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By on April 25, 2011, with 19 Comments

There’s a great chance you’ve already seen something similar, or at least have a vague idea who Maurits Cornelis Escher was. In case you you haven’t, he was the famous Dutch graphic artist, most known for his impossible structures (Ascending and Descending, Relativity…) and various tessellations.

Today’s article features one of the animated variations of Escher’s Ascending and Descending. In reality it would be impossible to construct staircase similar to this one, however there have been some semi-successful examples in the past.

Let’s conduct a simple thought experiment: could you isolate the separation point, supposedly this object was actually a real-life construction instead, viewed from carefully selected angle?

  • Kelsey

    I think the separation point would have to be at the junction at the back.

    • Loudclaw

      Wow. This is weird, gimme the Lego blueprints.

  • max

    this is a very interesting website. could I ask you something?
    I’d like to know if there’s name for the optical effect you described at the page:

    http://www.moillusions.com/2008/12/black-lips-illusionary-cd-cover.html

    also, do you know if there’s a software available in order to reproduce this effect?
    thanks.

    • http://koaieus.eu.pn Koaieus

      Well the effect isn’t that hard to create actually, I quickly made this using the GIMP (kind of free photoshop):stripesl.png

    • http://koaieus.eu.pn Koaieus

      That was http://img69.imageshack.us/i/stripesl.png/ in case the the site messed up my post…

    • Yo Girl 123

      Why?

  • Care Bear

    My life in a nutshell.

  • Natasha

    i don’t get it!

  • Bryan D

    If you look closely, he is walking backward along the near wall. This makes him descend to the start again :p

  • Lelani Smith Pretorius

    This is a really clever illusion, but this poor little man has been running around on my screen all day!

  • http://nleon@www.com shut up kid

    pretty coool for an amateur……

  • ZL123

    This illusion again! Love it (Kinda)!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Haviland/100000657164709 Richard Haviland

    I remember this optical illusion from college. It’s one of the better illusion created. I agree with Kelsey, the separation point is at the back.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Haviland/100000657164709 Richard Haviland

      No moderation again????????

  • vic

    Easy if not have same number.

  • kk

    155244main_HSTplusLensBlueChandraPink2blur.jpg

  • http://jupitermultimedia.com edward

    I believe it’s in the construction of the closest set of stairs. since it’s close it appears to be ascending when it’s actually descending… possibly both long walls are descending. Just was more obvious to me being the front wall. It’s clever use of perspectives.

  • howie

    The trick is incline steps at a decline.
    two steps up 3 steps down

  • Joseph

    He must be late for something

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