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By on April 28, 2006, with 68 Comments

Can you guess how this magic trick was done? It looks like it’s including one candle and a mirror, or is that not all? This illusion is somewhat different than “Impossible Corner” and “Mirror Illusion”.

Candle And The Mirror Optical Illusion


68 Responses
  1. ivh says:

    A mirror frame without a mirror and two candles? Just a guess…

  2. ronals says:

    Mirror of the soul

    The fire and the smoke
    the light and the dark t
    he life and the death…

  3. Icefeldt says:

    Maybe it’s a window, and no mirror.

    So maybe you see 2 different candles …

  4. Chewy says:

    Perhaps it’s just taken in an angle where the candle that’s blown isn’t seen in the picture but only in the mirror. See how the lit candle is so close to the left? probably the blown candle’s just off to the side of it.

  5. ThomasElla says:

    Well, first of all, I question the validity of this illusion because it’s obviously been edited in Photoshop or a different program, considering that the flame is colored and everything else is strictly grayscale.

    If we assume that the effect is real, then the frame just leads to another room, or the angle of the shot or the mirror or both has been messed with so that the mirror reflects a second candle.

  6. Jason says:

    ^ Ooohhh… Good one, Chewy.

  7. Farted says:

    I think the mirror isn’t there. I think it’s a picture in the frame of a candle blown out, and then a candle lit up.

  8. leftie2 says:

    I think that ThomasElla has the most logical answer. Look closely, everything(other than the flame) is unusually grey.

  9. toni ramos says:


  10. jozy says:

    Who ever can’t tell that it was a pic of a candle that had been blown out is slow. You can tell the flame was photoshoped every thing is black and white. The only color in the pic is the vivid flame.

  11. Chain says:

    ThomasElla points out that since parts of the image has been desaturated to make it more artistic does not qualify as an argument that it’s a fake. All images here has at some point been through an image editing program of some sort (like Photoshop) – if nothing else to “clean up” and crop/resize. This doesn’t mean the subject is fake.

    This is a very possible illusion. Eigther with a glass in the frame (you see the dirt, so it’s not just an empty frame), or with a trick of angle/perspective like Chewy suggested. We will never know unless we figure out who made it.

    I do not rule out a manipulation since it is not that hard to fake this eigther, but it takes just as much, if not more, than to reproduce the real illusion. However, after reviewing the image closer in photoshop i find nothing that suggest a manipulation, and if it is, it’s a good one. I don’t bother going into a detailed discussion since then i would make this post a mile long(er). ;)

    leftie2: it’s grey because the color has been removed to make the flame more of a focal point and make the artistic effect stronger. This is not a side-effect of a “fake” but a deliberate artistic choice.
    toni ramos: baseless comment, i hate it when people throw that word around without any knowledge in the area.

  12. yngirl says:

    uhh…i say photoshopped..=/

  13. Paper says:

    i agree with chewy

  14. BillyBob says:

    Just have one word to say: “Pepper’s Ghost”. OK, maybe 2 words, anyway, look it up on google…I learned about it in physics, our teacher showed it to us and freaked us out

  15. Hai says:

    ivh’s thought was the first thing that came to my mind

  16. lulu says:

    photoshop lads!


  17. GreenDayGirl10123 says:

    its 2 pics of candles and then put side by side. im telling u. i saw it on TV before.

  18. Spença says:

    Yes, this has been photoshopped to make everything grayscale except the flame. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a real photo! Like Chewy said, there are two candles, but the camera is taken at an angle that you can’t see the blown out candle anywhere except the mirror. Look closely: you can see some smoke wafting toward the flaming candle.

  19. loser says:

    just like life:
    the out side you look like your on fire, happy
    but on the inside you dont really care….

  20. Dudeman says:

    I think it is easy. It is the angle. The candle with the flame is in the front. The one blown out is further behind. Due to the mirror and the angle it appears to be the same candle in the mirror.

  21. tsunei_09 says:

    i go with the mirror frame without the mirror idea…sorry to all who think otherwise…

  22. Lay-Lay says:

    i agree w/ ivh.

  23. Lynn says:

    I think that everyone who says that this is not a “real illusion” should stop and think about what they are saying. Just because something is edited doesn’t mean that it cannot qualify as an illusion. Enjoy! Don’t berate!

  24. asheeolee says:

    don’t just assume everything is made using photoshop… i hate when people do that. take the time to think about all the possibilities.

  25. beth says:

    its simple! it is a candle that is it, and a picture of a candle that is not lit!

  26. Tori says:

    is the burned out one a painting or photo?

  27. Chezzie says:

    Hi! I love this illusion and made a background with it [here]. Love the site and thank you for bringing us illusions every day, even though people sometimes say they are bad illusions…

  28. Anonymous says:

    Double exposure. First the scene is dark and an exposure is made for the flame, then the scene is lit and the candle is blown out for the second exposure.

  29. pirategirl says:


  30. Noneyabeezwax says:

    Why can’t anyone here just ENJOY the illusions instead of analyzing them? A lot of this stuff is really cool, and you shouldn’t have to be all…whatever about it. I’m just saying…

  31. Anonymous says:

    The Flame does not reach the candle?

  32. Brian says:

    If you look at the angle of the frame with respect to the picture, there is no way that the reflection in the mirror is of the candle in the picture. Laws of physics do not lie. Like someone else mentioned, there is a smudge on the mirror so it can’t be an empty frame. Also, in my opinion, it doesn’t look like a gray scale photo, just an old dull frame. There is nothing else in the picture that should be colorful that shows gray.

    With regards to the previous comment, if you look at a candle very closely you will notice that the flame never really reaches the wick.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I know this isn’t photoshop. Some of you people don’t look hard enough, it’s actually just two candles, one was lit, and the other wasn’t, and there is no mirror, that’s what a real illusion looks like.

  34. Kell says:

    The candles are different sizes for a start.

    i agree with ivh that its just a frame with 2 different candles.

  35. Anonymous says:

    either Pepper’s Ghost illusion, google it if you don’t know what that is, or a window with a candle on either side, one’s been lit and one’s been blown out. Our science teacher showed us it a few years ago.

  36. turtlelover says:

    that is cool…..

  37. Hazza says:

    the one on the rightr is a painting

  38. MadCat says:

    Have you guys thought the actual illusion may be colour based? Perhaps EVERY object was “grey”, and the only true colour represented was the light candle. Perhaps the illusion is simply just a matter of us perceiving it as black/white white and going “photoshopped”.

  39. Dacob says:

    at first i belived that there were to candles at different angles if u dont belive please take a look at this why is smoke blowing to the put out candle? in the bottom right hand corner of the mirror smoke is blowing to the candle

  40. Danielle F. says:

    I don’t know about you guys but the smoke looks really fake. Maybe the smoke was added later, but the candle was still out anyway.

  41. Anonymous says:

    It’s just a candle in front of a painting! you guys think to hard and too much ;)

  42. Gray says:

    im a photographer, this is a realy easy trick that ive done myself. some of the people up above are right. the mirror is angled so that the candle in the mirror is actualy possitioned beside the lit candle, and the unlit candle is being reflected back. you can tell for two reasons. one) there is not only the smoke from the blown out candle in the mirror, but its also in the foreground in a much lighter visability, meaning its coiled around and worn out. the other way to tell is the lighting, and the shadow, and its position on both candles. you can see the candle is casting light to the left, and the lightsource on the bklown out candle is on the right.

  43. sorin says:

    it’s a painting

  44. logic says:

    there are actually two candles, one is burning and the other one- on the left side of the burning one -is just blown off. we don’t see it because it’s been cropped out.

    the one in the mirror is the reflection of the other candle, while the reflection of burning candle is cropped out.

  45. Bakshi says:

    Its actually two candles… the angle is such that we see just one. Its fairly obvious… a nice one tho!

  46. sheepe says:

    they r not the same candle but that doesnt mean the mirror is fake its real but the reflection is from another candle you can try it at home with fingers real candles or whatever adn place yourself like the camera and the finger as one candle next to it another finger you will see that at the angle you are you will see your right finger or candle and in the mirrro the left one so this is real nice

  47. smartass says:

    i call it photoshop… woooh, it’s magic!

  48. somebody says:

    as the other guyz said its a different candle because the reflection is small in size and the camera took it from a little below so that the reflection feels real

  49. Nikki =] says:

    It’s called photoshoped. There is no illusion.

  50. Lovely Bones says:

    This is AWESOME…lol Im on My skools comoputer doing this!! Its in a math lesson!! ;) Anyway, I LOVE it its so wikked– Absaloutly Brillopads!

  51. javonte says:

    there’s a candle behind the lit candle and the person took a picture in a angle where u can’t see the nonlit candle the angle is also not showing the lit candles reflection and it makes it look like the to candle and reflection belong to each other

  52. Dan says:

    Can anyone say….Photoshop!

  53. kira says:

    its glass not a mirror?

  54. Nikki says:

    Actually the reflection is of the unlit candle that is on the left side of the lit candle. Consider the angle of the mirror. The reflection of the lit candle should be on the right side of the picture.

  55. Gerald says:

    It’s so easy! The mirror’s not a mirror, it’s just like a frame. They position the two candles on the opposite sides, and they light both of them, but extinguish one of them.

    • Anonymous says:

      the lit candle is where it should be(assuming it’s a mirror)look
      mirror –> _______________
      / \
      / \
      () \
      II \
      II Eye
      as u can see you’d see the lit candle on the left side of the reflection :)

  56. tara says:

    the mirror is not actually a mirror…it’s just a painting but the candle is real

  57. Suor de Sapo says:

    This one is esay to replicate at home with a mirror and two candles. Very easy indeed;) (tip: angle of view)

    • GoodOrange says:

      Suor de Sapo is right :D
      figured it out on first glance haha

      if you look closely, the reflection of the candle in the mirror is disproportional to the candle with the flame. This means there’s another candle behind the one that lit.

      The placement of candles and the angle of the picture is perfect!

  58. Dijonay says:

    As we all know, whenever a candle is blown out, it leaves a smoke or mist behind. Which is what happened with the second candle.

    But I’m not too certain about the mirror. I don’t really where if fits in with the photo.

  59. girl time says:

    omg the candle is out in the reflection! ghost XD

  60. Lazar says:

    It’s a twoway mirror.Probably

  61. Lindsay says:

    what kind of black magic fuckery is this?!?!?

  62. Pill//987654321 says:

    I think that the is just a bare frame, one with a lit candle and one blown out.

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