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By on April 21, 2006, with 61 Comments

Allright, all you wise people out there! Try to figure this one out. As you see, hand is reaching for a calculator inside the monitor. This image wasn’t edited inside a photshop and the calculator is just an application you get with OS X. It lyes on you to solve this enigma. I really had hard times believing it, but once I found out the solution, It all made sence. Previously simmilar picture was posted under “Transparent Desktops” and “Transparent Desktops no.2” but this one is even better! Let me see you now, who’s smart? If you can’t solve it, go to original flickr discussion, where I first found this picture. It should all make sense then…

  • anonEmouse

    photo of laptop with left hand are used as desktop image

    bring up calculator

    point with right hand

    take photo

    ;) This is why the calculator doesn’t look correctly square with the laptop

    • http://www.moillusions.com/2006/12/back-to-future.html Chillen499

      now that i look at it more i agree

  • Farted

    I’ve seen this illusion b4…. the calculator and the fingers were taken in a photograph and placed on the computer as wallpaper. Then the 2 hands were taken in the picture with the computer wallpaper there too. BUT the fingers of the guys hand was covered…. SMART HUH!

  • Tony Walmsley

    Your dragons are beautiful – I make them at work and all my friends really like them too. Thankyou very much. Love tony.

  • Lixa


  • Emmy

    Thats really easy, take a pic of your left hand in front of your computer pretending to hold something. Then set that as your desktop, open calculator over the top then take another photo of you pointing to the desktop. thats how the thumb is going above the screen – its a photo of the screen!

  • RaiderX

    I can see it was photshopped, tis impossible to do the whole thing by illusion, see how his laft arm extaends out of the screen area? Well, tell me how a desktop can do that? If you just took a pic of his hand in front of the screen, his arm would get cut off at the edges of the screen, the only way to this is to photoshop his arm in where the screen ends.

    also, notice how the calculator is not aligned with the edges of the screen? that also shows it was photshopped in. So instead of doing the illusion thing, he fabricated the whole thing. not bad, but not flawless either

    you can se many other points that show it was photshopped

  • Cyclone

    Everybody has it soooo wrong, because in the first picture his thumb sticks out of the desktop, so he can’t have set his hand as the background image! And if that’s the case, where did the rest of his arm come from?

  • Jared

    You guys are looking way too far into this… he probably just took a picture of his hand out like its holding something and pointed with the other hand and then took a screenshot of the calculator and added it as a new layer in photoshop and dragged the layer of his hand underneath the calculator layer…. fools.

  • Trevor

    THE WHOLE THING IS THE desktop. and he’s pointing at it

  • Hai

    To Tony Walmsley: what duz ur comment have anything to do with anything?

  • cooljack143

    Ok For those who still don’t know/understand how it is done. First imagine there is no right hand pointing.. this should be easy.. then imagine the calculator application is not open.. I am going in reverse chronological order so actually once we have the left hand in place, we would open calculator and drag it on the left hand. Now what you see is a simple image of a left hand pretending to hold something in front of your roomate’s laptop (you have a desktop on which the calculator application is running :)

  • lulu

    jesus lads – real easy. have a photo taken of your laptop with the calculator on it, then take another photo of your hands as if positioned over the calculator. in photoshop layers just rub away the fingers, hand… to reveal the calculator. probably only take a couple of layers and then merge them into one pic.

  • Ash

    anonEmouse and Emmy are right. It’s not that complicated.
    And it was already said at the beginning that it was NOT photoshopped.

    • The guy who sleeps in you closet

      yea, and he printed out the calculator, that’s why it crooked, and had someone take a picture of him holding it in front of the screen and pointing at it

  • Bananen

    I´ve seen the place where you buy those calculators…

  • MMM

    cool, i did one just like that!

  • Red.

    oooh!!! i just got it! thats really simple i should try that one day

  • Smart

    Its simple. They printed out a calculator, taped it to their hand, and held it in front of the computer. Jeez.

  • truly smart

    Guys what he did was print a picture of the mac calculator and then he put his hand with the picture in it. Then he pointed at it and took the picture. Its that simple. :p

  • maybe…

    maybe its a….. nahhhhhh

  • Anonymous

    oh for goodness sake. not everything is photoshopped you know. use your brain. his desktop wallpaper is a picture of his hand infront of his pc. then all hes got to do is put the calculator on top of the picture of his hand. your all rubbish

  • Anonymous

    you do realise im 9 and figured that it was the desktop with the picture of the hand attached.

  • Anonymous

    he held a calculater

    im 9 and figured it out

  • Anonymous

    no wait… its the backround

  • Anonymous

    the whole picture is the computer desktop. he took a picture of his hand in front of the computer screen (and everything around it) making it look like his arm is coming out of the screen. he set it as his backround then dragged a calculator on his hand. then he took a picture of his right hand pointing at the calculator. there was no photoshop involved. the whole picture is his desktop.

  • JasinSprawng

    The very first comment, as well as several others throughout tell exactly how it was done (some in more detail than others). Why is it that so many people have such a narrow point of view? All you folks want to do is pretend you are smarter than you are (“oh it’s just photoshop blah blah blah…”). Just take your time and read, and understand. People like you go through life without seeing the world for what it really is!

    • The guy who sleeps in you closet and now hides in your dinner

      THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    This is the easiest ting in the world to do.
    u just hold your hand out infront of the screen,
    take a picture of it, set the picture as your wallpaper,
    open calculator and place the window in front of the hand, point your hand at one of the buttons and take another photo.

  • Anonymous

    the hand and the calculator are in front of the screen

  • Mster24

    OMFG PEOPLE ITS IMPOSSSIBLE TO NOT HAVE THIS PHOTOSHOPPED! All these wallpaper explinations and such

    1) dont make any sense

    2) are impossible!

    People yr idiots it was photoshopped

  • Anonymous

    He’s holding a picture of a calculator – because it’s at an angle on the second picture more than the first.

    It works like this……just go to your TV (preferably a CRT) and close one eye. Put your hand in front of the TV screen and move backwards and forwards. With one eye your brain cannot detect the depth. A camera has only one eye! Hence taking a picture makes it look like the hand etc is IN the screen. The rest of the arm etc aren’t in front of the screen at all so aren’t subject to the same illusion.

  • Anonymous

    ya… i would agree that the entire pic is the desktop and the right hand is pointing on the screen… you can notice the edge of the crt in the right side of the second pic

  • Anonymous

    maybe he:
    1. opened up calculator
    2. took a screen shot
    3. printed it out
    4. cut out the calculator
    5. held the calculator in his hand in front of the screen
    6. took the picture

  • Kevin

    Wow fools The whole pic is the desktop DON’T YOU CLOSED MINDED PEOPLE GET IT. In the second pic the caculator looks cricked but it isn’t the only thing is that the picture of the computer wit the hand infront of it is crooked. Listen to the first coment and his folowers THEY ARE RIGHT!

  • echolyean

    The 2nd pic is mine… here’s how I did it:

    1) Took a pic of the screen + surrounding desk area, no “calculator”

    2) Made that pic my background

    3) Took another pic with my hand, as if holding the calculator

    4) Made *that* my desktop background

    5) Took yet another pic with the calculator located where my hand was in the pic

    6) Made *that* my desktop background

    7) Took 1 last pic of me pointing to the 5 key on the calculator

    8) Cropped the sides so you can’t tell the desk itself is part of the image

    It was a while ago that I did it, but I believe that correctly describes the process.

  • Lindsay and Kelly

    ok anonomous is completely right>


    the whole picture is the computer desktop. he took a picture of his hand in front of the computer screen (and everything around it) making it look like his arm is coming out of the screen. he set it as his backround then dragged a calculator on his hand. then he took a picture of his right hand pointing at the calculator. there was no photoshop involved. the whole picture is his desktop.

  • Cornelius

    OH MY GOSH!!! I so have to try this!

  • CJ

    lol i personally think some where in the world they sell those little flat calculators that looks like the one programmed in the comp
    …… never mind its photoshop lol its complicated but im 90% sure

  • CJ

    it would be much easier to just call it a tricky illusion than to keep getting angry over nothing and debate over it

  • Gabriel

    Haha, very powerful illusion. The trick is this: you are NOT seeing the “real” laptop!!! The left hand, room background, laptop, etc are all one photo that is used as the BACKGROUND IMAGE of a computer – a computer that we cannot see, because the photo is too close. Then the calculator is pulled up as an app on that computer, and positioned to look as if it is in the “hand” of the background image. Finally, the right hand (real) is pointed at this entire screen image (remember, the entire frame is one screen! We cannot see the actual laptop!) and the photo is taken. Magical.

  • Anonymous

    anonEmouse Wrote

    “photo of laptop with left hand are used as desktop image

    bring up calculator

    point with right hand

    take photo

    ;) This is why the calculator doesn’t look correctly square with the laptop”

    I agree with him

  • Anonymous

    I can think of one more possible solution. They printed a screen grab of Calc and held it in front of the screen

  • Anonymous

    PPLZZ!!!!! j00 are all lyk soooo00o0o0o0o wrong..can not you SEEE>!?!?/1/??? HE PUT HIS HAND INSIDE THE MONITOR>!>>!>!>!<…..G0sh.. >_> it's lyk obvisly imposibl to mak that picher wiff photoshop….or illooshun..he's lyk magic j00 no?

  • Anonymous


  • daniel_d_man

    mster24 said OMFG PEOPLE ITS IMPOSSSIBLE TO NOT HAVE THIS PHOTOSHOPPED! All these wallpaper explinations and such

    1) dont make any sense

    2) are impossible!

    People yr idiots it was photoshopped
    How to prove him wrong
    Okay kid:
    1- take pic of wall and make it a transparent screen
    2- put left hand in front of computer like you are holding something, take pic, and put it on your screen.
    3- drag calculator in front of left hand (picture on computer), point with right hand, take picture.
    4- crop the pic so that you can’t see the edge of the computer screen.
    5- post on flickr and impress your friends sory for the kid fing i am 12 and ur dumer than me idiots think everything is photoshoped and they dont have any real skill like the pros longest coment ever lol all page hoggers rule i dont want to end this nowbut i will

  • Elle

    OMG so much work, when u could have easily done it in photoshop, wat lame lifes they have.

  • keylan

    elle it took 5 min 4 me to make this type of picture without photoshop it would probably take longer in photoshop

  • poloman

    Ok you guys, you seriously aren’t seeing it correctly… You take a picture with your hand in front of your ocmputer screen so your thumb is over the top of the screen. then you set that as your desctop and it will look like your computer inside of your computer with a hand in front. Then you open calculator and place it on the hand so it looks like the hand is holding it. Then you take a picture of your desktop of just the computer your hand and the calculator and it will look like you are holding the calculator infront of it.

  • Joeri

    It’s simple.. The dude just lost 4 fingers and it holding them right against his calculator!

  • Erik

    It’s not Photoshopped or a Background.
    It’s a real Calcyulator. You have a Windows version of it and a Mac one.
    Search google: real Windows Mac calculator, and you’ll find !

  • Akuryo

    Well, really there is something i can not understand…

    How on earth is he able to… you know… be on Mac. Seriously, i would have died already.

  • Valerie

    Okay well I think I’ve got it. I’ve seen a bunch of explanations and the ones that seem to have no flaws are those that explain it like this.
    You’ve got a laptop. You take a picture with a normal digital camera of your hand pretending to hold something; this is how the hand can extend outside of the edge of the computer. It is a picture of your hand, the laptop, and a little bit of the surrounding area. Now you take this picture and put it on the desktop of a different computer. This would mean the edge of the laptop shown in the pictures above is only the image of the edge of the original laptop. Now bring up calculator, and move it so it looks like you’re holding it, and point at the screen. Take a picture with a normal camera, and crop out the sides of the second computer, so you can’t tell that two computers were used.

    Any flaws in there?

  • kelvan

    XD dont u guys know?he couldnt of tooken a picture-both of his hands are in da picture,so its obviosly photoshopped..(or did he hold da camera with his mouth?XD

    • KMR

      Or it was somebody else’s hand…

  • awesome girl

    aww i wish you could really do that!!!!!
    maybe in the future 0.0

  • awesome girl

    okay heew ill do steps for you

    1) took a pic with the labtop and his right hand

    2} he set the pic for his regular computers wallpaper

    3) put calcalator on his hand

    4) pointed with right hand and had his buddy or something take the pic

    there people no photoshop or losing 4 fingers…

  • kristina

    one’s his right hand, one’s his foot.

  • Dana

    Printed out a picture of the calculator and then held it up to the screen…?

  • Mike

    This would have been a lot harder to figure out if the second image was not included. The first image is good because the calculator is squared up with the screen and the contrast levels are even. The second image is not so good and IMHO gives away the secret.

    First, it shows the calculator rotated counterclockwise a few degrees. This made it very clear the calculator was very likely just a printout of a calculator held in the left hand.

    Second, the right hand of the second image is darker than the left hand which leads me to believe it’s a composite. I think the calculator and left hand were photographed with the right hand holding the camera; the image is displayed on the computer, and then the right hand points at the calculator while the left hand takes the final photograph.

  • Ngan

    They printed a calculater and took a picture of them holding it infront of the screen if they put the pic of thier hand as creen saver then its not right the arm keeps expanding out O.o