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By on March 7, 2007, with 28 Comments

This is a well known variation of bent lines illusion. There are hundreds of them, but this may as well be a representative specimen. No matter how much of them I see, I still haven’t managed to solve the mystery behind them. As we see, the little black and white squares give the impression of a line that seems to bend from center to outer rims of the background. Quite frankly I don’t understand how this effect works. If you examine the picture up from close, you can only confirm that all squares/background blocks are aligned perfectly, horizontally and vertically. Moreover, all of them are straight and parallel one to another. It’s like we have all the necessary ingredients, and still the result comes different than we expected. Anyone knows what is this effect called? I’d like to study it a little more… You can see the proof of parallelism’s inside this post.

On the site news, I updated Seemingly Bent category with new illusions and updated all the links inside with our new domain redirects. You should still test it, if everything works fine. Peter also mailed me an update concerning his Free Game offer from post below, and prolonged his exclusive offer to Mighty Illusions until Friday, 9th. Get those free games before the offer ends (value $40). Happy huntin’ :)


  • Anonymous

    Thats a good one, seen stuff like that its really cool

  • Lost

    That is unbelievable! Best illusion I’ve seen this week.

  • eschnett

    The black squares are alternatingly aligned horizontally and vertically. The exception is the centre of the image, where two next to each other are aligned in the same way.

  • Anonymous

    i really like these kinda illusions

  • Anonymous

    I know what this is, its not too simple to see. The secret to this illusion is to not get trapped by the squares, the light and dark squares. The bent pattern comes out of the shape of the corner of these squares. Note that the two black diamonds are inside one big white diamond, the shape of the diamond defines the entire illusion you see. lol, its not easy explaining

  • Anonymous

    very good one. hurts to look at it

  • Anonymous

    That’s really a brilliant illusion. Just as I expect from a site like this.

  • Anonymous

    I usaually am not a huge fan of these just because there are so many, but this one I really did enjoy. I have your site as a widget, and play around on here everyday. Infact, everyday, one of my friends asks me “what’s the widget of the day?”

  • oscar

    The idea of mistery… why all our human brains see this kind of illusions? Not a trivial question. Is there anybody who don’t? Could anyone say at first sight: “Oh, yes, of course, they are straight lines!”? I’m afraid not. May be other animals, not humans? Will a chimp see straight lines? And a dog? Is anybody studying this questions? As far as we know, it seems we all humans have the same “bug” in our mind’s software. Great mistery in the great complexity of life, a mistery itself, as All the rest is… (oh, I’m gonna levitate!! ;-)
    Thanks for this illusions, always amazing.

  • Alpha103

    one of the best bent lines illusion ive ever seen.

  • Nickbb9

    I think that is SOOOO Cool because at first I didn’t get that it was an illusion it just lookedlike bent lines on the widget I have so I came to your website and read the caption and I was like. . . ou mean they are NOT bent! OH MY GOD!

  • kat

    eschnett is right, it’s all in the little black/white squares. we kind of draw mental lines through the black or something…
    i love these illusions, i want a t-shirt with this pattern on!

  • Elliexx ANIMALS ROCK!!

    yeh this illusion’s really kl!! really clever too.

  • Anonymous

    That’s an excellent illusion! I like these kinds way better than photo “tricks”

  • Jens Jakob Jensen

    Actually it’s not due to the shape of the little white diamonds. It’s the big light squares that are the ones to look closer at.

    Notice how the light squares seem slightly slanted due to the small white squares “pulling” each corner in some direction. In effect each corner is pulled clockwise in the upper left quadrant and bottom right quadrant, and counter-clockwise in the upper right and lower left quadrants.

    As far as I can see, this is what makes this illusion work.

  • Anonymous

    i lthink that htese are classic allutions i like the one wherer you look at the pic and you have to see something wierd about it and you can’t really figure out what it is

  • loser gurl

    i think that theses kinds of illutions are very cool, however I like the ones where you have to look at the picture and see what is wierd about it

  • Anonymous

    eschnett and Jens Jakob Jensen we dont care. i think its cool. when i saw it i swear i said out loud ‘there is no way those lines could possibly be straight’,and then i saw thenext pic and i was like ‘oh my gosh!’

  • Anonymous

    yo this is weird

  • Anonymous

    some of the lines are bent if you look really closly……i think

  • johnny 5


  • Anonymous

    Whoever made the black lines on the second pic made a mistake – the lines are NOT straight. It was obviously saved as a jpg, and if you look closely at the lines, you can see where they shift and become UNstraight. The first pic, although a good “illusion” does NOT have straight lines.

  • lost1

    dang those kinds of stuff scare me but thats cool and awsome!!!!!!!

  • mackenzie

    Did you notice the little dimonds go right to left then up and down i think that may have caused it to look bent because when u just look at the circles and go diagonal but they are in a stright line so meaby that sit

  • justin

    If you’ll notice, in each corner the white and black squares going vertical are the same, yet all of the other diagonal lines start one way then switch after midway. i’m thinking tha is giving the effect that the lines are bent.

  • Ash

    The illusion works as a few others have said because in one line the black squares are vertical then it shifts and the white squares are vertical

  • Timothy

    If you stare at the large colored dots you will see that they are perfectly perpendicular straight up and across the image so the image is definitely completely straight.

  • Divyansh

    This effect works because of the black/white squares. By keeping them horizontal or vertical you can manipulate our perception without the conscious mind knowing.