall/door that looks like a corner.” This visual riddle is mind-meltingly hard to solve because our brains insist that where the two walls meet is a corner. 

That’s because the vertical, different-colored wooden slats confuse the eye and add a strange perspective when there is none. In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author's imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.