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By on February 2, 2012, with 137 Comments

It’s one of those “When You See It…” type of photos that really had me puzzled at first. But then when it suddenly popped-out, I spilled my coffee all over myself. So how long did it take before you were able to see it? If you can ignore the meaning just for a second, I think you’ll agree it’s one of the better submissions we saw lately. Agree? Huge props to Michael J. Höller for bringing this to my attention via our FB channel.

  • Brau

    HEY! Who’s taken a photo of my aquarium?

  • Sergio

    I wonder if all the exemplars of that species are the same. Maybe it’s photoshopped?

    • Marcello

      Wow, i didn’t notice it but when it popped out, i jumped a little!

    • Marcello

      Sergio, whats you last name? is it armato?

  • Care Bear

    Impolite?! That fish is downright rude–but cute.

  • Jason

    HAHAH thats a good one!

  • Paula

    It took me about 10 seconds!
    It is a wonderful illusion.

  • Alex Deffendall

    Nice. Very nice.

  • ann

    i dont get it. can someone explain

    • WillTreaty

      Thats a rude but funny fish!
      VERY rude!

    • Ngan

      Here’s some hints look at the pattern on the fish

  • billyg420

    It only took me a second to see.
    I want that fish.
    That’s fucking awesome!!

  • Jake

    Is it supposed to look like a fish eating another fish?

    • carlos alberto

      look at it’s skin… try to read it as a piece of paper with letters on it

  • Gabe

    I’m I the only one that doesn’t see it?

    • http://aqfl.net Ant

      Read the texts on the fish.

    • Joyce

      Read the ‘stripes’ on the side of the fish. They appear to spell a not-so-nice word.

  • c d


  • Benua

    Only a few seconds, because of the title you used on it… Great !!

  • David

    Hi’I saw it immediately

  • Jenny

    Oh my dear. XD I actually had to ask a friend to help me out on this one, but cute. For something like this I would highly recommend not having an “answer page” to since I know for a fact that children access this site too.

    Glad you finally implemented the new layout and thank goodness you took out the gray bar. I’m a bit worried that everything is too blue and kind of melds into each other. Still a fan of your new logo though. ;)

  • kelly

    I don’t see it! can someone point it out?

  • kelly

    never mind i see it hahahahaha good one!

  • keatk

    Looks like here’s the original, more polite fish: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wlschmidt/2172153262/

  • Katie

    Okay, I’m confused. Help please!

  • Tulex

    Pre shopped.


    • 2NE1

      thank you:D

  • http://stachuabc.blogspot.com/ stachu.abc

    Ha ha, great!

  • 2NE1

    things like babies animals are just picking up words left and right

  • http://www.jailbreakme.com fossda

    PHOTOSHOPPED obviously but good

  • Ahmad

    At first I thought it was another fish behind that fish, then I saw your title and began thinking what gives. Now I can see it. Lol is it real though or photoshopped?

    I want one ;-)

  • Kristy

    That’s not an illusion.

    Illusion: a perception, as of visual stimuli (optical illusion), that represents what is perceived in a way different from the way it is in reality.

    In reality this picture is just a fish with an offensive word on the side of it and that’s exactly what people see.

  • Wendy TW

    If it’s real it’s amazing!! Is it real..???

    • Hannah

      It’s not real, it’s photoshopped.

  • Amanda

    i don’t get it…someone help me? please?

  • Amanda

    never mind…..i see it….right after i send a comment of course….but that fish is REALLY rude

  • Cheddar


  • Erica

    I don’t see it. What’s the illusion?

    • Erica

      Oh my god! I see it now!

  • Ravenn

    Definitly photoshopped!

    …but well done ;-)

    It’s a Copperband Butterflyfish, try google it, and see the real thing.

  • Roosie

    Jajajaja! It took me a minute to see it but I have to have it as my desktop picture! I know my partner will take one look at it and think “what a nice fish!” :D

  • Larry

    Awesome! I wonder if it was edited.

  • Drew

    I figure it out when i rolled over and read the picture’s name!

  • Katelin

    wow i had to read the comments and then look at it one more time and then i was like ooohhhh

  • Mandy Brigwell

    It’s so obvious I looked for another illusion before i realised you didn’t know about mimicry in animals. The 90s film ‘Mimic’ is a classic if you’re into this stuff.

  • soultaco

    Man, once you see it, that’s all you see after that!

  • http://www.gmail.com Trixy

    Wow, that is rude but the fish is cute. It took me some time to see it **** !

  • http://www.zepixel.com jeromax

    Sorry but photoshoped ;-)


  • Silver

    I hope this image is legit and not photoshopped, becasue if it is genuine than it is pretty awsome.

  • E

    it took me 10 minutes!!! i didnt look at any other illusions until i figured this one out!!!(such a blonde) but now its the wall paper on my phone;)

  • Greg

    I don’t get it!.. Well, I don’t see it. I see a fish facing toward an underwater plant, the fish looked photoshopped. Someone care to explain?

  • Limin

    I don’t see it! What is it??? Is it supposed to look like the anemone is a vagina?

  • Scott

    Is this real? There is no way. Really?

  • Steve

    Maybe you should change the title of the image file… I noticed it down the bottom after I worked it out luckily.
    Awesome pic

  • LD

    Not nice

  • Azn Girl

    it took me about 20 seconds, then I saw the K

  • Jennifer

    pretty cool, hope it’s not real, lol

  • kano

    Welcome to the cannibal reef.

  • hilomaron

    so cool

  • Rob

    It’s called a copperband butterfly and IRL the bands are vertical.

  • Sammy

    i dont get it!

  • Matjl

    Thats funny, i saw it instantly, but, neat

  • Tim

    It’s a shame that the skill and quality of this illusion has been used to display such offensive and puerile language.
    It’s a great illusion – I would have liked to show my kids.
    Maybe the artist can use their talents for something a bit more inspiring?

  • swizzlestix

    I don’t get it

  • swizzlestix


  • Crescine

    I do not understand at all, what is is??

  • Josh

    Dude there are kids on this site, vurdlak and once they see the word, Fu** on a fish they will go mad

  • Josh

    Hmm… don’t kids browse this website looking for cool and innocent illusions? :/

  • Bubbleblue

    WOW! At first, I didn’t get it, so I just gave up. But then, I looked at the whole fish, and saw the illusion. That’s a good one!

  • Karan

    WOW!! Yea Spilled my coffee as well!!!

  • Stawolf1001

    about 3 seconds and I burst out laughing :-)

  • Jared

    I must buy this fish :D!

  • Yo Girl 123

    thats a bad 1 took a millisecond to figure it out.

  • christina

    Still don’t get it or see the rudeness please someone explain

  • Ju

    I donno get itz :(

  • mimi

    i don’t see it, can someone point it out 2 me?

  • Math


  • Halley

    Hints please !

  • Rikke

    Does anyone know if the fish is for real or photoshoped??

  • Greg

    FUC* stripes on the body

  • Consuela

    Please take this naughty fishy off my front page…

  • momofask

    Not appreciated

  • Mary

    Not appropriate at home with 4 grandkids or especially at work (a children’s hospital). Must delete the gadget rather than risk this again. Sorry!

  • Jeff

    Today I’m deleting this sight from my links.

  • Jim

    Low class- not very clever.

  • Frank

    Photoshopped.. 1 star

  • Gina

    Totally faked in photoshop. Copper-banded Butterflyfish (that’s the name of the fish) have 4 unbroken vertical bands on their bodies. The horizontal marks shown here are fake..

    It would be so hysterical if it was real…

  • Zaz

    for all u ppl who are wondering what the illousion is, on the fish it has the “F” word. i dont wana say it cause im only 10 and i think this just reuend my day! >:U

  • Hannah

    OMG i just realized it, LMAO ;)
    Hint: It says a four letter word on its skin ;)
    ‘Nother Hint: Starts with F

  • eee efff geee

    I saw it in 2 seconds yeah I have a dirty mind .-.

  • Dan

    That was easy to see

  • http://www.quality-schnallity.com schnallity

    Aside from the photoshop work, there’s actually an optical illusion on the fish itself, thanks to Mother Nature: the black spot on the fish’s body looks like an eye, making the fish look like a predator fish with a tail sticking out of it’s mouth to it’s enemies.

    And I bet this fish’s enemies say “oh Photoshop-curse!” when they see him coming!

  • Josh

    It says Fu*k on the fish’s side

  • James

    This one is great !


    • JTARD

      not a perfect curcle its riqid like its made of squares

  • Betty

    Hint: look at the pattern of the fish…

    i placed my cursor over the picture and solved it instantly. is this a real fish??

  • Eric

    ANSWER: Look at the stripes of the fish. It should read the “F” word :)

  • tgunny

    besides the fish eating the other fish did any1 notice the stripes spell out “fuck” lmao

  • alexis

    that is very inappropriate kids play on this site like me

  • Tsaukpaetra

    No, it’s photoshopped. Read the posts above, especially by Keatk and Tulex.

  • http://www.quibblo.com/user/strawberry_ hi

    What’s so impolite? Please ppl help me! Is it supposed to be looking at something or…..?

  • Lisa

    don’t see a thing people

  • Iris

    Look at the markings on the fish :P I didn’t get it until a while after, either! Very Rude!

  • Alisshiaa12

    I honestly hope that fish is photoshopped.
    Marine animals are getting crueler by the minute…

    • Alisshiaa12

      Please be photoshopped…Please….!!!

  • Kyraa

    LOL this took me 3 days to finally figure it out…

  • SD

    what has science done!!!

  • Lily Hargrove

    Your gadget had been on my desktop until this illusion forced me to remove it. My two boys (8 and 10) had really enjoyed the illusions. I’m just taken aback, and disappointed, that you felt this was appropriate.

  • RIk

    Check this out…401166_3121428155432_1256411501_33350038_1835633278_n.jpg

    • Alisshiaa12

      cool! Good work!! :)

    • owen

      cool! i love legos. ( by the way the fish says f#$%)

    • froggy

      AWESOME! I love it!

  • http://RosinaWilson.com RosinaWilson

    Saw it right away ;) Wondered whether it was real or ‘shopped ~ thanxxx to jeromax for posting the original pic.

  • http://RosinaWilson.com RosinaWilson

    A hint for Halley ~ The yellow stripes form 4 letters…

  • Astrid


  • Harveen

    It’s been photoshopped…. That just ruined my day, I thought it was pretty cool until I saw some of the pre-photoshopped pics…:( Sorry guys!

  • A


  • LAS

    Would be better if it weren’t photoshopped, and even better if the people with kids would just lighten up. It’s a word – and it’s not like they won’t see/hear it again.

  • HiI’manormalperson

    You know kids go on here…

  • http://plmethvin.deviantart.com/ plmethvin

    Not kid-friendly. I am disappointed. Plus, it’s shopped. so where’s the illusion? The fish doesn’t “appear” to be impolite by the false markings. It IS impolite.

  • Jimbo Braggart

    What’s inappropriate about it? I’m sure that most kids, while absorbing their mandatory images of murder, abuse, alcoholism, drug use, chauvinism, bigotry, and other desensitizing perversions served up by the entertainment industry, they have come across the word “fuck” at least 4.37 times.

  • Patrick

    Saw 4 letter word on fish about 20secs after window painted. Looked all around it for other creatures 1st…

  • Anastasia

    What it washed up on the beach and you saw it. (I know its photoshopped.) Just asking a what-if question.

  • the smarted person on earth (or not) :)

    I FINALLY GOT IT after like, a couple weeks… lol. *hints* the word is the yellow stipes on the fish. look at the strips, not the white parts

  • ramadhan

    natural illusion..

  • Moillusionlover


  • jy

    When you see it….you will sh*t bricks

  • Chickadee

    That is the coolest fish in the world!!!!!!

  • Atty

    I think this fish to be rather rude.. xD

  • NIck

    Yep, what you have there is a Fuckfish

  • http://freepeoples.WebStarts.com I says:

    at first it took me FOREVER to guess it because i was looking way to close. if your having trouble, just stand back, look at the fish’s yellow striped. the stripes are letter. and it says the f- word

  • http://www.mocosoft.com Mocosoft
  • larry


  • james

    only had to open it to speak

  • Red

    now i saw it. ohhhhh

  • Someone

    My friend had this as a desktop and I wanted the picture but couldn’t find it. FINALLY
    Oh, not to worried about anybody else getting the picture…

    I won’t get in trouble.

  • tabbycat900

    ohhh i saw the ck and a weird guy at the end… how wrong i was