# How Many Circles Do You See?

By on June 3, 2006, with 107 Comments

Before you start reading this, count the circles in the image below. How many are there (if there are any)? Also known as Coffer Illusion, this optical illusion was created by Anthony Norcia and qualified for top 10 category in “Best Visual Illusion Of The Year Contest”. Anthony describes this visual phenomennon like this:

First time viewers of this display invariably do not see the 16 circles segmented from the background. Rather, they see a series of rectangles that they frequently describe as “door panels”. The illusion pits segmentation cues against what appears to be a very strong prior to interpret the image as a series of 3-D structures “coffers” with closed boundaries. (A coffer is a decorative sunken panel.) It appears that the prior involves both closure and shape-from shading assumptions.

107 Responses
1. Monxy says:

I see

2. lal says:

Even though you can pretend like there’s 25, there’s really only 16 circles in the picture.

Yeah I know u newbs will say it’s 9 + 16, but the 9 circles aren’t really full circles, since u can’t see the edge of the 9 circles on the top and the bottom. So the correct answer is 16 circles (and 9*2 = 18 half circles).

3. lancet says:

16

4. gloria says:

i see 32

5. Griff says:

I see the moon!

6. :) says:

yup .. got 16 circles .. !!! coooool … !!

i can see 16!!! very nice !! kind of head aching if you try too hard like i did hahaha

8. KingJon says:

Yes, only 16 circles, this is fact. Those who say 25 doesn’t know what a circle is. You can pretend there are 25, but the fact remains, only 16.

9. angelique says:

So as soon as I looked at before I even read how many there were , all i could see were 16 cirlces and nothing else.

I was looking at it when I stopped I could still see the circles O.o

11. blah says:

I see twenty eight being a logical person if you look im between the columns not just the rows

12. Alma says:

I see it they ate in between the recyangles going up and down

13. Pepper says:

16

14. Mathew says:

I see 28…

• Mathew says:

Wait no I see 25.

15. Crystal says:

all 16 on the first try!

16. Unknown says:

16!!!!

17. Irufan says:

I saw 16 immediately but I don’t see 25 or 32..

18. Louise says:

I can see 25. 16 main ones, 4 rows of 4; then 9 less obvious ones in between them, 3 rows of 3.

19. DestinyCole says:

Yes, there’s only 16. Using the graphic design principle of closure you could see an additional 9 circle. But YES, there’s only 16 that appear clearly without having to really look for the others. I saw all 16 right off. Not the best illusion, but still good. :)

20. Andrew says:

easy to see

21. Eric says:

Nobody see’s 40??? WOW

22. aroiun says:

16 cirlces

23. chris says:

16

24. Kyle says:

I copy and pasted this into ms paint, zoomed in and looked the pixels, there are exactly 16 circles in this picture.