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By on June 23, 2006, with 33 Comments

Charlie Chaplins Hollow Face Illusion VideoThanks to Alexander Wright for reminding us about this wonderful illusion. I had it on my hard disk for some time, but completely forgot about it. This video clip is called “Charlie Chaplin’s Hollow Face“, and has been circulating the web for some time now. The principle is the same as Einstein’s Hollow Face, Bjorn Borg’s Hollow Face, Unrecognized shallow face… and some other you might find in our video section. Click on the video below to see the illusion. This is what Alex wrote to us: “Hi! I found this illusion on another blog and thought that it’s right up your street. It’s the same concept as the hollow mask illusions you’ve done before, but this has a video and explanation from what sounds like a slightly eccentric old scientist (exactly what you’d imagine the voice of a guy who makes rotating hollow mask illusions would sound like).”


33 Responses
  1. Tad says:

    Absolutely amazing!! I love it!

  2. Anonymous says:

    thats crepy& scary..wathever cool illusion;)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Given that you are displaying so many optical illusions it would be appropriate to mention the top sources for these illusions — the psychologists who research illusions.

    Full credit for this video clip of Charlie Chaplin and the explanation of the effect should go to Dr. Richard Gregory and he also deserves credit for the cafe wall illusion which is on your website. Dr. Gregory was the first to publish on the cafe wall and has presented it many times in scientific conferences and BBC television. http://www.richardgregory.org

    • Velviet says:


      I am trying to find out who owns the copyright to this video. I do know that Professor Richard Gregory has passed away, so who would be the contact regarding this?



  4. Anonymous says:

    That guy is BORING!!!!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    but why does the background go dark?

  6. Anonymous says:

    the background goes dark because the mask itself is much brighter on the illusion side and the camera compensates by turning down its sensitivity to light

  7. Åsmund says:

    Does it work as well if you’re seeing it directly, with normal depth perception, or will that ruin the illusion?

    What happens to the illusion if the inside of the mask is lit from both sides?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I… am not affected by this illusion. I see it has hallow. I can actually see it the other was as well (the way the illusion technically supposed to work), but I have to think of it to do it (like the grandma/woman illusion). So I can see it both ways. Hmmm…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Amazing.Both sides look like faces.

  10. hi says:

    that was weird as!! but kool cheers

  11. Anonymous says:

    that was weird as!!! but kool thanks guys

  12. Drew says:


  13. Pepper says:

    I think that is the best illusion I have ever seen

  14. caylee says:

    on another note, my sisters are decendents of charlie chaplin!

  15. sizwe says:

    omg WOW :>

  16. Whitney says:

    1 word: A-MAZING

  17. tacos says:

    i cant wrap my finger around the fact that it looks as if it is going the other way when you see the hollow side thats is so cool but still kind of creepy

  18. Bhavik says:

    This is the best illusion ever.
    Simply amazing…………..

  19. J. Pomerantz says:

    This illusion is basically a copy of the original and clever work of Richard Gregory. A credit to him is in order.

  20. kieran says:

    OMG! this is kool

  21. pablo says:

    bottoms up

  22. emma says:

    that thing scares me…..

  23. Dan says:

    When the mask turns to the “flesh” colored mask, your brains “shifts” your vision. When the face is back to the reguler colored mask, that “shift” happens again!

  24. This was really amazing

  25. Al says:

    Lame. One side pops out the other pops in. No illusion for me

  26. Jeff says:

    OMG that is so awesome!!!

  27. crazycandycreator says:

    Wow–I can hardly make myself see it properly!!! :o

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