Horse Pill Optical Illusion

Got this vintage poster from somewhere, and took me ages to see the illusion. The problem was I had trouble understanding the instructions written on top of the poster, so I simply ignored them and did this my way. My advice would be to look at the picture as if you were staring at some stereogram. Now switch from normal to cross-eyed view (cross your eyes as if you had strabismus), and repeat this procedure back and forth. Do you see the hand with the “ball” going towards horse’s mouth? It shouldn’t be much of a problem. What bugs me, is that I don’t see the “ball” being ball at all! What I see is someone trying to drug the horse with steroids, in order to win a horse-race! Am I the only one who finds this unethical and simply wrong? Perhaps it’s just my twisted-gambling character speaking here!

horse pill optical illusion

53 Replies to “Horse Pill Optical Illusion”

  1. Hmm, I found it works if you put your face about a inch from the screen. Line up your nose with the cross and move extremely close to the screen and the pill will go into the horse’s mouth. Probably the same effect as crossing your eyes.

  2. I understand the instructions and it works that way too. All you do is stare at the cross keeping the horse and ‘ball’ and you line of site and then move your face slowly up to the paper or computer screen til you nose is touching and the ‘ball’ will go in the horses mouth

  3. “Am I the only one who finds this unethical and simply wrong?”
    no, no your not.. it is very wrong. only prescribed drugs are good, and some of those could still kill you.

  4. It actually does work! When you have your nose in front of the cross, and move your face to 4 inches (not 7 or 8) from your screen, try to focus on the horse. It costs a lot of effort to focus at such a close distance, so you’ll relax your eyes and see the hand go to the mouth of the horse!

    Greetingz, NeeL

  5. the instructions in the poster are clear… and you donĀ“t need cross-eyes, only see the poster and bring your nose at the cross…

    but, also i see a frog in the mouth o the horce and a rabbit in his top head…


  6. A “horse ball” is a British term for “A VETINARY preparation, which in pharmacy would have been known as a BOLUS, made in the form of a ball for administering to a HORSE. In the nineteenth century the ball was generally in the form of a cylinder about 2-3 INCH long, which was thrust down the horses throat until it was unable to do anything but swallow.”

    Found it here:

  7. cool illusion, basically the instructions on the card say move your face closer to the screen until your nose is almost touching it.

  8. Hmm, nifty! I only see the hand moving towards the horse’s mouth, and if you slowly cross your eyes and stop the hand from moving about where the X is, (which is actually kind of hard, unless you practice it like I do xD) you can almost see that both hand are part of one human. Anything else?

  9. I suppose the illusion is there if we want to see it.
    We all see “what we want to see” don’t we?
    Right away I “saw” a face inside the horse’s head.
    So I suppose it’s all left up to our own imagination, and to how far we are all willing to let it go.
    Peace out! :)
    Merry Christmas too!

  10. I agree, it looks like a giant horse pill. Although, maybe it’s just his “daily multivitamin”?

    Either way, the horse does not seem to enjoy it.

  11. I think I’ve seen illusions like this before. You’re supposed to (pretty much) lean into your computer screen until your face is right next to the image. Your eyes will pick up 2 different images (the horse and the ball) so it’ll look like its in its mouth.

    Anyway, its something like that.

  12. Since a horse is a very large animal, any pills it takes are likely to be very large. Also, a small pill would get lost in the horse’s mouth. That pill could be anything, from antibiotic to vitamin.

  13. Take heart! Quite difficult to drug a horse for racing what with all the testing. I worked in the racehorse industry for years. Not much escapes the stewards.

  14. I spent ages trying to find the ‘ball’ too, I also figured he was giving the horse some kind of drug. Maybe ‘ball’ is a slang term for that?

  15. it exually is a ball, but it is not inflated yet. otherwise it is hard to swallow…
    above the thumb you see something round. thats where you put the airhose to inflate it when the ball is in the right posistion.

    just for some information :D

  16. I’m a professional magician. About 15 years ago I had a promo piece that had a hat on the left side and a rabbit in sneackers on the right side. Starting with the paper about 18 inches away you moved the paper to your face until your nose touched the “X.” As you moved the paper the rabbit appeared to run into the hat.

  17. i know 1 like this. Make your finger tips of your second finger touch. Lift up your touching fingers to a blank surface(walls work best). then look at the surface but make sure you can still see your fingers. cross your eyes the still looking at the wall, you should be able to see 3 fingery looking things!! if you get confused, reply and i will try to expain better


  18. If you look closely and turn your head sideways the head of the horse looks like a rabit. If you stare at the mouth area of the hourse it looks like a snake!

  19. I get it. The left hand is supposed to look like it’s pulling the horse’s head towards the right hand (who hold the pill)

  20. This is really a very simple illusion. All you have to do is place your nose so that it is in front of the cross and move your head towards the picture. The horse and the hand grow close to each other when your head is really close to the picture. I don’t understand how this could be confusing. You don’t need to cross your eyes or anything.

  21. Point of order: horses need medications other than steroids. But giving pills to horses sounds like a nightmare to me. It’s way easier to just have your vet show you how to do injections. Mine don’t mind injections at all, but I would think trying to give them a pill would be a great way to get bitten!

  22. Shame on you! Horses need medicine like us. You randomly thought of steroids. The thing that mystefies me is why they call it a ball.

  23. this isn’t truly an optical illusion. its simply your eyes working the way they are supposed to. if you move closer to the screen, you will see less and less of it. if you touch your nose to the x, you no longer see the x, you see the horse and the pill, so of course, the pill goes into the horses mouth

  24. Here is an illusion!!!!!!! Put your nose on the
    X and it will look like the ball went in his mouth! Pretty cool, right!

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