David And Goliath Vintage Illusion

This is one of the rare, old-timer optical illusions. It was taken from a german/french magazine that shows a vintage painting of two funny men. Eventhough they both look like the fatter guy from Laurel and Hardy (don’t remember which one is fat, and which one is thin), artists named them David and Goliath. The thing is that the blond guy (David) looks smaller and weaker then the left one (Goliath). Why is that? You guessed… becase this is another optical illusion… Another thing, if you can read the text and speak german/french please translate this and post it under comments. Thanks!

Edit: Donald Huggan, a professional translator, translated this text from Dutch to English, so be sure to email him if you have simmilar jobs for him. The original translated text follows:

“When you lay the figures next to each other in the same direction it appears that the one in front is bigger. Both are really the same size. Cut out these figures.”

33 Replies to “David And Goliath Vintage Illusion”

  1. Top translation:

    If you place these figures side by side, it would seem that the left figure is bigger although they are of the same size.

    Bottom translation:

    Cut-up these figures
    turn please

  2. Here is what Google language tools makes of it, after I cleaned it up with my old middle school french understanding:

    “Place the two figures one to the side of the other. It seems that the first is larger, but they are of a same size.”

    About what you would expect.

  3. The left part is written in Dutch, not German. Which would make this a perfect article for a Belgian magazine.

    Love your site.

  4. Err… the left text isn’t german. For me, living in germany near the dutch frontier, it looks like dutch. French is one official language in belgium, so maybe that’s belgian.

    The german translation of the left text would be ‘Man legt die beiden Figuren in gleicher Richtung nebeneinander, wodurch es den Anschein macht daß die vordere immer die größere ist. Beide sind aber gleich groß.’

    So it says, that if you place the two figures next to each other, it still looks as if the left one (‘the foremost’) looks bigger. Regardless if it’s David or Goliath.

  5. BTW – it was Oliver Hardy that was the fat one – a quick search on something called the internet would of told you that :)

  6. its quite funny coz loads of people have commented on the language – rather than the illusion. (it is Dutch though! hehe! they made a mistake!)
    quite good illusion.

  7. It’s not a german/french magazine! It’s a dutch/french magazine! (Yes, dutch and german are very different languages, just like French, Spanish and Italian are different altough they have the same source)
    The translation is:
    One lays both figures down next to each other with the face in the same direction, (untranslatable in modern English, free translation:) because of this the first seems to be bigger than the other. Both are of almost the same size.

  8. David and Goliath are from the jewish bible if anyone wants to know and didn’t. David somehow beat the giant Goliath and they made him the king. There is even a song about that story.

  9. Its the Tucks…..that make the illusion……the pictures are the same size….1st Tucks is larger and it gives a more bigger look

  10. I know this is an old illusion, but I just wanted to say that the Lee’s comment about it being the Tuxedo’s that make the illusion is wrong.

    Copying the picture into paint & playing with it reveals that not only are the two men the same size, but the Tuxedo’s have nothing to do with the illusion

  11. Pretty neat, and I would say it is the angle of the two, with the narrowing face lining up with the wider back side. This illusion would work just the same is the images were facing the opposite direction with the David now looking larger. Also, star at the images, cross your eyes to see three images at once and you’ll see that the two are perfectly overlapping. A little hard on the brain, but it does work!! Cheers.

  12. The one on the left looks larger because the perspective is from a distance further away. quite a few of Goliath’s features are smaller relative to David’s.

    Arm length is smaller.
    Hands are smaller.
    Head is smaller.

    Our brains are re-sizing Goliath so they are on the same scale (hands, head, arms) in which case Goliath would be larger.

  13. @ Anonymous, who said “the left text isn’t dutch it’s vlaams thats the language they speak in belgian.”, Vlaams is very similar to mid-1900 dutch, so it could very well be dutch what’s spoken. Nonetheless, as the other language is french, it’s most likely to be from some belgian book, since those are the two official languages there.

  14. Err… I hate to pop everyone’s bubble but the booklet you see is actually Belgian.
    Some of you are right, the left text is dutch, the right hand side is french, this is because in belgium, we have two official languages…
    being dutch and french.

    I hope this helps clear up the smoke here.

  15. It is Vlaams for sure, but the kind of Vlaams ( or Dutch) they spoke 50 years ago ;-) It is a good illusion anyway!

  16. there are cards you can get, for this trick. they’re curved, so you lay them side by side and tell all your drunk friends to pick the bigger one. they pick the first one. then you swap them and they demand their money back. lol.
    the fact that the images are drawn so that they curve (like a bracket->’)’), makes them seem different sizes.
    hopefully someone else has seen these cards somewhere, they’re really common here in australia :D
    ps: noone cares what language it is. german and dutch are really similar, just as swedish and norse are, and most people can’t tell the difference between japanese and mandorin. (despite the latter being COMPLETELY different to japanese, and it’s really cantonese that sounds more like jap but who even CARES). I have a friend who get’s russian and greek confused. PLEASE EXPLAIN THAT TO ME?? lol. my point is, we have a translation. we know what it says. yay! now who cares what language it is?

  17. It puts the two characters side by side, ln the same direction, making it the appearance assumes that the front sterds largest ls. Other hand, are equally (GERMAN(it actually is german!!!!!(left side)))
    By placing the two figures next to one another. it seems that the former is larger but that these are of same size (French(right side))

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