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By on January 30, 2011, with 83 Comments

Martin Luther King once said: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” As Deceptology blog mentioned, the problem is that too many people think his words are an illusion. Unless we look deeper, we may find that much of what we think is true is not true. For instance, the words in the photograph above are not the exact words spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr. You may only think they are his exact words. Can you determine why is his text another optical illusion featured on this site? How about if I give you a slight clue?

Martin Luther Kings Speech


83 Responses
  1. SteveRiese says:

    Nicely done!

  2. ZL123 says:

    I have a dream that one day day this nation will rise up and and live out the true meaning of of its creed: “We hold these truths to to be self-evident, that all men are are created equal.”

    What I wrote.

  3. SDER says:

    It’s pretty obvious, the last word of each line is repeated in the next line. “I have a dream that one day day this nation…”

  4. WD3k says:

    Wow. That is truly amazing! I fooled my whole family!

  5. Jupiter says:

    Its amazing how the brain will skip over double words like that. Took me a moment to realize it and actually read each word to see the last word of each sentence is doubled again at the beginning of the next sentence.

  6. Well this would be true only if you knew the exact words of the speech right?

  7. layne says:

    wow thats awesome!!! the last word in each row is repeated againg as the first word in each row

  8. Rahowa says:

    That is about the dumbest thing I have seen on here . I love this site but , the wordplay doubles thing is a bit elementary for the level of optical illusion normally seen on here . Were you just trying that hard to find something for James Earl Ray day ?

    • RADIOMAN says:

      Not only is Rahowa’s post insulting, it is revealing of the fact this person is:
      A.- Bigoted
      B.- Racist
      C. Even more ignorant than he accuses our host of being.

      It is further revealing of the fact this nations still has very far to go in regards to treating everyone equal

  9. bluepool says:

    that’s one slippery text!

  10. Buckyball says:

    easily fooled, nicely done

    I see another illusion, seems like the people are pooring from his sleeve :-)

    • Proudmmy777 says:

      Wow, Buckyball,

      It really does look like the people are pooling from his arm. In fact, once I saw it, it took me a moment to realize what was actually going on. Thanks for pointing that out.

  11. Martijn says:

    This one did not work for me, maybe it’s because I am not an American.

  12. josephine says:

    the slight clue really helped!

  13. Proudmmy777 says:

    Woops, I meant to say “pouring”.

  14. Alex says:

    Well if you take out the double words it illustrates a whole diffrent message

  15. Froscas says:

    I can’t understand why people don’t notice the double words at once… I guess it is because my native language is not English… or maybe because I didn’t live the war for american civil rights?

  16. T.storey says:

    maybe the mike is echoing.lol

  17. Unknown by most people Martin Luther King had a had a slight stutter :-))

  18. Phillip says:

    I got it right off the bat.

  19. obamas butt wipe says:

    it took me about 5 mins

  20. rad says:

    I thought that the illusion is about him releasing some gases (trees) from his sleeve ;D

  21. a person says:

    thats so cool

  22. Menno says:

    You cought me there!
    I started to read the comments to find out what the illusion was and then I saw the double words indeed.

  23. OvExX says:

    got all the double words in the first read.. but the first.. day day…

  24. Courtney Rafter says:

    damn it! lol I did it again!

  25. Selma Cahtarevic says:

    Day.Day..human mind doesn’t recognise the double word??

  26. Brandy Espy says:

    huh I didn’t see it the first time I read it. Seems like it should have been easy to spot

  27. maddie says:

    niiiceee i like it

  28. Goeny says:

    Quite annoying imo.
    I noticed the double words immediatly. Was very annoying to read.
    I actually clicked the picture in the iGoogle page to see what was the illusion. I just thought it was a silly text with double words.

  29. skylark says:

    can you tell us why film-production creed rules in China must change?

  30. Kathy McCormick says:

    I must just weird because I noticed the double words right off and was initially confused by it thinking that somebody made a a mistake.

  31. Slammer says:

    Ha I really like this this illusion. The cool thing is is it does’t even have to be in in that paragraph form, just normal sentences seem to to work fine. I wonder if if it works with any words, or just simple, short, everyday words. It’s be an interesting interesting thing to do a study on on or something. BTW your site has had a vast vast number of vistitors! Awesome!

  32. Marcelo GONZALEZ says:

    Lachman (1984) and Miles (1991):


    Not an illusion, but short words skipped from fixation analysis while reading.

    Sorry my english…!

  33. Janelle McDermott says:

    didn’t notice the double in the small window, thought the optical illusion was the trees and people sprouting from his shirt sleeve!

  34. John H Hinckley says:

    a bit of bottom feeding using this very old, old, trick if you ask me.

  35. Kelsey Thornton says:

    Nice one.
    I think for non-native English speakers it may have been easier to spot, as they may actually read every word, but us native speakers don’t read the words.
    This is shown by research at Cambridge University (the original one) where tehy sohw taht as lnog as the frist and lsat lteter of a wrod are crorcet and all the rgiht letetrs are trehe we wlil be albe to raed and udnesrntad waht is wtrtien.

    It was also suggested that being “not American” or “didn’t live the war for american civil rights” might have made a difference.
    I am neither American nor lived through the “war” mentioned, but know the illusion.

    I wonder if it works in other languages too? It has been suggested that the scrambled letters does. Maybe I should try something similar on my Dutch colleagues? :)

  36. Marion Black says:

    At first I only noticed the last pair of double words. I had to look again to see that they occurred on every line.

  37. ohmygosh says:

    you know, if you read this out loud you’ll notice immediately

  38. zak says:

    this is easy

  39. William says:

    Thank you MOIllusions, now I got an excuse for when I accidentally make a double-word mistake in my homework…

  40. Mark P says:

    Once I saw that there were words, I knew exactly what to look for.

  41. Jessica says:

    Even when I am looking out for the double word, I still miss it- always a great illusion

  42. Barbarella says:

    I hate this stuff and I always notice it. Remember those tests to count the occurrence of the letter “f” in a paragraph? Same sort of thing…your mind notices or doesn’t notice certain aspects of written language.

  43. KHN says:

    I find things that play with your head, like this one, to be quite fascinating.

  44. Bryce says:

    As a copy editor, I saw this in a fraction of a second.

  45. Voigt_Meister says:

    Am I getting too old? How could I have missed the double words??

  46. ali says:

    I have fallen for these sorts before, but stumbled on “day day” immediately and was not fooled by the rest.

  47. Amazing illusion, but what else could we expect from such a great man?……..

  48. Mark Walton says:

    Cool, the clue is what told me, I had no idea until I was told -__-

  49. Jaryd Cool Cat Taylor says:

    i just checked the slight hint link, then i come back here and now i notice…….THE DOUBLES! that is so cool!

  50. liza says:


  51. The Thinker says:

    Actually, I must admit, it did take me quite a few times reading it to figure out what was wrong. Should I be ashamed that I failed to notice something so glaringly obvious or proud that my brain is skilled in self-correcting mistakes in writing, thus quickly understanding it as the writer intended (present situation excluded) it to be to communicated? Hmmmmm…

  52. sem says:

    … but some men created more equal than other

  53. Sean says:

    Our brain skip words that are the same. I couldn’t read the double words at first. after I reread, I realize the double words.

    bird in the
    the bush.

  54. anthony says:

    it was a very obvious use of words being doubled you’ll have to try harder. what people forget is that like any skill it can be trained and polished.as someone who reads a lot on many varied subjects, mistake’s or incongruities tend to stick out like a sore thumb.

  55. Mary says:

    I have used the ‘slight clue’, and some similar examples, when working with parents who want to learn how to help their children to read. It is used to point out that good readers do not read every word, especially at the end of the line.

  56. Angelgirl says:

    that is SO obvious! i saw it the minute i read it

  57. nonya says:

    i see it now

  58. Franco Miranda says:

    I had to read the clue to get it. VERY GOOD ILLUSION.


  59. me123987645 says:

    I’m kinda laughing at myself for not realizing some words are doubled I normally spot that kind of thing out!

  60. Chris says:

    This is like the “Birds and the Bees” puzzle.

  61. Shriya says:

    quite obvious for me…the word day is repeated:) it’s funny coz a while back I came across something similar but missed the repition!!

    • Detective Kitty says:

      When I read this, it reminded me of the if, trick…the how many F’s are in this sentence…and so I was able to read that instantly, noticing what was wrong.

  62. debolina mukherjee says:

    I got it right the first time. Because the words are associated with Martin luther King, whom I admire a lot , I was extra careful to read it right

  63. puniser says:

    aha ! got it

  64. Antonio says:

    Maybe for strangers which have native language other than English is not so hard. I realize double words instantly.

    Instead, I remember another words joke which asks the reader to count the number of “f” inside a three lines sentence. Most people (and I) find three occurrences, while indeed they are six: three instances of “of” at the end of lines were unsighted.
    Could someone retrieve the exact details of such game? Thanks.

  65. Mario_C. says:

    on the first time I read it, I spotted it out, its similiar to one that says “paris in the spring”

  66. Grace says:

    in the
    the spring

  67. Nikolaki8 says:


  68. mini_2 says:

    I love
    Paris in the
    the spring

  69. Moo says:

    There are 2 ” of ” in the text!

  70. Alli says:

    of,day,and,to, are are repeated twice in this phrase

    i had to read it a couple times to notice that

    kewl illusion

  71. Eliza says:

    you dare make fun of martin luther king jr.he changed the world.

  72. SmartGirl says:

    You are wrong!
    1. Day, day
    2. And, and
    3. Of, of
    4. To, to
    5. Are, are

  73. froggy says:

    i saw the doubles very quickly.

    so, to some people i am not a human.

    but i am human.

  74. Kingston says:

    Wow, I didn’t notice it at all! (until the slight clue, that is)

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