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By on June 19, 2012, with 30 Comments

The Thatcher effect or “Thatcher illusion” is a phenomenon where it becomes difficult to detect changes in an upside down face, despite identical changes being obvious in an upright face. It is named after British former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on whose photograph the effect has been most famously demonstrated (this illusion was originally created by Peter Thompson). Below you can see the effect in action, this time it’s even more astonishing! Be sure to keep in mind that the right portrait is the very same picture you see on your left!

Thatcher Effect Optical Illusion

These images were taken by Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm for the new Dove Campaign

Thatcher Effect Optical Illusion

And here’s what you get when you rotate the above picture 180 degrees. Amazing, isn’t it? Be sure to head over to F-Stoppers to see the animated gif. You’ll need to see it few times before you can believe it yourself.

Thatcher Effect Optical Illusion


30 Responses
  1. Diane says:

    Thanks 4 those links looks totalt spooky .

    • Diane says:

      di you may be dyslexic ,Still no hope for you if You cant TYP totally right even with your Encarta ;-)

  2. Aeros says:

    Im freaking out man!

  3. Karen says:

    Creepy people!!

  4. RamRod says:

    Good One! This is a perfect example of the kind of freaky thing that keeps us coming back to check out the “illusion of the day”.

  5. AmetuerAspirant says:

    i just love these kinds of illusions. they’re the hardest to break just staring at it because it plays with your sense of anatomy.

  6. Care Bear says:

    Thanx a lot for the nightmare fodder.

  7. kate says:

    Whoa cool!

  8. eee efff geee says:

    NO… I don’t want to see the Animated Gif

  9. those people are scary…..

  10. melanie massie says:

    i’d hate to wake to those people!!!

  11. Daz says:

    I could not believe my eyes or the site, so copied the image myself flipped over the image and….”BOOM” freaks appear, flip it back and they disappear.

    Really is a strange visual phenomenon.

  12. mycaricature says:

    well done!

  13. joe says:

    I though it was pretty obvious. I want to say they just flipped the eyes and the lips around.

  14. why me!?!? says:

    SCARY!!!! :O

  15. Elliott says:

    “Be sure to keep in mind that the right portrait is the very same picture you see on your left!” Not possible…her wisp of hair goes to the right in one picture and the left in the other.

    • joe says:

      they might have just flipped and mirrored it, it’s still the same image.

    • spelling corrector says:

      thats because they fliped the picture and turned it around if u flip it and turn it the right way up it is the same pic but with different eyes and mouths

    • spelling corrector says:

      also known as a miror image

    • ScarletAngel says:

      Elliott, you’re right! The pictures aren’t the same. Upside down mirror negative image?? I can’t believe I wanted to look up a health issue and two hours later I landed on this site. It’s addicting!

  16. eric says:

    nah – thats totally believable
    when i used to draw i noticed – everything looks better upsidedown

  17. Tanya says:

    The eyes and mouth have been turned upside down.

  18. jose says:

    impresionante, amazing

  19. Paul says:

    @Elliot, your mistake is assuming the image is flipped on the vertical axis instead of the horizontal. The photo is UPSIDE DOWN not LEFTSIDE RIGHT. Try saving teh image and manipulating it 4 yourself and you will see that they are identical.

    BTW, what an amazing effect! Our brains can’t accept the reality and try to normalise the image 4 us. It’s like our conservative brain doesn’t accept the reality (no offence Elliot) and alters it to something more appropriate. Wow!

  20. Kandi Kondisi says:


  21. Joesmokabo says:

    Really weird.

  22. Lili Bucket says:

    It is obvious with a few minutes of studying it. The eyes and mouth are upside down. For example, if you read something with mistakes in it, your brain tries to correct it without you really “knowing”. You have to read it out loud to find them. Our brain is working in the same way here. It is connecting how we normally see people, with correct eyes and mouths. Our brain is just like auto-correct.

  23. Derpy says:

    Dis is creepy.

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