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By on February 24, 2013, with 80 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!

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.

  • Phillip

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

    • ?

      I agree!

  • kathy

    omg look so real

    • Jaz

      It is so weird whoever painted it is a really good artist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    • http://www.Youtube.com/NeRaClanSniping Jaz

      dude my names jaz too!

  • http://corralesid.org CorrlesID

    Wow it really confused me

  • Mr Spoilsport

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

    • Indi

      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

      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

      i agree

    • suor de sapo

      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

      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.

  • jk

    Kiss my eyes!

  • General Catacus

    “Joy?” How about “Nightmares?”

  • Ian Martin

    I really like the 3D eyelashes! Nice effect!

  • John

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

  • Laura

    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.

  • Pygormus

    That’s disturbing.

  • Stawolf1001

    that’s actually a pretty good one

  • Judy


  • cam

    Thats a nice illusion

  • ?

    Me too. It is really satisfying!

  • BunnyGirl

    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!!!

  • cool

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

  • destiny

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

  • Renn

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

  • DMS

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

  • Diane N

    ka-ka-kreepy but kool

  • Mackenzie

    Thats really starting to freak me out

  • Jesse

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



  • Sam

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

  • suor de sapo

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

  • R M Booker

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

  • Samantha Childs

    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

    • suor de sapo

      Hint: I have NO idea about the color of her eyes…

  • willie

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

  • http://clarionmediaz.com Imran Ansari

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

  • Don

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

  • catriona

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

  • Andreas Schamanek

    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

  • Julie

    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.

  • Pygormus

    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/

  • cinnamon

    check this out please :)

  • Roger

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



  • Prettyprincess123

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

  • Dave

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

  • Martha

    Day 2 … I finally got it. Wow!

  • Max

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

  • Peter Feenstra

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

  • Ahmad


  • Annie

    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.

  • Laurie

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

  • Colleen

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

  • Lisa Palmer

    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)

  • http://facebook.com jana rhose

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

  • asmita rai

    its looking too real

  • sree

    best eye it is meaningful

  • Jaguer-jaques


  • Eddie Spirito

    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?”

  • Bob De Groat

    That eye says a mouthfull, luv it!

    • nushibubbl

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

  • leopards_304

    cool & nyc illution of best photp shop

  • Aubrey


    • Aubrey

      My bad… “learnt”.

  • Ashford

    Those lips look so real like an eye

  • Chelsea

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

    • jessie

      @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

  • Danny

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

  • Hannah

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

  • viab420

    wow it’s really a mouth smh nice pic overall

  • Nik B. Vencedor

    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.

  • Tomaf

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

  • AnOnYmOuS

    It was the eyelashes that totally threw me off

  • http://yaplog.jp/tiwhisurli ぱぽきぉ

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

  • Anonymous

    It was the lips that was so cool

  • Anonymous

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

    • James Dean

      I’m glad you liked it. :D

  • gabrielle moller

    That’s awesome