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By on June 19, 2009, with 81 Comments

My cousin sent me our newest exhibit. We had some egg illusions in the past, but have to admit they were pretty lame. Well, I hope our newest one brings a change to this lousy tradition. In its core, this optical illusion is very similar to the famous Missing Part test. Additionally, it may remind you of those missing China men, extra Leprechauns, Mad Scientist soccer team… you know what I mean. To make you understand what is going on around here, let me explain first. In the first card (A) we have one chicken and 8 eggs. Cut this card in 4 pieces (like outlined below), and then again assemble it in a different matter (card B), resulting with proper rectangular image. You will get our original chicken, but the number of eggs this time is different. Additionally, there is a missing piece in this newly assembled card. Why is that? If the surface of both puzzle cards is equal, how can one be missing a piece? Hint: are the surfaces really equal? You tell me! Remember, there is more than one optical illusion present here.

Yesterday I’ve implemented Akismet spam protection. Since then, it already prevented more than 700 spam comments! Was this precise timing, or what :) Also, our RSS subscriber number is currently exceeding 87,000. If this isn’t a sign of quality service we bring, then I don’t know what is!

Update: seems that the original creator of this illusion is Archimedes Lab. At least their version has the copyright hard coded within the picture. Thnks Michael.

By Permutting the triangular pieces an egg disappears. How does it happen?

By Permutting the triangular pieces an egg disappears. How does it happen?

  • Mirela

    The L shaped piece is overlaping the first 2 egg’s bottom half on card B.

  • Jess

    Mirela…I think u r absolutely right about the L shape overlapping the first 2 egg’s…i was thinking that this could be the case, as well…

  • Franx

    Easy: the 3rd egg (right to left, figure A) has a tiny part missing; equal to the one on the 1st egg, also, on almost all eggs it goes like this, making it look like an egg “vanished” on the fig B.

  • Sue

    The eggs in the top panel are all missing a little bit. In the bottom, they are whole. So you go from 8* 7/8ths of an egg to 7* 8/8ths of an egg.
    Quite clever, actually.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jordan-MA-Johnson/535131494 Jordan M.A. Johnson

    all you do is swpa the two triangle pieces at the bottom

  • Maria Moreno

    In both images there are 14 halves. image A has 6 full eggs and 2 half. image B has 7 full eggs.

  • winfield

    i dont really get it and im too lazy to try and figure it nout.I like illusions that are easy.just staring kind. thankks

  • Scott

    Sue is right, but there is more to it.

    The overall rectangle cannot remain a single size, and yet *not have* a hole inside in one tiling, while *having* a hole in the other tiling. Otherwise the areas of the pieces could not be constant!

    The answer is that the bottom line of the puzzle is not straight. It is slightly concave when the hole is absent, and slightly convex with the hole. The change in concavity/convexity equals the area of the hole.

    Yet these slight deviations from a true rectangle can barely be noticed.

  • Scott

    Forgot to say Franx and Maria also have good comments.

  • Eric

    Your all stupid, counting the eggs and what not. sure thats true, #3 and 6 are missing lil bit but um, the hole, physically impossible to rearrange same picture and get a hole… the stair cut piece is altered, they’ve elongated the second stair (left side) which is what makes the two lil missing pieces significant. the first one (one the 2nd, left stair shaped piece), is moved to where egg six “was”, the two alligned missing pieces with the hole are what get ride of the egg.

  • David Riegler

    Okay, this one’s a little hard to understand unless you really look at it. in the top image, eggs #3 and #7 are partial eggs without a remainder; in the bottom image, all eggs appear to have two parts. The actual “extra egg” is not an egg at all; the cross-sectional area of each egg is merely smaller in the image that features eight eggs. Note how in the seven-egg image, all of the eggs appear a bit misshapen. This is a result of the same phenomenon.

  • Joanna

    Still, even though some people have been able to provide explanations for the apparent “missing” egg, I don’t understand where a piece of the card has gone… It’s an old illusion that I’ve never really been able to figure out. I like that.

  • Rob

    The triangles appear to be the same size in A and B, but are not. This is how you can explain the missing block in B.

  • Marcelo K

    The triangles make a litle curve at botton of the figures (base of small triangle move up, and de big triangle move down): concave in the A figure, and convex in B figure. The size of eggs are bigger in figure B, cause by forced conjunction… (explained by Sue)

  • Wayne

    The large triangle on the right edge of pic A has parts of 3 eggs inside the triangle. When you move that triangle to the left side and replace it with the L piece and the small triangle, the missing egg is lost as the large triangle is overlaying the left most egg of the top section of pic A.

  • Mastmark1

    Sorry i don’t like I don’t understand the big deal

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mathias-Courbois/1347407051 Mathias Courbois

    What puzzles me is not so much the eggs, that is a tried and true illusion. Still fun to see though. What puzzles me, is how the surfaces of both cards are different….

    There is just a piece missing in the bottom one. Where did it go…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mathias-Courbois/1347407051 Mathias Courbois

    I’ve found it, it was quite obvious, the frames aren’t exactly perpendicular corners or parallel lines… It’s only a very small difference in gradient, but apparently enough to make such a difference appear…

  • brooks Masterton

    I agree with Maria M. The area devoted to “white space” as eggs has not changed between the two cards. It has been redistributed. On the three cards with egg “bits” on them there are 7 bits on the top card and a total of 7 bits on the bottom cards. Each of the “eggs” in representation B is made up of two pieces or 7 eggs. In representaion A only 6 eggs are made up of two pieces ( or 12 bits) the other two bits stand alone as eggs and add up to 8 as opposed to 7 int the secdond representation. If you were to cut out the “eggs” in each picture ( a and b) then weigh the paper, the paper from A would be equal to that from B indicating the same exact area. threfor the “white” has just been redestribute between the two pictures.

  • Ayla

    The 2 triangle shapesare switched and the l shaped one is put between them.

  • Steve

    what came first, the chicken or 8 eggs?

  • Eluem

    What I find interesting is that a lot of people are over looking the fact that in A we have 4 pieces that take up a certain area with in a certain perimeter. In B simply by rearranging the 4 pieces, they fit in the same perimeter but there is less area…..

  • Crewmember 6

    The hypoteneuse of the large triangle is not straight, it is slightly concave. when it is re-assembled it is slightly convex, just enough to make a 1×1 gap.

    Take a look at the following website, it explains it a lot better than I can


  • carlo bellieni

    Yes, but what about the hole in the center of the picture? Why do we see it if the picture has the same dimensions?

  • Elissa Coates

    The eggs are solved, 14 halves only all amtched up perfectly in the second image. But where does the missing peice come from????

  • Joris

    Yes, Franx is right about the vanished egg, but that doesn’t explain why there is an empty space in the second image. I think that the diagonal side of the big triangle isn’t completely right, so it leaves a little bit more space to the L-shape.

  • Andy

    This is great! I´m more concerned about the square issue than the egg number issue since I believe that there´s no free lunch. 1+1 does end up giving 2 and not 2.1 . I first traced the image in Phoshop in layers, which I then moved. Didn´t bring me much further. I then did the same but in AutoCAD. And indeed. The version below doesn´t make a perfect rectangle. And the area that sticks out is equivalent to the area missing in the middle. Again, good one!

  • Facebook User

    In card A there is 7 upper parts and 7 lower parts. And egg parts are just reassembled.

  • Facebook User

    And I think that little piece missing is made like this: http://www.moillusions.com/2006/03/impossible-triangle-illusion-no2.html

  • FixitDave

    The eggs are bigger in image B than image A, they are just a little bigger so you lose 1 egg

  • Cool

    i dont get it

  • Detective Kitty

    this one is much ore obvious then the leprechauns one because the third egg from the right is missing a bit from the top… it’s very noticeable the piece that it is missing is equal to the piece on the first egg from the left. I bet you anything if those lines (to cut) weren’t there and you knew where to cut, the change would be even more obvious

  • Anony-Moose

    It is just as Sue said.
    Very ingenuitive, keep up the good work!

  • http://www.moillusions.com/2009/06/magic-eggs-optical-illusion.html Ashley

    In the second picture [B], it isn’t a perfect rectangle. The bottom line curves up a bit at the right end! Along with the other facts that have been previously mentioned, it creates that illusion.

  • Burn On. ~Pyro~

    What’s the big deal? You’re missing an egg, the dog ate it. :D

  • fayakaya

    I ve just photoshoped(layers) the image and it’s bluffing,
    I still don’t get why with the same shapes you get a smaller total space, and there’s NO SUPERPOSITION!… Any mathematics pro to answer?

  • someone…..

    Each picture has 7 bottoms 7 tops total of 14 halves. In the first one there are 6 full eggs and 2 half eggs{one of the halves has a top half, and the other has a bottom half only} (total of 8 eggs) in the second picture there are 7 full eggs which cancels out the halves in the first picture to make the extra full egg but gets rid of 2 eggs in place…..

  • John

    I guess the triangle thing is essentially the same as the illusion you link to… Probably have something to do wit h one of the triangles not being exactly straight or something like that…

  • Michael Bach

    How come that the original copyright


    is removed from this picture?

  • hootie

    the placement of the triangular pieces is switched in card B

  • Jeannie

    Ya’ll are really making it harder than it looks. To prove to yourself that the pieces DID NOT change and do fit, just print out the above picture, cut the pieces of the top picture into and place onto the bottom picture like filling in a puzzle. It all fits perfectly leaving the little square hole in the middle and losing an egg in the process.

  • Jeannie

    It is VERY cool, however, that once the pieces are rearranged that they actually take up less actual space and nothing is overlapping, etc.

  • http://aimanamani.wordpress.com/ Aiman Amani

    Franx right, it just an ‘optical illusion’. And another thing. Nothing overlapped at all.

  • brooks Masterton

    As many have observed: The bottom edge of each figur is not “stright”. In each image (A&B) it is made up of the same two triangles but in reverse order. The differenc between each immage is that this edge is bowed up in one and down in the other. this is becaues the individual triangles have different slopes.If you could accuratly superimpose Image A over Image B A slive of Image B at the bottom would still be visiable, shaped like a very long thin oval and it would be equal in area to the “open” are in the middle of image B.

  • Anonymous

    Eric, you are wrong, other people, right! (cpt’ for some ‘other’ ‘erics’)

  • Aaron

    okay is anybody even bothering to print the page to figure it out it’s that simple it, here I am with a printed copy of it I cut out the pieces along the lines nothing is overlapping at all it’s all just fitting…..I’m curious why though……..seriously guys print it out

  • Aldo

    The third egg from right to left was deleted.

  • uberfish

    great site, great illusion, just wish self important lonely eric and ‘i waste my time spoiling peoples fun because i dont have any’ michael types of people could not exist, that would be a great illusion, and now i have become just like them by this very comment! arg! lol, hypocrisy rules!!!

  • John

    That on itself does nit explain anything, I’m afraid.

  • JDoc

    You guys are all being ridiculous.
    Everyone is talking about how there are 7 eggs in the second picture and no one is talking about the GIGANTIC hole in the center.
    I think that the hole is an integral of the illusion and people should start looking at the whole illusion not just a part of it.
    I agree with post #9-Scott about the slight convex/concavity. If you look closely at the picture you can see that he is right.

  • Scott

    John’s got it right. The triangle parts do not have the same angles, so when you rearrange them you get the “missing” piece.

  • Moony920

    the L piece is simply a card that was moved

  • Toni

    it’s not overlaping, the 2 triangle pieces have switched places and the other pieces have shifted slightly to fill in spaces/

  • Bob

    Forget all the theories…I printed this out, and physically cut the pieces out. I can’t find any coverup of pieces or not straight lines. Try it..it is a great illusion, and my kids and I still haven’t figured out why it works….were DOES that hole come from?

    • none ur buisness

      easy, they slide the L shape down so that a new, smaller triangle is in the place of the big one in the right corner, and take the remaining upper piece of the big triangle that is showing from the L piece and add it to the other side, therefore the empty space is from the upper spot of the right handed triangle after sliding the L piece down, and sliding the now smaller piece of the upper right handed piece of the triangle to the other far left corner.

  • Bob

    Oh…I did figure out how to get from 8 to 7 eggs. ..as the pieces are re-aligned, the 7 eggs are all slightly larger than the original 8 eggs, and no bits are missing on the 7 – as you move one piece from it’s original position to the other, compare the size of egg piece it is replacing. But that still doesn’t explain the hole.

  • nadia


  • Spider

    I know EXACTLY how that one egg disappear. First of all, I agree with Bob. The size of each egg are slightly larger on picture B.

    Now, to make the egg disappear: you can clearly see that on picture A, two eggs are incomplete. Egg #3 (we’re counting from the left here) is missing a tiny chunk on the lower cut of the card, and egg #6 (which happens to be number 3 from the right) is missing a tiny chunk on the upper cut of the card. These missing chunks are so tiny that you don’t notice it at a glance.

    When the cards are rearranged, different upper parts of eggs are meeting different lower parts (hence making the eggs larger in size.) The missing upper chunk is meeting the missing lower chunk resulting in: VOILA, disappearing egg!

    To make it simple, when you cut a picture of 8 eggs horizontally into two cards, you should have 16 halves of eggs. Eight upper halves and eight lower halves. Count the halves in this picture. There are only 14 halves, which, in turn, would make 7 whole eggs when you rearrange them.

    Another thing I agree with Bob is: can’t figure out where the hole came from.

    • Coolio

      I figured it out in the same way, but I realised something else, but I don’t think it matters, but maybe to help anybody else trying to figure it out:

      1. The outline is thicker than the piece lines.
      2. The thickness of lots of lines on the L shape change.
      3. Because some pieces from the outline were moved away from the outline, there are thicker lines on the piece lines and some thinner lines on the outline.
      4. These lines do NOT LINE UP, which means that this could be why a gap is formed.

      However, I don’t think it would make a gap that big, so there must be another trick to it.

  • Spider

    Forgot to say… d’oh! Great one, Vurdlak! Great illusions as usual and great site! Keep it up and keep ‘em coming!

  • http://BowlingTracker.com BowlingTracker

    I’ve always been amazed at this type of illusion.

    If you notice, the bottom edge of the first is slightly concave. Where the triangles meet in the middle are slightly higher than a straight line drawn between the bottom two corners.

    If the second picutre, the bottom edge is slightly convex. The point where the triangles meet is slightly below a straight line drawn between the bottom two corners.

    This slight change adds area to the overall rectanglur looking shape. But it doesn’t add more material, therefore there’s a hole.


    • Coolio

      Awesome! :)

  • Spider

    CRRRRRAB! You’re right, BowlingTracker! So they’re not exactly perfect rectangles! The upper side is probably a perfect straight line, but the bottom side is definitely NOT! On both pictures! YOU’RE a genius!

  • Willy

    Hi, is very nice illusion, I dont ant to said how work(some peoble explained) but the big idea is thera are 2 illusions at the same time!! one is the egg disapear and the other is a hole appear!!!! one is visual and the otrer is physical!!!!! think in it …how many double illusions exist???

  • http://www.fredsmith456.webs.com FredFS

    Yeah, I agree with Spider, the “8″ eggs in the first picture are incomplete. However, that is where I disagree. Not only are three of the eggs incomplete, all the other ones are too. Each egg is missing a slice, and when you rearrange the pieces, the missing slices come together to make a missing egg.

    Also, it’s similar for the hole. Where I think it came from is that the whole picture is slightly shorter in the first picture, and in the second, it’s slightly longer. The extra length comes together to form a hole. I used a ruler, and the second arrangement is around 1mm longer.

  • Eric Schuler

    There were only 7 eggs to begin with. It was then cut into the shapes. Just look at the edges of the 8 eggs.

  • someone u dont know

    i dont get it…

  • anne

    Bob’s right. I noticed the eggs were larger in the 2nd pic, and there are 2 bits of egg missing in the 1st. So the area of the eggs must be the same in both.
    I think the only way this can be done is if the 2nd pic is very slightly deeper than the 1st, which accounts for the missing area in the hole.
    Just read Fred’s contribution. I’m sure he’s right!

  • wolfgangwild

    ok as far as i understand it the L piece is the key… because the recess created by the wider piece of the L bit is to short for the tail to fit it creates a gap…

    coupled with the fact that the smaller of the 2 triangles and the L shape have less surface area than the large triangle creates a void in the end result…

    as for the disappearing egg… all the eggs appear to be segregated… however there are 2 that arn’t cut… 2 missing pieces whilst these pieces seem insignificant in fact they are all that is…

    the large of the piece creating the void is accounted for but with nothing remaining at the top of where the egg would be and none at the bottom of where the gap is now created by the L piece… we are left to believe there are 7 eggs…

    when actually there wasn’t 8 to begin with

  • Simin

    Easy, third egg from the left does not have a lower edge (incomplete), which gives the illusion of no eggs in the second picture.

    If you draw the lower edge of that same egg and slice the picture up to arrange like the second picture, you’ll that edge sticking out in that cut out space.

  • Nicola

    There never were 8 eggs. Count the egg parts on the main picture then count the parts on the pieces. Each only has seven. The hole comes from the shapes being moved, not an illusion just maths! We are fooled into assuming the parts will go back together to form a complete picture when rearranged, but because we are using irregular shapes they will fit differently. The other thing we assume is the whole picture is a selection of shapes, but there is a main background and three shapes overlapped.
    Hope this sounds about right, it worked in my head!

  • Hunter

    One disappears because there is a piece missing from the 3rd and 6th egg on A. Those “half” eggs eventually take up some other egg bottoms and it makes one disappear

  • Tweety

    I get it

  • Bob

    I was making a post and then lost it. I see this is an old I found but I have the solution for the hole. First I agree that there is one less egg because 3 and 6 are missing a small portion and the remainder is placed in the other eggs making them slightly larger. The hole is because when the pieces are rearranged they make a picture slightly higher than the original (measure them on your screen). That slight amount times the width gives the square area of the hole.

  • Dave

    You are all missing it. Picture B with a hole cut into it is the original. Note 7 complete eggs and a hole. Rearranging the pieces gives you an 8th egg and “consumes” the area where there used to be a hole.

    • Coolio

      Ha! That’s stupid. That just reverses it. You shouldn’t even be trying to do these things if that’s where you’re coming to. It doesn’t matter which oe is the original, as long as the process flows from one to the other.

      it’s like saying this is not true:

      2 + 1 = 3


      1 + 2 = 3

      you’re saying something like this:

      1 + 2 = 3


      2 + 1 = 2.


  • Astrid

    Because in the first pic an egg was never there. You notice because above the line on the first pic part of the egg is missing which means everything below the line is just a picture.

  • im cool like that

    hey i will always stay by your side forever cause were better together! whoops! listening to ross lynch! srry pplz

  • Fujikoma

    There are 8 partial eggs on the top and 7 complete eggs on the bottom.

  • Phoenix gal

    If you look at the pic with seven eggs and the on with eight eggs, you’ll see that the seven eggs are slightly bigger. That’s where the missing egg is.

  • johnny_depp_fan

    I do not know how to solve this one, as I was never good at Mathematics, although I did pass it.