Powered by KikBooks Widget

By on March 10, 2009, with 42 Comments

Hmm, last time we saw something like this, the illusion was horizontal. Does it work in vertical mode as well? You decide! Apparently the building pictured in this article stands perfectly upright, and has the same width of it’s footer, as of it’s last floor. How can it be? Why do we see it shaped as an upside-down trapezoid? Could it be only because of the black and white tiles used in the building’s facade? My guess is that we are dealing with a classic example of a Cafe Wall illusion, which messes with our brain, making us believe the edges are bent. If you would like to see more optical illusions that deal with architecture, be sure to check our archives, as well as belonging categories.

  • Tysss

    First, I was sure that it wasn’t same sized from upper part and the lower part, but after the second image, I think that it just might be so..

  • Anonymous

    thats crazy!

  • Anonymous

    Confusing and mind twisting.3rd yea!

  • Anonymous

    It’s not that dramatic as horizontal. This is more of a case of keystoning or parallax distortion in the photo.

  • BenAdamson

    Wow – that really is cool! my eyes are so confused!

  • hydrohead

    Would someone please explain what exactly the illusion is here? I just don’t see anything strange.

    • blackfoot

      I don’t either, look like a symmetrical square building to me

  • meh

    maybe its cuz of the background that it looks this way.
    the background fades in the second one along with the building, maybe eliminating the effect

  • manu

    Incredible! I love this site.

  • Anonymous

    Ever cynical, I tested this in my Corel Photopaint, and the building really is wider at the top than at the bottom.

    Unfortunately, wide-angle lens and perspective effects must have come into play because of the camera view (looking downwards on the building). To get the proper optical illusion effect, the camera angle should have been perpendicular to the vertical line of the building.

  • pineapple jo

    6th comment. yeah… ( this is an optical illusion. Im actully the first)

  • Anonymous

    that is a building in rotterdam :)
    it doesnt look this weird if you stand next to it

  • Dagger

    it helps the illusion as the photo is taken up higher then the building so the top will look bigger – closer. just the colors dramatically increase the affect..

    we have a few buildings like this in my city

    go to google street: 169 Docklands Hwy, Docklands, VIC, Australia

    this is a weird one but its the main square now- fediration square:


    this isnt an illusion but its something i had to look at every day for 4 years


  • Anonymous

    i dont see what yall are talking about….

  • Goeland

    @ anonymous #4:

    Parallax distortion of the photograph is usually MUCH smaller than that. You’d only be able to notice it that much if it was taken with a fisheye-type lense or a pin camera.

    And by the quality of the images, neither one is the case.

    So yeah, very cool effect, though the clearer contrast on the building of the first picture really does help make the effect more dramatic.

  • Anonymous

    it’s just the angle of the photograph.

    all buildings look wider at the top from an above angle.

  • KuroroX2

    Here we hava a bulding like them xD



  • Christopher

    This was pretty lame.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I never really comment but in this case… I just have to say that’s the most awfull building I’ve ever saw…

  • Euclid’s Brother

    Nice.. I think it also helps that we’re looking slightly downward to it.. so the perspective lends a hand to the illusion.

  • Anonymous

    i dont get it…

  • Anonymous

    Where is it?

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    If you look carefully, the bottom image has 3 1/4 stories that marry up to a peeked roof to the right of the image, and the top image has 4 stories that marry up to the peeked roof on the right hand side. Therefore the picture was taken at different HEIGHTS……

  • Anonymous

    to be honest, i see no illusion here, it just looks like perspective making the top seem larger, the picture was taken at that angle, so the floor/bottom of the building is further away from us.

    did you know, if you stand centre on and look down a street, the houses in the distance seem to be smaller??? (for those of you that English isn’t your first language, that’s called sarcasm).

  • Zenithtb

    But it’s also pretty ugly :-|

  • Anonymous

    Where is this building? Anyone know more about the building?

  • Anonymous

    #13, you’re wrong. You don’t need a fish eye lens to produce parallax distortion. Just photograph a skyscraper from the ground and point the camera up to include the top. The building’s walls will not be parallel. You can see in the photo that it was taken above the roofline and pointed downward.

  • sharkdog33

    that is one ugly building. who would design such an ugly building???

  • OuRaNoS

    Where can we find this building again???

  • CooperZ

    The build in the top image is not perfectly parallel. Try opening it in Photoshop or any other picture editing software and try a rectangle around. The left side of the building is perfectly parallel, but the ride is not !

  • Miggy

    and there’s another illusion, when you scroll your screen up and down, it’s like the stripes are moving, almost like the fan with the girl illusion!

  • Anonymous

    Well im sure someone feels like a doofus after attributing illusion to parallax… The building is obiously tall and large, and the picture was taken froma point taller than the roof, its just fair to science that the roof seems larger than the base ( cuz the base is farther! ).

  • Anon#1

    This is quite interesting. At first, it seems as if it actually is an upside-down trapezoid. But after closely inspecting each individual edge, they in fact are perpendicular to the ground. Mind. Blown. :D

  • Grace


  • cheyenne

    me and my VERY SMART dad dont get whats the illusion..i dont even get what they are thrying to say about it and does anybody kno why a house and a basketball court is there?

  • heart229

    ppl there takin at either differnt times or on a differnt day coz the 2nd image is faded (so it appears to be raining)(or at least a really grey day)

  • MossCow

    For the author:

    “It’s” is a contraction for “it is” or “it has.”

    “Its” is a possessive pronoun meaning, more or less, “of it” or “belonging to it.”

    And there is absolutely, positively, no such word as its’.

    A simple test: If you can replace it[']s in your sentence with it is or it has, then your word is it’s; otherwise, your word is its.

  • Heather

    Ok so I actually measured the picture, and the distance from the rhs of the picture to the top of the building is less than the distance from the rhs of the picture to the bottom of the building. So, the reason it looks like a trapezium is because it *is* a trapezium. Sorry people!

  • BRittany

    @ heather, um the camera angle is really going to mess with your perspective of the building. Just beause it *measures* in the picture, doesn’t mean it is.

    Although, i didn’t see the illusion here. I Just see a building.

  • Donna m

    I don’t get it!?