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By on June 3, 2006, with 113 Comments

Before you start reading this, count the circles in the image below. How many are there (if there are any)? Also known as Coffer Illusion, this optical illusion was created by Anthony Norcia and qualified for top 10 category in “Best Visual Illusion Of The Year Contest”. Anthony describes this visual phenomennon like this:

First time viewers of this display invariably do not see the 16 circles segmented from the background. Rather, they see a series of rectangles that they frequently describe as “door panels”. The illusion pits segmentation cues against what appears to be a very strong prior to interpret the image as a series of 3-D structures “coffers” with closed boundaries. (A coffer is a decorative sunken panel.) It appears that the prior involves both closure and shape-from shading assumptions.

  • ghe

    i can see 16 circles

  • Carl Johnson

    Wow! Cool! I didn’t notice the circles at first glance.

  • LESSA

    I FOUND 25 CIRCLES!

  • milliemoon

    ummmmm.lessa, there are only supposed to be 16…….i think…………huh…

  • Joe

    I can’t see any.

  • Hai

    obviuosly 16

  • roshi & andre

    lessa we also found 25 cool!!!!!!!!!

  • Sakura

    Ah..I also found 25…

  • Al B

    the extra 9 you guys are talking about aren’t circles, but fragments of a circle.

  • coolio the best

    Im seriosly not trying to brag, but I saw them at first sight, swear on the bible

    <33

  • master

    16

  • rudolph

    whoever did not see it here is a tip!

    look in the center of the white cross dummy dumbo people!

  • Rayne

    Thanks rudolph, I couldn’t see it at first. I can now though, even though the cross tip made it harder to spot.

  • wolfskin

    25 circles? someone has been drinking…

  • Marianna

    there counting the circles that are between the circles that you see the space in between

  • deborah

    if you look at it like it is a 3-D picture you can see 20 circles. it made it easier to spot them for me.

  • person

    atfirst i only saw 16 circles, but i think i found 31

  • ok…

    yeah wolfskin is right. there are 16. duah. you guys need to learn hhow to multiply.

  • Excite the exciting excite

    16

  • Amanda

    i only see straight lines, we did this type of stuff for art class

  • BUGJAMED

    28 :)

  • MMM

    yeap, 25 circles

  • random

    i found 30 am i wierd

  • fd

    there are only 16 and i saw them at first sight too soooooooooo?

  • person1

    yup 25 there inbetween four of them but there pretty hard to see

    O-O
    i * i
    O-O star is where the other 9 are

  • matt

    32

  • lucky

    i found 16 circles – soooooooooo coool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • matticus

    it depends on how you look at it

  • 3Destruction

    i6 circles… actually, in reality, there are 0 circles. It’s all an illusion!

  • shev

    At first i could only see the four circles on the right but now i see all of them

  • angelus

    wow thats cool it took me a minute to see them but then they popped right out and they keep going in and out now but now i know how to find them

  • Smoke

    25

  • some random chick=)

    THERE AREN’T ANY CIRCLES. YOUR BRAIN IS JUST TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF WHAT IT SEES.

  • caleb

    16 circles any more your going to go crazy for finding more lol guys.

  • Anonymous

    I see 25

  • Anonymous

    There are definately 25!

  • your all stupid

    actually thre arent any circles at all because if yo look closly there not circles because circles no have strait edges and these “circles”do! so ya your all wrong!

  • Anonymous

    i found 16, i didnt see them at first, then i moved back a little and they jumped out at me..

  • Anonymous

    found 16 all who found 25 are the most retarded people on this planet!

  • LOOK_DEEPER_INTO_THE_PUZZLE

    There are twenty-five once you’ve found sixteen look in the middle of two circles to see the others good luck: )

  • Anonymous

    I found 25. Did I do something wrong???

  • slinky

    This illusion worked in reverse on me.
    At first i only saw the circles and thought “jeez this is lame” until i focused on a different part and began seeing the rectangles.

  • Anonymous

    wow, yes there r only 16 circles and couldnt find out wat they ment by 25 but after i read Al B’s comment i looked again and i finally found them and if you cross your eyes there r no circles

  • Anonymous

    i see 25!!!

  • Anonymous

    I saw the circles before I saw the squares. Maybe it should be count the squares instead…

  • Edgey

    There tis sixteen circles.
    By da way they were hard to spot

  • Anonymous

    there r 16 circles for the idiots that didn’t find 16. =^^=

  • Anonymous

    I’ve found 32! (But I did cross my eyes)

  • Anonymous

    there are 16 with another 9 in between 4 circles.

  • Anonymous

    25…thats all there is.

  • Anonymous

    cool…i see 16!!!

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t see that at first but now I do, it is sooooo cool. I don’t see how anybody could see 25

  • Anonymous

    16

  • Mikayla

    if u say 25 i think that u r rite but those who say 16 thins is how we got 25… u hav just counted the small circles but if u imagine this as the little circles u will c wat i meen

    o o o o
    o o o o
    o o o o
    o o o o

    r they the circles that u c if so look more carefully… can u put the circles in2 squares like this

    o o o o
    o o o o

    o o o o
    o o o o

    if so then look in the middle of a square u will c a bigger circle

    am i rite?

  • Very Odd Circles

    I See 25

  • Anonymous

    i ddint get it at first bubt you look at the x and thres lke 15 or 16 but im pretty sure 15

  • Sandy Banks

    Yes there are 25 that I can see. There are straight lines in a circle, you can use a protractor, measure each 10*(degrees) around the circumference and draw 180* diameters conecting all the 10* around the circle. That is how you can see circles in the corners of the coffers If ther are two coffers next to each other either vertically or horizontally.

  • Anonymous

    16

  • Ben

    this illusion is posted wrong
    your supposed to stare at the white cross and then 16 circles start to appear and eventually that all you can see

    people seeing more either cant count or are seeing circle fragments and imagining more because thats what they wantwbxvkd

  • Anonymous

    i see 16 baby

  • hammered.

    ..i found 32.

  • Anonymous

    16!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Is the illusion that the circles are there or that they are not there?

  • Kathleen

    THere’s sixteen!oh yeah!

  • Anonymous

    Staring at the X helps. Wow…that’s cool!!!

  • wotpsycho

    The people that see 25 are seeing the parts between the “real” circles. What you are supposed to see is that the vertical lines all make up the background and the horizontal lines are all in the circles. So if you see horizontal lines, they are part of the 16 circles, and the vertical lines are all part of the background. Basically, the people who see 26 are looking at the spaces between 4 of the “real” 16 circles and thinking they kinda look like circles, too.

  • Anonymous

    There are really twenty-five circles

  • Anonymous

    AT FIRST I THOUGHT THERE WERE ONLY 16 BUT THEN I LOOKED REALLY CLOSLY AND SAW 25 AND THEY ARE NOT FRAGMENTS OF A CIRCLE

  • Grant

    Wow, it all depends if your eyes try to line them up straight or sideways. fantastic.

  • Hoi

    Huh wtf how can you see 25 circles??? there are only 16…

  • Anonymous

    i see 25!

  • Anonymous

    I see dead people

    • Kehau

      Lol! Best response yet

  • godzilla1715

    i only see 16. i can’t find 20 or 25.

  • Anonymous

    lessa is right we found 25 circles

  • Anonymous

    audit i can’t find any how do u do this

  • Anonymous

    Topperrrr! >> 31

    Or:

    Hmm, there are no circles. There are only approximations (..duh..) of circles; 16 of them are 'clearly' visible between the groups of vertical lines; 9 more are suggested (and incomplete at the bottom and top)in the complementary space between the circles mentioned first; and the final 6 are in the same vertical space but then cut off by the boundaries of the picture.

  • Anonymous

    Wow… that was like magic! After like 10 seconds they magical appeared =)

  • http://stickpage.com anon3597583-9753-90875-4 90674590 6784-097-68467347609=4570-=59670-596=54969380

    I saw them before

  • nicholas

    9+16

  • Angel

    i was gonna say 16 but it’s 25 :)

  • Monxy

    I see

  • lal

    Even though you can pretend like there’s 25, there’s really only 16 circles in the picture.

    Yeah I know u newbs will say it’s 9 + 16, but the 9 circles aren’t really full circles, since u can’t see the edge of the 9 circles on the top and the bottom. So the correct answer is 16 circles (and 9*2 = 18 half circles).

  • lancet

    16

  • gloria

    i see 32

  • Griff

    I see the moon!

  • http://yahoo.com :)

    yup .. got 16 circles .. !!! coooool … !!

  • Watche Buyer

    i can see 16!!! very nice !! kind of head aching if you try too hard like i did hahaha

  • KingJon

    Yes, only 16 circles, this is fact. Those who say 25 doesn’t know what a circle is. You can pretend there are 25, but the fact remains, only 16.

  • angelique

    So as soon as I looked at before I even read how many there were , all i could see were 16 cirlces and nothing else.

  • Anon_reloaded

    I was looking at it when I stopped I could still see the circles O.o

  • blah

    I see twenty eight being a logical person if you look im between the columns not just the rows

  • http://Yahoo.com Alma

    I see it they ate in between the recyangles going up and down

  • Pepper

    16

  • Mathew

    I see 28…

    • Mathew

      Wait no I see 25.

  • Crystal

    all 16 on the first try!

  • Unknown

    16!!!!

  • Irufan

    I saw 16 immediately but I don’t see 25 or 32..

  • Louise

    I can see 25. 16 main ones, 4 rows of 4; then 9 less obvious ones in between them, 3 rows of 3.

  • DestinyCole

    Yes, there’s only 16. Using the graphic design principle of closure you could see an additional 9 circle. But YES, there’s only 16 that appear clearly without having to really look for the others. I saw all 16 right off. Not the best illusion, but still good. :)

  • Andrew

    easy to see

  • Eric

    Nobody see’s 40??? WOW

  • zozo

    20

  • aroiun

    16 cirlces

  • chris

    16

  • Kyle

    I copy and pasted this into ms paint, zoomed in and looked the pixels, there are exactly 16 circles in this picture.tumblr_mlv89tkfj11rj8cpxo1_400.jpg

  • sagar

    There r 16 circles between two windows

  • Feugatos

    31

  • Christopher

    I’ll show you a freaken circle! Honestly took me a hour. 16 ..I only saw them once I stopped looking for them, go figure.

  • King

    45 circles, 20 small circle + 16 median circle + 9 large circle = 45! No?

  • Lily

    I counted 44

  • Tongo

    I found 25 also!! I would love to know what the person who designed it says about how many circles there are meant to be!

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