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By on March 20, 2010, with 36 Comments

Convex or Concave HangerGot this incredible photo from one of our loyal visitors. Then I made a cropped version of it to strengthen the effect. Just look at the small thumbnail on your right. How easy it is to decide whether the doll-like hanger is convex or concave (embossed or embedded)? There should be no mistake if we decide it’s concave convex, right?

Unfortunately, our brain was fooled once again! This known effect has something to do with our brain processing the information of face-like objects, automatically rendering them to convex 3d models. We just can’t fight it.

Check the complete photo below! It’s almost impossible to notice where the concave part ends and (falsely presumed) convex part of the figure starts. Probably we saw so many faces during our life, it’s impossible to ignore the learned logic which constructs them 3-dimensionally in our head. Do you think kids are immune to this? How about animals?

Convex or Concave Hanger


36 Responses
  1. Easy Spotter says:

    concave means going inwards right?

  2. onerepublic4life says:

    I am a kid, and I did not fall for it. Good though! :)

    • Kamilia says:

      I think kids ARE immune to this effect, since I didn’t fall for it too. Who knows?

  3. Heyhey didnt know wad to put as my name... says:


  4. ice says:

    i thought (in the widget) it would be concave (b/c i knew it was illusion) with some features popping out….The picture would have been a little more convincing without the left edge and right shoulder

  5. The face portion appears convex with the upper part being concave,I think???? As for the kids, I would say, having worked with childrens art, much of it is concave,but not all. As for the animals, I have no idea!

  6. Jesse says:

    kids are immune! It is concave! Look at where the metal hook goes through the hanger! And I am a kid! Also, HOORAY! First comment!!

  7. FrankandJoe3 says:

    Hunh??? That hurt my brain. I don’t get it.

  8. tinkerer says:

    wow, it really took me some time to figure that one out.

  9. jod says:

    I have a cool illusion can a person submit one

  10. kdh says:

    “There should be no mistake if we decide it’s concave, right?

    Unfortunately, our brain was fooled once again!”

    This is a confusing statement. It looks like you’re saying it is not concave.

  11. Cyndaquil3 says:

    1st post…
    And cool. But, easy to render, for me

  12. zumbi says:

    totally agree…

    It is concave, but I can only see it because of the hook

  13. Jaysun says:

    I have to say – that you website is fantastic~ I love it!
    I teach Psychology and the illusions on this site have provided the building blocks for many a discussion into visual perception! thanks!!

  14. E Hilter says:

    People with schizzofrenia or ppl under the influence of LSD never gets it wrong though.

  15. Kia says:

    Ok if you look at the way that the reflection and the shadow goes, I would have to say that the whole thing is concave. Awesome illusion, it’s so hard to tell!!

  16. ky says:

    imma kid. i got it right

  17. Chuck says:

    What’s wrong with you people? It’s totally concave.

  18. Archana Suresh says:

    I could not follow this.

  19. Jilly says:

    the upper part with the hook is concave, obviously………..the rest looks like convex shadow, but isn’t….it’s all concave

  20. Archana Suresh says:

    I finally followed what you were saying.. whether it is projectd out or goes inwards …

  21. NeeL says:

    When do people learn that when there ain’t a comment on the site, it doesn’t mean that their comment is the first one which get approved?

    Anyway, I try to see the illusion, but the nose ain’t right. I just can’t and I’m no kid, no!

  22. Code Monkey says:

    In the cropped picture, it looks very much convex, however when I look at the full image, it looks very much concave.

  23. mik says:

    i thought (in the widget) it would be concave (b/c i knew it was illusion) with some features popping out….The picture would have been a little more convincing without the left edge and right shoulder

  24. Clarisa says:

    Sorry but i absolutly do not like it at all u could a put it in more details it simply awful

  25. Name says:

    It didn’t work on me! Still cool though

  26. William Lim 'Nkm' Rasaz says:

    not work at me, i have too many see this type of illusions,

  27. Laharl says:

    Totally concave

  28. Aaron Yan Hearn Ng says:

    U call dis an illusion? if u look at the 1 behind theres 2 things about it… 1, theres a shadow on it and 2, u can see part of the area behind it… the the shine bit meaning it MUST be a concave

  29. Smart Rock (Poptropica) says:

    I’m a kid too and I didn’t fell… how awesome is that?

  30. Casinò says:

    I still can’t understand which one is concave. Lol

  31. luca says:

    nice photo though!

  32. Georgina says:

    I wasn’t fooled by this for a second but there was a similar thing on BBC four the other week about this sort of thing and that one was just a mold of a face, but all in, and I fell for it and couldn’t make it look like how it actually was, I think this is a bad version of this illusion but the illusion in itself is fascinating.

  33. Jon says:

    Concave! Im pretty sure? Concave mean going inwards (Hense cave). easy way to remember it.

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