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By on February 11, 2007, with 45 Comments

What you see below is another example of the Ebbinghaus illusion, also known as “same size” phenomenon. Although, in perspective the sphere in the right far end seems larger, in reality both spheres are exactly the same size. We saw exactly the same effect before with our funny nuns. Another example was little more scary – the same size monsters. I like all of them, how about you?

Ebbinghaus Illusion


45 Responses
  1. Catz says:

    Wow! I can’t even tell that they are the say size now that I _know_ that! I need a ruler… :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    O.o how are they they same size? The one on the right touches the wall…and has a bigger shadow… unless the space between the walls is smaller at the back, but it doesn’t look like that either…

  3. Brummie says:

    I thought an illusion was when it looks bigger but isn’t? It actually IS bigger.

  4. otowi says:

    FYI – the Mac Dashboard widget, at least for me, has not updated since the soulwax illusion – and the question mark came back – I had already downloaded the “fix” when the problem first came up….

  5. Fred B says:

    Using the ruler function of the Web Developer Toolbar for Firefox, the front sphere seems to be 10 pixels smaller than the one at the back.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hey vurdlak my mac widget does not work! I have downloaded the new version, but it just shows a little “?”, however the link still works.

    Just thought i would let you know incase it has happened to anyone else

  7. Anonymous says:

    thats amazing…

  8. Kevin says:

    That’s super cool. I think that this one is by far the best retive sizes ilusions.

  9. Anonymous says:

    … that is because they are not … a simple size test in photoshop clearly shows that the one behind has a larger size … its something like 5 pixels, but still … nice try tho …

  10. Anonymous says:

    try again…bottom 8 % smaller, by measurement.

  11. Evandor Bounties says:

    They aren’t the same size. I just took it into photoshop and the sphere in the back is actually larger.

  12. J says:

    actually they aren’t the same size…I just measured them and the one in the back really is larger…:p

  13. Anonymous says:

    its lying. i measured.

  14. Rory says:

    they aren’t the same size… get a ruler and measure it yourself… the one in the back is atleast 1/8″ bigger…

  15. Anonymous says:

    mac widget doesnt work

  16. Frances says:

    the one that looks bigger IS bigger. i measured them.

  17. Anonymous says:

    how in the world are they the same size?!?! i just don’t see it lol.

  18. Mike says:

    I put a piece of paper on the screen and put marks on the edge of the paper to get the size of the front ball. Then checked it against the back ball. The back ball is BIGGER. Not by much but it is a little bigger.

  19. Anonymous says:


    Well, that’s because they aren’t actually the same size. I just measured, the back sphere is slightly larger. However, it does still appear to be larger than it really is.

  20. Ryan says:

    It still confuses me anyway. Good, but if anon. (comment 19)is telling the truth, it slighty runins the point. Good illusion though!

  21. Card Magic Tricks says:

    no 2nd pic?

  22. Anonymous says:

    This is stupid of cource there the same size but there saying if a person is standing pretty far away from you and you take your fingers and measure his size than hes an inch tall. its an extremely stupid illusion. it would work if they were the same depth

  23. Anonymous says:

    This is one of the best of this kind of illusion I have ever seen. It’s coo how your brain assumes that the walls are paralel.

  24. black tiger says:

    How the hell are they different sizes!!! They are different!!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    wtf? they cant be the same!!!!! the one in the back touches the wall and the front touches!!!!! i dont get it. its cool but makes no sense….

  26. I wonder... says:

    I measured thrice, they’re not the same size!

  27. Jared says:

    ok you have to look at it like they’d be really close. one is somewhat lifting off the ground

  28. dibs says:

    anonymous, the reason they are the same size is probably cuz one end is closed in and the other isnt. and the angle they shot the pic at made them look diffrent sizes.

  29. joe says:

    The rear ball is in fact larger, I mesured it

  30. Karbelina says:

    it’s not the same size…it IS larger…

  31. Kei says:

    The balls in 2D is appearing same size but if you think it in 3D it is actually Different size.

  32.   says:

    Yes, as about a billion people have pointed out, the ball in the background really is larger than the one in the foreground. Whoever created this “illusion” is an asshole.

  33. Robby says:

    Yea, the one in the back is def bigger. I measured it too…..kinda lame.

  34. RaiderRow says:

    The ball behind is definitely bigger, I just measured them. However, the illusion still works because the perceived size difference is much larger.

  35. baster says:

    they are not the same, i cut them out in paint and the one behind was larger :P

  36. Don says:

    They are not the same size, I measured in photoshop and the one to the rear is significantly larger. This site is worthless.

  37. ray says:

    guys all of you who are saying the back one is bigger are g@y.. take away the background using photoshop and only keep the spheres.. they are the same size

  38. YoGabbaGabba says:

    Srry Diagonal sideways

  39. Awesome I says:

    It’s all about the angle. I once stood in one of those, and I was taller than my older brother! It’s all relevant to the size around the balls.

  40. Adrian says:

    It IS bigger.

  41. Kaitlyn says:

    In the picture they are the same size but in reality they are not.

  42. Taylor says:

    im pretty sure they are reversed though. the bigger looking one should be in the foreground and the smaller looking one in the background

  43. Professor says:

    It’s bigger wtf you guys talking about this is a illusion.I measured it on screen the big one is still bigger.In real life its still bigger because on is fking touching the wall and one is not.

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