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By on March 23, 2007, with 46 Comments

Are these guys under some magic spell? Probably they are, but if they weren’t this effect could also be achieved without movie magic, or complex special effects David Copperfield used! It is called Ames Room, and I posted some photos of it already in the past. Here’s how the story of Ames goes – In the late 40s, visual researcher Adelbert Ames Jr. designed a series of visual “magic tricks” to demonstrate how the mind forms hypotheses about reality and depth. In one such illusion, Ames tested aspects of depth perception in a specially designed, distorted room, example of which can be seen below.

I added another nice video (as promised before), where you can see the effect a little better. I’m just sorry that those two guys in it look like two retards. Do you share my opinion? Would be much better if they added some heroes of might and magic characters in it, to rush things a little. They would surely add some adrenaline! This is classical example of Relative Sizes. Also, dragon illusion has just been updated with another cool video clip. It may take few minutes until the changes take effect.

Ames constructed a trapezoidal room for the observer to view by gazing through a peephole – in reality one corner of the room is much farther from the observer than the other corner is. When viewed from a particular angle, the room appears very normal.

If a man would stand in the far corner of the room, and a small boy in the near corner, the boy would appear larger than the man because of the distorted perspective Ames introduced. Even though the observer knows that adults are usually bigger than children, he still experiences the illusion! I posted another “modern” Ames illusion photo inside this post, so be sure to see it after you watched the video clip.

Heck, I didn’t keep my promise to stay away from this site, until I learn my exam! Well, I decided I can do both If I organize my time well… Do you like long and detailed posts like this one? Please comment :) Once again – Enjoy!

  • Anonymous

    I’m #1

    cool illusions

  • Anonymous

    whoa, this is some cool illusion. there have been like 4 illusions in one day today on this website i think. anyway, the video and the images just made this a great blog. i love it! :D

  • amfhsbabymomma

    Super cool, love this site!

  • Anonymous

    This may be the best one yet, very, very cool. Now stop posting such cool things and study for your exam! ;)

  • Gabrielle

    This is beyond cool…I love your site
    This has to be my favorite blog yet

    Guilty pleasure: this site.

  • Anonymous

    the last 1 is cool except 4 the fact that photoshop dosen’t really count as an optical illusion

  • Anonymous

    Cool illusion!
    I check by every day and I always read the posts to get the point. And I didn’t mind at all if your post was a little bit longer than normal, that just makes it more interesting. People may look at what they’ve got time for :)


  • Rakesh


  • Ellie

    thats a good illusion.

  • Anonymous

    very cool and thanks for posting all this cool stuf.

  • Heatman

    Very nice explanation of a great illusion made possible only with a lot of hard work. Thanks!

  • Heatman

    Very nice job explaining this illusion. I especially like the motorcycles in the garage.

  • Carrie

    Yeah – I like detailed posts, they add a lot of ‘dimention’ (no pun intended ;-) Great illusions as always!

  • Robin

    héhé cool one!!

  • Elliexx ANIMALS ROCK!!

    this is like the best illusion yet!! really kl! keep it up coz i love this website! wait – u need to carry on with revising for ur exam!!!

  • Andrew

    Cool illusion and a great site. How do I see the video though?


  • Anonymous

    What’s the story with the second pic(the guy sitting on the car, holding a wrench)? That’s Max from Roswell. Where has he been and what’s he doing in that picture?

  • Anonymous

    I went to this science museum and it had a room like that but the bigger side was bigger and the smaller side was smaller.

  • Connor


  • Tootsy Cute

    They probably cut and pasted (i think). That’s awsome!

  • Lost

    the fourth picture is the best, it looks so cool how they did that.

  • Anonymous

    “I’m just sorry that those two guys in it look like two retards.” – The use of this slang is neither considerate nor appropriate. Using the word retard (or retarded) to describe something that is disgusting, stupid, dumb or funny looking is wrong. It’s like using the “N” word. You may not understand this unless you have a child with a disability. Another illusion has been revealed today, that is the illusion that this site could express a point without degrading a minority group. At this point you can either realize the error of your ways and become humble and apologize, or you (and other readers) can become inconsiderate and try and defend the use of the slang.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Vurdlak,

    I really enjoy the pictures you post. And I must say I also enjoy your detailed explanation as to how these illusions were made.

    Please keep up with your “long & detailed posts” since I happen to read them all and find them to be very interesting and amusing to me.

    Thank You for sharing these awesome pictures with us.

  • Jesper D.J.

    Thanx very much for an interesting site – I try every day to learn about optical illusions thru my Apple Widgets – and the long comments are fine with me. Good luck with your exam. Greetings from Denmark

  • Anonymous

    I agree, very cool illusion. Nice diagram and explanation for the Ames room. I would like to see a similar diagram and/or explanation given for the motorcycle and car image. What confuses me on that one is the reflection from the hood of the car.

  • Borsk

    oh yeah

  • Anonymous

    I love it
    But I could not figure out the last picture
    can you explain the illusion in this one

  • Mrs. Meg Logan

    Super Cool! Loved the photos and the video, and YES I like lots of information. I’m still not exactly sure how this works, but it is amazing. I wonder what other things we make hypothesis on that may be inaccurate due to some naturally occurring situation.

    Mrs. Meg Logan

  • Anonymous

    Cool illusion, I,m sorry about your widget, it now ranks 11th in the top 50 downloaded widgets. It used to be 6th or 5th, but the top 15 isn’t that bad. good luck on your exam.

  • Anonymous

    Cool illusion. Sorry about your wiget, it now ranks 11th in the top 50 downloaded widgets. Which isn’t that bad but when it used to be 5th or 6th. Good luck on your exam!

  • Anonymous

    this is like in the original willy wonka

  • Anonymous

    On the video it looks as if there is a step. I love optical illusions!!! Im 12 years oold and we have to amke a poetry collection in school. Any ideas that I can write about. They need to be sophisticated, not like one about basketball.

  • danyboy

    Pretty cool !

  • Anonymous

    how do they make the car look smaller?

  • Mango

    I think that these illusions are great. I really like having the detailed descriptions and the variety of pictures etc. In fact I like everything you’re doing for this site.

    I know what you mean about the exam/update site question. I’d much rather look at this site than do my homework! C;

  • Molly

    this is pretty cool but i like the small posts but its still awesome!!!! by the way, who was the real one in the wax sculptures?!?! its driving me CRAZY!!!!!!

  • asksome1else

    if u pause it at 1:00, you can see that the smaller looking person has a sloped shadow.

  • Anonymous

    I’m almost positive the bearded guy in the video is Ricky Jay the slight-of-hand magician and author.

  • Joan

    I’ve been suscribed to your blog for a long time and I never write anything here cause I have nothing to say but today I have to say thankyou for you great work!

  • Zing

    This illusion is meant to fool people into thinking it’s an ames room. However, the two guys in this are actually growing and shrinking!

  • IamElias

    Any reason for them not walking straight?

  • halong bay cruises

    This is nice post.

  • Bella

    the first one is because of stairs, you can tell by the way their walking.

  • Kaleigh

    I find this veryyy easy to understand if you look closely thy are walking down steps in the room. The design on the tiles makes it seem as though its a flat floor but its truely not

    • anonymous (without mask)

      I’m pretty sure the floor is flat. What amazes me is how they made it look squared? Far wall is trapezoidal (as well the floor!) making left wall higher thanks right’s.

  • minecaricature

    Using the word “retard” in this derogatory way is really off-putting.