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By on September 22, 2011, with 18 Comments  

Kahla Glasheen has been following this site each day for a couple of years now. One thing Kahla noticed is that we never featured one particular historical illusion – a poster Nestle created for their Nescafe coffee. After little research, it turns out this poster originates all the way back in 1930s. The illusion is intuitive, and in fact you should be ablre notice it quite easily. Yet the beauty and simplicity of the poster is what I really liked about it!

One thing that surprised me was your reception of our recent cinemagraph illusion. I thought you’ll be astonished, mesmerized, surprised even, yet it seems I was wrong. The difference between simple animated .gif files and cinemagraphs is not easily distinguishable. However, having more luck than taste, seems I wasn’t so wrong after all. Some of our users noticed that this “Psycho” illusion holds another well hidden easter egg inside it – a frame featuring some sort of skull-ish X-ray layer, one that isn’t so obvious.

Have to admit, I never noticed this before! It’s such a shame you didn’t react positive on cinemagraph illusions, as I had few of them lined up to be published soon. The beauty behind them should lye in the fact that only single detail gets animated, while rest of the photo stays just what it is – a still photo. Apparently it takes lots of time to create them. Check out this gallery and see if I can change your opinion ;D

By on September 20, 2011, with 19 Comments  

Seems when M. C. Escher created his famous lithograph Ascending and Descending (all the way back in 1960.), he didn’t have a slightest clew how many people will get inspired by this exceptional deceiving work! Just look how cute R. Watson’s escher-inspired Lego Penrose turned out to be!

But what I also think, is that it couldn’t hurt encouraging your little toddlers to try and construct something similar on their own! Not only will you motivate them to “mathematically” analyze the 3D space, they will also learn the beauty behind optical illusions, and educate themselves while doing it! When Escher chose to construct this deception, he placed the staircase on the roof of a building and structured the building to convey an impression of conformity to strong (but inconsistent) vanishing points. He has the right vanishing point higher than the left one.

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By on September 17, 2011, with 133 Comments  

With a little help from Jemish Dave, I stumbled across a unique technique that left me mesmerized. Ever seen something like this below? Quit reading this text and check the illusion attached. How long does it take you before you notice what it hides? After you checked the illusion out, you may PROCEED reading – don’t cheat!….. Has it surprised you? It may take some time for these things to load, and it also depends on type of connection and speed of your interface for the effect to happen seamlessly, though! If you want to know, these things are called cinemagraphs (little different than stereoscopic images we already showed). Creating a cinemagraph photo is not as simple as it may appear. Some of them took their authors entire day to make, but as you see the results are breathtaking. Cinemagraph is a technique of blending the effects of images and videos. Some of them can end up quite exciting, funny or extremely creative. It might take few seconds for them to fully load, so be patient and watch carefully!

By on September 15, 2011, with 16 Comments  

I see some of you had trouble seeing the illusory colors in our latest optical illusion animation. At first I was puzzled why some of you have trouble seeing the illusion, while it worked flawlessly for the others. Then I noticed (by accident) how some browsers and computers (or mobile configurations) play the attached gif animations slower than others. I believe this is the reason why it didn’t work for everyone! The spinner needs to spin very fast in order for you to see the illusory colors. Luckily user called Jo attached the YouTube video inside one of his comment, where you can see how the illusion should behave under the normal circumstances.

Anyhow, I prepared two entertaining optical illusion constructions for you today. It’s nothing we haven’t seen already, but I believe how the beauty of both paintings makes them worthy showcasing here. Can you see the illusion yourselves? Can you see where one column starts and the other ends? I always liked this sort of illusions, no matter if it involved elephant legs, soldiers or pencils… Hope you will enjoy these as much as I have!

By on September 13, 2011, with 107 Comments  

This is one of my childhood’s favorite visual illusions, one you could literally have spent hours playing with! Unfortunately, back then I wasn’t aware it was invented by C.E. Benham, and that it already had a name – Benham’s Disk.

It was pretty popular back in the “old days”, as you could easily make your own unique spinner using nothing but piece of cardboard, a pencil and a toothpick! So what is so special about it? In 1894, toymaker Mr. C.E. Benham discovered that a spinning disk with a particular pattern of black and white marks could cause people to see colors! Mr. Benham called his disk an Artificial Spectrum Top and sold it through “Messrs, Newton and Co.”

Benham’s Top (or Benham’s Disk) has puzzled scientists for over 100 years. Let’s see if the spinning black and white disk can fool you into seeing some colors?! Do you think you can understand why is this happening? At some point, you should also be able to see a radiation warning sign inside the spinner!

By on September 11, 2011, with 23 Comments  

Let’s see what we have prepared for you today… User called Yep submitted an interesting picture in somewhat unconventional way – Using our recently added function (where you can now attach photos inside your comments) Yep proposed we publish “Dancing Stars” in one of our next updates. I’m not 100% sure if we had this one already, but you have to admit that the effect it provides is really memorable. Just like the Ouchi illusion from few days ago, dancing stars below start to wiggle as soon as your eyes begin to wander across the screen. BTW, notice how the rectangle shapes appear slightly slant, even though they actually aren’t?

By on September 9, 2011, with 21 Comments  

Each time I post another item to our skull illusions section, I pledge myself it was the last time I did so (as they usually work in pretty much the same way). I fear if I over-bomb you with similar illusions you’ll soon grow tired of them, thus stop visiting this monumental website. However, running a decent “Skull Illusions” category wouldn’t be it without including this beautiful series of charcoal drawings by Tom French, an artist who has been greatly inspired by Charles Allan Gilbert’s optical illusion entitled All Is Vanity (1892). I promise,  there will be no more skull illusions for some time now ;D Be sure to check Tom’s homepage for more awesome pencil drawings!

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By on September 7, 2011, with 30 Comments  

This optical illusion carpet, spotted in a Paris video game store provides an illusion of vortex floor. The effect is achieved by printing bent lines in according manner, just like what we have already seen in Apple exec’s garden. Not only does this carpet messes with your mind, it might also help you actually to trip while trying to walk across it! Can you see the floor on below photo as flat, which it actually is? Didn’t think you could!

Illusion Carpet in The Game Store