Tunnelvision Mural Illusion

One of our fans, Kelsays emailed us this wonderful mural painted by artist who calls himself “Blue Sky”. This mural called “Tunnelvision” can be found on Agfirst Bank in Columbia, SC. Apparently, as the sun lowers in real life, the setting sun also sets in the mural, somehow! Jump inside this post for more info & don’t forget to post your thoughts regarding how this “setting sun effect” works! Also check out our previous mural illusions: “Murals”, “3D Street Art Murals” and “More Amazing Murals”.


Downtown Business District

Taylor and Marion Streets Columbia, SC 29201

“Tunnelvision is an unbelievably realistic mural painted in 1975 by artist Blue Sky on the wall of the AgFirst Farm Credit Bank. It portrays a highway disappearing through a mountain tunnel and is so life-like that viewers are tempted to drive in. AgFirst Farm Credit Bank commissioned Blue Sky to design a sculpture to commemorate the 25th anniversary of “Tunnelvision”. The sculpture, “Busted Plug Plaza”, is located on the Taylor side of the bank’s property. A second mural, Light at the end of the Tunnel, is located at Hampton and Bull Streets. The mural represents the world on the other side of the tunnel in Tunnelvision.” Visit Blue Skye’s new website for more info on Tunnelvision!

42 Replies to “Tunnelvision Mural Illusion”

  1. The sun sets at different points on the horizon depending upon what time of year it is. The only way the mural could have a sun set at the same time as the real is through the use of mirror(s) or a pinpoint at a distance (similar to how one can see an eclipse on a piece of paper)

  2. The sky in the mural could be partially see-through, allowing only very bright lights (the sun) through, though the sun does look painted to me.

  3. Thats crazy, i just stumbled upon this site, and this “optical illusion” is in my home town, in fact i pass it every day on the way to work. The sun is painted and shows up the same all times of the day, but it is this crazy neon orange… its amazing.

  4. I have a few things to say:
    1) I would walk into that… ow…
    2) I like it, its pretty cool. Especialy the sun thing.
    3) The tunnel seems kind of depressing, though the other side looks happy. Is it a grass is greener kind of thing?

  5. There’s no “setting sun effect” at all ! The image of the sun in the painting have been added after the 3rd snapshot have been taken.
    Actually, Blue Sky restored this painting 4 or 5 times, each time adding some elements.
    Whatever, this painting is wonderfull !

  6. is the car in the first one real or n the painting i think it looks like its real and its about to run into the wall

  7. The sun in this painting is an orange light behind a transluscent membrane. Although it does not appear as bright in the daytime as as night, it is always visible.

    By the way, although Sky is credited with “Busted Plug Plaza”, the actual 40′ aluminum hydrant was designed and built by two very experienced fabricators (combined experience of over 40 years) based on a 14″ cardboard model. Even the concept for the model was not entirely Sky’s, but was arrived at through consultation with one of the fabricators and a consulting architect.

  8. I would be the idiot who finally destroyed the mural because i would ram my car in there thinking it was real…and from the above mentioned *meep meep*

    Roadrunner…I loved that show.

  9. I can assure you all that this mural is not the sort of thing you could confuse with a real tunnel, even without depth perception. I happen to go by this place a lot.

  10. The reason why the sun is not seen on every picture is simple:

    These are three different wall paintings. As the text says, the original picture was drawn in 1975. It seems that a few artists have copied the original painting in different locations. And in some of these copies a sun has been added.

    You can also see a lot of differences in the pictures, that give proof to this theory. For example the first picture has no black and white stripes in the left back of the tunnel

  11. OMG I thought the illusion was it looked like a house not a tunnel i thought it actually was a tunel omg thts incredible!

  12. Oh damn :D When I first looked at it i thought it was real but then I read the text and realized it’s just painted :D Awesome!

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