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By on December 14, 2009, with 53 Comments

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 Responses
  1. Britt says:

    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. Johanna says:

    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. mike says:

    “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. No one, says:

    I didn’t really enjoy this one as much…and the instructions were tough!!

  5. steve says:

    i did it!

  6. reezerz says:

    for me, it doesnt work but im not sure if i, doing the directions right

  7. Sunshine says:

    So u have 2 cross your eyes?
    or wat?

  8. unnodernoob says:

    i don’t see it happening :(

  9. unnodernoob says:

    oh wait, now i see it. lol.

  10. MD says:

    I think in this case ball is a synonym for bolus.

  11. Bonbonrools says:

    lol, that’s like the magic eye thing
    if you don’t know what magic eye is, its awesome!!!!

  12. NeeL says:

    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

  13. MG-Speed says:

    the instructions in the poster are clear… and you don´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…


  14. GreenGirl13 says:

    if u move ur eyes really fast from the horse to the x to the hand it’s easier XD

  15. Michael says:

    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:


  16. goots says:

    im lost
    so it must be good

  17. moo says:

    i don’t get it

  18. Alex says:

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

  19. Falon says:

    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?

  20. Falon says:

    Waiiiiit, I also see this Z with a circle around it, and it says “zazzle” at the bottom o.o

  21. Dawn Ross says:

    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!

  22. very cool :) i like these types of illusions

  23. BraDRoBBo says:

    This, of course, depends on your screen resolution >_>

    Can see how it would work though :)

  24. antylope says:

    Wow, this one is really weird! Looks like the left hand is pulling the horse to the pill slowly.

    nice one either way

  25. Rob says:

    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.

  26. Millie is da bomb digidy. ily Kathryn says:

    How is that an illusion????

  27. Siena says:

    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.

  28. Chakolate says:

    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.

  29. Facebook User says:

    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.

  30. That’s really cool. I love it when you get animations just by “moving” your eyes.

  31. tony says:

    Works nicely enough – though the wording is a bit laboured!!

  32. matt says:

    thiss is crap

  33. Terra Wah says:

    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?

  34. Karine says:

    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

  35. Rob says:

    Absolutely awesome, bit sore on the eyes though! ;o)

  36. Elehas says:

    lamest OI ever!

  37. yourenemy says:

    Joj, stvarno ne razumem ovo…..

  38. Facebook User says:

    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.

  39. N says:

    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


  40. N says:

    no wait look at your finger tips not the wall!!


  41. Mark says:

    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!

  42. Facebook User says:

    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)

  43. Kitty says:

    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.

  44. francis says:

    i don’t get the illusion

  45. MossCow says:

    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!

  46. Grace says:

    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.

  47. erin says:

    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

  48. Trevor says:

    Is it just me or does it look like the horse has a bullet hole in it’s head?!?!?!

  49. Kopk11 says:

    I really don’t get it

  50. Alekatluv says:

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

  51. CLAUDIA says:

    if u look into the horses eye its like he’s watching you – like abby watches aliash when he dances with jennete

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