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By on November 28, 2008, with 133 Comments

Hehe, somehow I just knew you wouldn’t be happy with my previously Hidden Manatees. Still, it’s a regular illusion, and you can’t deny it! Here and then I “have to” post these, since we have new visitors each day, and we wouldn’t want to disappoint them, would we? In the mean time, I’m posting this horse silhouette – I just can’t decide whether the horse is looking in my direction, or towards the horizon? This is the common problem with silhouette images. In a principle they all work in a same way as Spinning Girl and Spinning Man do.

Horse Silhouette Optical Illusion


133 Responses
  1. Anonymous says:

    Its really cool, I can see it both ways so I can’t say.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Not an illusion, just a silhouette.

    The spinning ones were almost illusions though.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Into. Check the tail over the back legs.Could go either way though at the front end.

  4. KEVIN says:

    Whoa… Kinda creepy but still interesting none the less

  5. Anonymous says:

    the horses ears tell you its looking to the horizon. the right ear is smaller and less defined indicating its hidden behind the head.

  6. Kathleen says:

    looking at you. if you zoom in and cover the nose and look at the neck and ears it doesn’t look right if the horse was looking away, then if you look at just the nose, i think its facing you.

  7. Javi says:

    I dont agree with you, the hair doesn’t let you know if he’s looking to the horizon or not. Can be both. Have yoe ever seen a horse?.

  8. Daniel says:

    definitely photoshopped…haha jk.

  9. Raymundo says:

    I think, horse is looking you, see the front legs

  10. Anonymous says:

    well i uses to own horses and i can say the horse is looking towards u look at the neck lines

  11. Cyndi says:

    Its def looking away .. you can tell by looking at the front legs… if it were looking at us.. and the legs were the same the left leg would have to be broken.. but it is a very cool pic!

  12. otowi says:

    I’m pretty sure he’s looking toward the camera because of his nose. Otherwise, his nose would be a bit wrong, it would instead be like his mouth is open facing the horizon. I think the tail makes more sense for facing this way, too, as well as the eyelashes. But it is a good image, you can see it both ways. Fun, thanks!

  13. RwR says:

    Actually, he ist looking at the horizon because you can see his back is too big. If He was looking at us his head would be bigger.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The horse is looking at you. If his face was turned away his nose would be slightly smaller. Very cool illusion though! I can see how it could go either way.

  15. llee72 says:

    I think it is looking away from you as the shape of the ears suggests so.

    I like this one as your vision seems to change as you look at it almost seeing the face looking at you. That is the illusion.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The horse’s nostril and eyelashes tell me that he is looking toward us, but what do I know? I only have 130 horses :) It is still cool, though.

  17. jorge says:

    the Horse it´s looking this way, if you pay attention to it you can see the horse´s eyes and nose

  18. Kuty says:

    Look at the front two legs…the horse is looking to the horizon

  19. Anonymous says:

    The way the horse is positioning it’s self, it seems to be looking towards the horizon and not the viewer.You can tell by how the ears and the way its body is facing the opposite way from the viewer. (Then again I could be wrong)


  20. Anonymous says:

    Great picture. If the horse was looking towards us, it would be too much of an odd angle for the front leg positioned to the middle. Look at it and I’m sure you will agree the horse must be facing the horizon with it’s left front leg trailing slightly as if in a turn.
    Yes I do know horses! Thanks for a great pic.

  21. LSDariuss says:

    it looking at the horizon cause you can see the hair in the back of his head

  22. analphabet118 says:

    kathleen is right!

    its facing us otherwise the line of his neck would continue farther up. now the head is in front, so that it “interrupts” it. i hope i could make myself clear.

    thanks kathleen

  23. moum says:

    It is looking at the horizon if you look carefully at the legs .. forget the nose the hair and w/e else think rationally… the horse is tilting its legs to shift its body towards the horizon so yes it’s looking at the horizon

  24. FaQ says:

    It looks a bit awkward when you see it looking at the horizon. I think it’s looking outward from the screen.
    Neat, but not as cool as the spinning girl illusions. =)

  25. scott says:

    In my opinion it’s looking away. The mouth gives it away for me. If it would be looking towards you there would be less of a bottom jaw and more of a nose present. Also the scale of the hourse’s body to it’s mouth gives it away for me. Lastly, the front legs suggest that it’s walking, and they don’t quite make sense in my mind if the horse would be walking towards the camera. It would almost have to be falling over forward for it’s legs to be in that position while walking towards the camera. It’s left leg would obviously look larger to us than it’s right, and the leg that’s farthest back seems bigger than the one that’s mostly vertical.

  26. Anonymous says:

    i think its facing towards the camera, look at the front leg closest to the camera. The weight of the horse is supported on that leg so it must be facing towards us.

  27. Diam's says:

    looking right!

  28. Smudge says:

    The most accurate way to determine the direction of these kinds of things (like with the spinning ones) is to note the size. The farther away something is, the smaller it’ll look.
    That said, this horse is either looking away from the viewer, or it has an abnormally small head.

  29. zigyzigger says:

    strange if you look at the ears it’s looking away but if you look at the nose it’s facing you, as for the rest of the horse it’s in a non- descript position

  30. Anonymous says:

    of course its looking at the horizon, look at its legs. a horse would never cross its legs!

  31. Alicia says:

    The horse is looking towards the horizon. You can tell by the right ear, his left nsrtil and his mane. Could go either way though unless observed VERY closely!!!

  32. funky business says:

    esta viendo al orizonte, se nota luego luego en la posicion de las patas delanteras.

  33. Bernard says:

    look at the size of the back leg!!!

  34. Anonymous says:

    i think its defintely looking at the horizon cause the front part of its body seems a little smaller than the rest

  35. Perceptionist says:

    Great illusion. The creature could be facing either way, there are many postulations but no conclusive argument supporting either pose.

    I find the most interesting thing about this illusion is if you back away from the screen about 35 feet it looks like a cow, or maybe even a dog. At 70 feet is looks like a black blob, maybe a jellyfish. At 150 feet the image is almost invisible. At 500 feet I can’t even make out a monitor screen, let alone an image. It just seems to get more interesting the further I get away from it. What an illusion. WOW.

  36. Eags says:

    Some of you “experts” (you know who you are)should really just chill and enjoy the great site and it’s unique content. Learn the difference between “critique” and “criticize”.

  37. scottt says:

    the front leg that is at a “\” angle looks like that its closer to us, so it would have to be looking in the opposite direction (for balance reasons).

  38. Anonymous says:

    I took this picture and the horse was looking away from my camera out towards the horizon.

  39. Scotty says:

    I don’t know…
    I can see both ways!

  40. Anonymous says:

    it is looking away. look at the horse’s ears they’re pointing outwards in curiosity because in that kind of a situation the horse is not angry and wouldn’t have its ears back that far.the horse is looking away, i have much experience with horses.

  41. denise says:

    i dunno ummm horizon no no no me!nonono horizon….

  42. duncan says:

    This isn’t an optical illusion.

  43. lolipop101 says:

    oh i get it cool

  44. roelin says:

    the ears are facing the horizon

  45. Jez says:

    definitely looking towards the horizon.

  46. Nate says:

    This is a tough one to see well, but, I think, based on the nose shapes and legs, that the horse is facing the viewer.

  47. SP says:

    It’s facing away from you. It’s all about the legs.

  48. SP says:

    Pretend you’re the horse. How would you stand if you were looking either way? Think about the shiftment of weight because obviously the rear is facing you so if the head is facing you too than you’d need some renforcement. It’s allllll about those legs.

  49. Noah Dockery says:

    Definatly facing us

  50. altason says:

    it is facing us you can see it by the nose
    and his eye…

  51. mikey says says:

    The horse is looking towards the horizon. The tail falls in front of the rear right leg. If the horse was looking in my direction, I don’t think the top part of its tail, near where it attaches to the horse would be as visible. I think it would have been more hidden by the horse’s hind quarters

    • Thoughtful one says:

      It’s clearly a female horsey so it’s probably multi-tasking and looking both ways

    • Steve says:

      Or what you think is it’s hind right leg is in fact its hind left leg? The whole point is it’s an optical illusion. All you people saying “It’s obviously looking X direction” are fools. The silhouette turns it into a 2D image, so no matter how much you THINK it’s obvious which way it’s facing you’re simply interpreting an ambiguous image one way, but are certain in your own interpretation!

    • radioactiveman says:

      Well.. i was kinda hoping it was a bunch of people arranged to form a horse silhouette or (like in the simpsons) a bunch of cats taped together.
      It DID say it WASN’T a horse yet nearly all comments ignore that.
      Mackisback i think has called the closest to the truth. That does look like a human leg at the front.

  52. Kym says:

    Look at the eye, it is a tell-tale sign the horse is looking towards the photographer. Plus, the tail can be anywhere, regardless of which way the horse is looking.

    Also, if you need a picture of a horse silhouetted on a hill, you will probably be photographing it yourself, and the horse will more than likely think you are more interesting than the horizon.

    • Rachel says:

      It’s easy to see the horse is looking out at the horizon. Notice the right ear (to us) is smaller because it is farther away. If the horse was looking towards us he would have lopsided ears which is very unlikely.

  53. FLiTz says:

    it is looking towards the photographer, look at it’s slanting foot.

    • Nick says:

      That’s why I think its facing the horizon. The forward leg would be holding more weight, therefore its head would hang over that side

  54. Sharron Gorju says:

    I feel the horse looks anywhere i want him to look that should save some sanity

  55. random guy xD says:

    i think it’s looking towards the camera, if not, look at the front legs, how would you explain standing in equilibrium, there’s no way he could look the other way cuz he would fall *look at the leg positioning*

  56. rose says:

    when i look all i can see is it looking at me so….

  57. Nadia Valencia says:

    Looking at the photographer. Look at the ears — they’re obviously cocked this way. If his head were facing the other way, there is no physical way he could have his ears positioned as such.

  58. xray man says:

    its not a horse, its a zebra
    ha ha

  59. horsesass says:

    who cares?

  60. Smurfen says:

    The horse is definitely looking towards the horizon. You can easily see that by the way its ears point towards the horizon, away from the camera, and just as “mikey” said about the tail falling in front of the rear right leg, it is very visible in the picture.

    • kevin says:

      it’s looking towards the camera, look at the front legs, how would you explain standing in equilibrium, there’s no way he could look the other way because he would fall look at the leg positioning

  61. berrr says:

    it’s not a horse u blind fools

  62. mack is back says:

    hi every one
    i can see there is one girl on the left and horse face it’s she’s hair and look at the front legs it’s girl legs
    it’s not a horse
    see it again
    thank you

  63. ellen says:

    you said its not a horse but it is. and then went on to say its an illuion but its not.its just a photo of a horse.

  64. Jimmy says:

    The only thing about this picture that I find amazing is the fact that half the people who commented are absolutely convinced that it’s facing the camera and the other half are absolutely convinced that it’s facing away from the camera, both sides using the ears and the tail as evidence to support their opinion. It’s a silhouette. You can’t see its eyes. You can’t tell.

    • kevin says:

      it’s definitively looking towards the camera! look at the front legs, how would you explain standing in equilibrium, there’s no way he could look the other way because he would fall look at the leg positioning

  65. Al says:

    It’s not the tail, the legs, the ears, or the eye. It’s the mane. The mane always lays on one side or the other. The mane on the neck indicates that the horse is facing the photographer.

  66. ahmadzxc says:

    it look to the horizon
    because it’s ear is heading forward

  67. markdem says:

    this is stupid. the link i clicked on asked me if i thought this was a silhouette of a horse and the content is something different. lieing mother fuckers

  68. jojo says:

    The horse is looking towards the photographer. His head is in front of his neck. You can tell because if you look at his neck, there is a kink in it where the head attaches. If the horse was looking away, his poll, the top part of his head inbetween the ears, would create a smooth and straight line to his withers and shoulders. He would also not have the lower part of his neck buldge because it would be facing away. His jaw line and head cover the upper part of his neck which connects to his poll. …Make sense at all? :P

  69. Johnny says:

    There is absolutely no way to be sure which way it is looking. In silhouette it’s going to look identical from both sides, clearly. Mikey thinks he knows that the tail is in front of the right leg- why can’t it be behind the left leg? This is pointless.

    • kevin says:

      yes there is! it’s looking towards the camera, look at the front legs, how would you explain standing in equilibrium, there’s no way he could look the other way because he would fall look at the leg positioning

  70. cookie says:

    how you can see a kink in its neck beats me but anyway…ive seen the exact photo in colour its looking at the camera…problem solved

  71. dcorder says:

    The horse is facing the camera. you can tell by the positioning of the forward legs and chest. And a horse never looks away when approched!

  72. Jesse says:

    As I recall, when I took this picture, the horse was looking right at my assistant standing to my left.

  73. Stephen says:

    As I recall, he was looking at my assistant in the Horizon.
    PROOF – get a picture of a horse, and compare its head. look how disproportionate its head is to its body in this picture. it has to be looking at the Horizon in order for the horse to be proportionate.

  74. horse says:

    i think it is looking 2wards the screen. the way the eyelash sits proofs this so ha!!!

  75. timoy says:

    yah! it’s looking at the horizon since the head became smaller in proportion.

  76. brittany says:

    the horse is facing the horizan because if he was facing the photogrpaher there would not be that dip in his neck near the withers, also his front right leg would not be exted out father then the fron right leg, and the tail would not be as visable

  77. carly says:

    The horse is looking towards the photographer. If you look at its mane, there appears to be a break in it. That is caused by the horse’s head blocking it. Also, regarding the ears, it’s entirely possible that the horse had a large forelock causing the right ear to appear smaller.

  78. artist says:

    you have two options: the first option looks as if the horse is looking at you which might be your first choice because of how obvious. now the second choice would be that the horse is looking at the horizon. The way to tell which a simple way to know is his hump on the back. if the horse was looking at the camera it wouldn’t have this hump. that hump would only occur if it was facing away from the camera did this while back in class.

  79. mike says:

    simple = all americans are saying it’s facing the camera.
    everyone else is saying it’s facing the horizon.

    If you still need the answer….. IT IS FACING AWAY FROM THE CAMERA (the horizon is all the way around!)

  80. ping says:

    its clearly looking at the horizon. the tail and the ears are clues to it, as it was stated before. the eye isn’t. have you seen horses before? they have huge eyes. they pop to the sides so the can see their own rear.

    oh and the whole legs and balance thing, there’s a very simple explanation to that. it’s a PICTURE. you know, those things that make time stand still?

  81. Steve says:

    Most people here have very lame reasons for which way this horse is facing, it is facing the horizon (as this is a 360 degree circle!), but it is also facing toward the camera. Your arguements about the head & ears are wrong too, it’s ears are clearly facing forward, as to the size of the head, who said it didn’t lift it’s head sniffing the breeze for possible danger, or in possible recognition of it’s owner thereby making it’s head outline appear smaller.
    Besides if any of you knew horses, they are naturally curious about us, because we feed, ride & look after them, just think about that…

  82. 003 says:

    It is looking directly at you or whoever is taking the pic no way its looking at the horizon. When it turned to look at the cameraman the horse must have moved its right front leg to help with the quarter turn to help hold its position and inspect whats lurking behind it. Good angle though

  83. 009 and a half says:

    Its definatly looking towards the camera look at where its ears are

  84. Mesulame Dolokoto says:

    please open up facebook cause somepeople needs to login and chat them friends and relatives so please do something about it or we will….

  85. Ken from Dublin says:

    Chances are it’s more interested in the photographer (and any possible danger to itself if it’s wild) than the distant horizon, so it’s almost certainly looking towards the camera.

  86. PainWithoutLove says:

    the horse is looking to you cause you can see it from it’s ears… look at them carefully and you will understand that the inside of em is from your side.. not to the horizon

  87. The horse is looking towards horizon since there is a break in his mane. If he was looking this way, the break in mane wont have been visible.

  88. RUexperienced says:

    Beautiful picture. The horse is clearly looking toward the camera. Note the edge of the nostril, the eyelash, the ears, the lower lip.

    Also, horses are animals of flight. The horse would naturally be looking toward the potential danger, which would be the camera man.

  89. FatBob says:

    You’ve All been totally fooled ! ! ! – It’s NOT a horse at all, – I just made a collection of “Horsey” shapes out of cardboard, painted them black, and stood them in a paddock at dusk, to see if some photographer would find them worthy of a ‘click’ or two – So, That’s why it’s not looking any where, and that’s Also why Vurdlak says it’s not a horse OK ?.. Now shut up about it !

  90. T Hope says:

    Why are u guys stupid? It isn’t a horse, it’s a Zeb-orse

  91. Alysianne says:

    It’s looking towards the camera. The shape of it’s face only works one way. The nostrils flaring and the chin would only be visible like that facing in.

  92. obama's butt wipe says:


  93. shezza says:

    you can tell it’s facing this way by the ears. if it was facing the other direction the left ear would look smaller

  94. cccccc says:


  95. Horse says:

    Why didn’t you ask me, you fools?!

  96. Tana says:

    You all make me laugh. as someone who owns a hore and is a photographer myself i will tell you that the hore is looking towards the camera. Horses can easily stand like that, for all you people know it could have been eating and heard the Photographer, looking up. you can tell by the dip in the neck, which is only there because the head is blocking the pole. the Near side hind leg looks like its hidden by the tail because of the thickness of the tail. Trust the person whose worked with horses for 13 years and is studying Photography as an National Diploma.

  97. Siphelele Sithole says:

    horses are like humans,they can understand but only that they cannot take controll over themselves.Some horses you tell them to do something and they respond to it,eg. tell a horse to move,stop,jump etc.

  98. Carmen Louise Tyrrell says:

    Its looking to the horizen look closely and u will c that it is !

  99. AppaloosaGirl says:

    It could be either. That’s what’s so interesting about silhouettes – because there is no detail, only shadow, your eye can’t tell the difference between forwards and backwards. It’s sort of like seeing concave and convex, I guess. There isn’t any detail to support your brain and how you see it, so it is merely how you TRY to see it. If you try, it can be looking towards you as well. Or the horizon. However your brain decides to see it.

  100. Kla says:

    Omg. How stupid are some people.I never comment on these things but I just had to on this one. To ease all confusion. Ok first of all the silouette is a horse. :( anticlimax there it did state it wasn’t.
    Another thing the horse is turned away from the photographer.
    As an experienced horse woman and photographer I can quite easily distinguish the difference. At first glance it’s looking toward us. But on closer observation you can see the nearside (for non horsey people ‘left side’)front leg is behind the othe making the shoulder jut out now if it were to look at us in the same stance I would say there is something wrong with it’s shoulder. It looks very strange to be looking at us with the shoulder like that. Forget the tail. Concentrate on the chest of the horse and imagine it looking both ways. Simple.
    And if still in doubt look up the colored picture :)
    Sorry to ruin your fun

    • dw says:

      Okay, so there are two self proclaimed horse people/photographers here who have stated their credentials yet completely disagree with each other. Therefore, neither of you have credibility on this matter. The fact is, this isn’t about whether the horse is facing toward or away from the camera at all. Rather it is an illustration of how our minds perceive things differently and how our minds can change apparent facts based on how we fill in missing information; supported by the fact that many here so vehemently pose a seemingly plausible argument to support their own perspective.

  101. holly says:

    Is this even a horse? because i have been around horses all my life and to me when you look closer it doesn’t even look like a horse, its legs are wrong and uneven, and its neck is arched to high and its neck is pointy so either its not a horse at all,or its part horse or it is a very retarted horse!

    • Anonymous says:

      You obviously have not been around horses all your life. I have been riding for over five years and spend almost all my time at the stables. The legs appear that way because the mare is standing on a slope. They ARE even. One of her forelegs is reaching backwards. Her head is raised giving the illusion that her neck is arched (this probably indicates that she is looking at you, as she is probably attentive to the camera). Her neck is NOT pointy at all. Her ears are pricked like any healthy horse would when he or she is attentive. You can clearly see the forelock over her poll as well.

    • to holly says:

      it is obviusly a horse you dimwit! its in an angle

    • horse2 says:

      it is a horse, but yes its legs and slope could suggest otherwise. however, i know a horse who can stand in the most weirdest position as if he should be falling over but hes completely relaxed and doesn’t even notice. This horse is standing a little crooked, that is all.
      I think its facing us coz its position in pause suggests he is alert and more focused on something to worry about position. His ear shape and tips make it look like he is looking at us

    • annaj:) says:

      ur retarded that is so a horse i have 6 horses and have been goin down with them and riding since i was 3 years old u shud listen to these other people they no wut they r tlkin bout….:)

  102. MATHSRULES says:

    That thing is weird..

  103. Jade says:

    The horses near side (left hand side) is erect so it is facing towards the camera

  104. Jade says:

    oh and my comment is coming from 19 years with horses

  105. no says:

    you idiots, the point is, in silhouette the horses L and R sides are unidentifiable so you cannot say if the horse is leaning on its R fore foot or L.

    this is coming from 32 years of not being an idiot.

    and this IS a horse, omg are you just trolling?

  106. Erised says:

    Jade has spoken. lol

  107. Teesha says:

    the thing it it is a horse its just facing the camera, its standing on a slope and its tail is over its back leg.
    and this is coming from someone who has never ridden a horse, im allergic so yea dont be stupid.

  108. Saba says:

    it’s looking at the horizon… away from the camera….

  109. anonymouse says:

    i first thought it was looking at the camera.

    But if you think about it in art terms of perspective and size the head seems smaller in comparison (a little bit) compared with the neck and the rest of the body. The only reason unless it has a small head of course would be if it was a little farther away like a half foot to a foot away. but that’s just my thought and i could be wrong but the way the neck leads up it would be unnatural for the head to be that small if it was facing the camera.

    but whatever i have more important stuff to do than debate about which way a horse is looking like study for my physics exam… i should probably do that,

    thanks moillusions i will let you know how that goes…

  110. Djohan says:

    just like MLB logo!
    its show right handed hitter or left handed hitter.

  111. Blue says:

    The horse is facing towards the camera. If you look closely you can see some whiskers around the eye area.
    I don’t particually like horses but I’ve seen enough of them to know that and also Holly is an idiot.

  112. pink louise says:

    its obvs a horse…and its facin towards us, you can tell by the ears,

  113. Phil M says:

    I love the “is it a horse” debate .. what else would it be?

    Can’t we just enjoy the inherent mystery in the image and not need to “solve” it?

  114. mittens says:

    its looking away from the camera!!!!!!!!!! you can easily tell by the way its standing!

    • rameyw says:

      looking away??? if the HORSE were looking AWAY from the camera then it would look like a HEADLESS horse, you wouldn’t be able to see the perfect shape of it’s face (the eye and nostril are 2 that stand out the most)plus you can tell it’s ears are perked at attention and pointed in the direction of the photographer.
      This is coming from owning horses for 45 years and photographing them 25 years.
      So THERE!!!!

  115. Lea says:

    It looks like their is something wrong with the horse but if you pay atention to the legs it is looking to the horizon. At first glance it appears to be looking at you.

  116. Brittany says:

    It’s looking at the camera! You can tell by the nose and eyes

  117. crm45 says:

    Lol.I don’t know which is more fun…Trying to figure this thing out or listening to you guys reason with each other.

  118. kiana says:

    guys its not looking at us its looking the opisite way cause look at the frount legs how its back if it was looking at us it would look like it has to pee :D

  119. Penguin says:

    haha that’s so true
    I love how worked up people can get over something like this.

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