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By on February 24, 2013, with 79 Comments

An excellent photograph was sent to me by Marcus yesterday. After a while the magic disappeared – since longer I observed it, less illusionary it felt. Still, I remember firmly how strong and puzzling was the moment I first glazed my eyes over the photo. For a second there, I trully couldn’t understand what was going on. Hope your first “stare” brings as much surprise and joy as I experienced. Don’t forget to share your first impression in our comments below!

Hungry Eye Optical Illusion

Update Feb, 28th – Here’s another take on the “eye” without the teeth. In the mean time, thanks to our commentators I’ve learnt that the artist behind this mesmerising body-paint is Sandra Holmbom.

Hungry Eye Optical Illusion


79 Responses
  1. Phillip says:

    For a moment there I thought they were really “Eye Teeth”.

  2. kathy says:

    omg look so real

  3. CorrlesID says:

    Wow it really confused me

  4. Mr Spoilsport says:

    Sorry, this is an interesting photo. not an illusion.

    • Indi says:

      The fact that at first glance it looked like an eye with teeth makes it an illusion. As long as first impression is deceiving or misleading, it’s an illusion

    • Anita Dehghani says:

      I agree with Indie.

      Wikipedia said – “An optical illusion (also called a visual illusion) is characterized by visually perceived images that differ from objective reality. The information gathered by the eye is processed in the brain to give a perception that does not tally with a physical measurement of the stimulus source. There are three main types: literal optical illusions that create images that are different from the objects that make them, physiological ones that are the effects on the eyes and brain of excessive stimulation of a specific type (brightness, colour, size, position, tilt, movement), and cognitive illusions, the result of unconscious inferences.”

      More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_illusion

    • anne o'donnell says:

      i agree

    • suor de sapo says:

      Even a lake reflection picture is an illusion. You have to guess if it’s not upside down or not… The same here: I struggled to perceive if it was an eye or a mouth. There’s some subjectiveness, of course. One must respect how fast others figure out what’s going on. Just because you did it immediately that don’t give you the right to determine if It’s an illusion or not. At most, you can say “didn’t work as an illusion for me” or “it did not foolish me”.

    • Dan says:

      This picture is very interesting and I like it a lot. However it is not an optical illusion. Just because your dumb enough to think a picture of a mouth is an eye that doesn’t make it an optical illusion. There is clearly a chin in the picture and… Also there is only ONE eye… Just FYI cyclops don’t exist.

  5. jk says:

    Kiss my eyes!

  6. General Catacus says:

    “Joy?” How about “Nightmares?”

  7. Ian Martin says:

    I really like the 3D eyelashes! Nice effect!

  8. John says:

    Quite startling. Took a bit to see the steps behind the “Magic!” Neat.

  9. Laura says:

    Didn’t take too long for me to figure out that this person did their make-up in a really cool way to create this illusion.

  10. Pygormus says:

    That’s disturbing.

  11. Stawolf1001 says:

    that’s actually a pretty good one

  12. cam says:

    Thats a nice illusion

  13. ? says:

    Me too. It is really satisfying!

  14. BunnyGirl says:

    As soon as I saw this, I’m like:”This is a mouth.” You know I’m getting a little scared, because I did that Schizophrenia test, and looked straight through it at the first try. But then again, I’m 11 years old… but I really do love your site!!!

  15. cool says:

    Cool. Thats just lips and teeth though right? thats really good body art.

  16. destiny says:

    on the large picture i still thought it was an eye!lol

  17. Renn says:

    First impression: WTF
    Second impression: still WTF
    Thrid impression: oh… I get it now, but still WTF!

  18. DMS says:

    I would hardly call it an illusion tho it is an excellent photo of a very cool makeup job

  19. Diane N says:

    ka-ka-kreepy but kool

  20. Mackenzie says:

    Thats really starting to freak me out

  21. Jesse says:

    In the beggining i didnt see the teeth andd then i was like WHAT!?!?!?!??!!?

  22. Sam says:

    at first i was like, are those teeth? oh! got it!

  23. suor de sapo says:

    body painting from the right angle? I’d love to see from another angle…

  24. R M Booker says:

    I must admit that took me a few seconds t work out what I was actually seeing!! Brilliant bit of face art.

  25. Samantha Childs says:

    Sorry….erm…i don’t get this one..and i normally do a lot of these…it’s a woman with green eyes and teeth in them…you have shown me better over the years…or maybe it’s just me getting old

  26. willie says:

    I first was shocked and then I thought Oh these are contacts and then I calmed down and let my real sight take over.

  27. Imran Ansari says:

    Great! Initially I thought it is an image of eye with teeths made created on computer. Later I realized it just the opposite

  28. Don says:

    The hair helped me realize what I was seeing was body art.

  29. catriona says:

    it’s giiving me the creeps… please take it off…

  30. Andreas Schamanek says:

    How about giving credits to the artist? This was done by Sandra Holmbom, see http://psychosandra.blogg.se/ and http://psychosandra.blogg.se/2013/february/well-it-was-fun-anyway.html

  31. Julie says:

    Wow! At first,I thought it was really creepy, then I thought it was a painted eye on the lips photoshopped in an eye socket… then I realized its was not(photoshop), it was all painted on the bottom of her face. Nicely done.

  32. Pygormus says:

    This is the work of Sandra Holmbom. You can see another photo with the “eye” closed and other examples of her work here: http://psychosandra.blogg.se/

  33. cinnamon says:

    check this out please :)

  34. Roger says:

    If you take off some of the hair on the right side is harder to tell what is

  35. STRETCH97 says:


  36. Prettyprincess123 says:

    OMG sooo cool! how could they paint themselves like that???

  37. Dave says:

    Pretty neat. I would like to see the entire face to see how this third eye looks with the other pair

  38. Martha says:

    Day 2 … I finally got it. Wow!

  39. Max says:

    SPECTACULAR! At first sight it was a butchered-toothed eye! I thought “Bleeeeaaah!

  40. Peter Feenstra says:

    After Samanthas reaction noone can claim this not to be an illusion!

  41. Annie says:

    Mr Spoilsport is well named. I’d say that this is an illusion, even if it’s used in the broadest sense; it’s lips painted to look like an eye. Mr Spoilsport probably spent his childhood telling little kids that there’s no Father Christmas.

  42. Laurie says:

    LOL, my husband saw it & said, “Whoever painted that had too much time on their hands. I thought it was awesome, however! Good job!!

  43. Colleen says:

    Cool, but I’m ready for a new illusion. This has been here for 3 days now.

  44. Lisa Palmer says:

    This is hilarious! At first I thought, “photoshop”, then, in between, “wow,creepy” which was an opinion rather than logic, so I went back to figuring it out and noticed, “Oh, it’s lips!” Then, because the eyelid and surrounding artwork is so believeable, I wondered, “so where did the teeth come from?” Duh! It’s a mouth! I felt stupid, but all these thoughts came in about 3 seconds. (I’m a trompe l’oeil muralist, so I LOVE messing with people’s heads visually. http://www.lisahpalmer.com)

  45. jana rhose says:

    Holy **** (something) what the heck!That is so……Cool and awsome!

  46. asmita rai says:

    its looking too real

  47. sree says:

    best eye it is meaningful

  48. Jaguer-jaques says:


  49. Eddie Spirito says:

    Between the two photos is the following message;
    Update Feb, 28th – Here’s another take on the “eye” without the teeth. In the mean time, thanks to our commentators I’ve learnt that the artist behind this mesmerising body-paint is Sandra Holmbom.
    When was the word “LEARNED”" replaced with “LEARNT?”

  50. Bob De Groat says:

    That eye says a mouthfull, luv it!

    • nushibubbl says:

      haha! u no, just wandering, dont u also find it weird how the person appplied fake eyelashes to their LIPS???

  51. leopards_304 says:

    cool & nyc illution of best photp shop

  52. Aubrey says:


  53. Ashford says:

    Those lips look so real like an eye

  54. Chelsea says:

    they could have used someone with better teeth, just saying. It’s very distracting

    • jessie says:

      @chelsea the ladies teeth are fine, nothing wrong with them.

      you got to be kidding me if your upset her teeth are a little chipped

  55. Danny says:

    Well at first i am like ok… WHAT??? How… What… Why… Oh, It’s lips!

  56. Hannah says:

    At the very start I knew it was lips – I don’t know why though but I wasn’t immpressed at all…

  57. viab420 says:

    wow it’s really a mouth smh nice pic overall

  58. Nik B. Vencedor says:

    I sure wish some company would make theatrical contact lenses like this, it would be awesome to have a pair with this illusion in them.

  59. Tomaf says:

    would be fantastic if that real two headed girl did that, one on each mouth.

  60. AnOnYmOuS says:

    It was the eyelashes that totally threw me off

  61. ぱぽきぉ says:

    Weird , this page turns up with a black color to it, what color is the primary color on your site?

  62. Anonymous says:

    It was the lips that was so cool

  63. Anonymous says:

    Oh my gosh! I actually thought the eyes was ripped in half. Observing the image breaks the illusion. Good one!

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