Two Simple To See

Here are two simple ones I got hold of today. It would be shame to pass them, despite their easy explanation and visual simplicity. When you look at the first one, you immediately think of letter E. But why is that? None of the lines presented depict letter E even closely! Our brain immediately presumes this is something known to us, and tries to connect the shadowy outlines with the known symbol. What if we were born in a society where this symbol wasn’t used, and is nowhere to be seen at all? Could we then see the lines without making presumption of what they represent? Can you force yourself just to see some random lines instead of E? Try it! For the other one, it depends how you look at it – you can either see remains of an apple, or two faces looking at each other? So which one is it?


113 Replies to “Two Simple To See”

  1. Actually I didn’t see the “E” until you pointed it out lol! Just saw these lines and was trying to figure out what the heck I was supposed to be looking at/for.

  2. Same. I didn’t see the E, but now its obvious. Good illusion though, makes out something is there when it clearly isn’t

  3. yea just like brent, i didnt understand the ‘E’ thing. it looked more like the psp logo.

    as for the apple core, that’s easy. its 2 faces looking at each other, just like the vase.

  4. I do a lot of lettering, and have done this kind of “reverse shadow” lettering, where only two sides of a letter are visible to give the illusion of shallow relief, for 30 years or more. That said, I did not immediately see the “E” form and saw only the discrete lines. Funny how our brain works, but I’m thinking that the inclusion of the apple/faces illusion made me see the lines as disconnected. (Letters I address using this form of lettering ALWAYS make it to their destination, so it isn’t that difficult to see for adults, but kids have more trouble with it.)

  5. I immedately saw the E.
    Unitil I read the description I thought there was no illusion at all, just a boring letter E…

    Then I was having a hard time figuring out that it was just 3 unconnected lines giving us an impression of a letter.

  6. I think the E illusion wouold fall under the concept of perceptual constancy. The other looks more like two faces – the lines are too smooth for bite marks.

  7. Honestly, at first, I didn’t see the E letter (but I saw the apple and the face), but something that look like a “weird happy face”. But since I’ve spot the E, it’s hard not to see it ^^.

  8. Ohh, I see how think of it as an ‘E’. If you stare absent-mindly the lines look like a shadow of an ‘E’. It is really amazing actually. Lol.

  9. I tried with both eyes and then one eye only and still no E. I’ve changes angle and everything else, no E.

  10. If you look at the white section that’s within the apparent E you see the E, but if you look at the black lines you see LzZ :-)

  11. i believe that’s called subjective contour. our brain connects the dots. i have always loved this illusion!

  12. Saw the E first, because thats what I looked at first. Saw the two faces in the apple next. I guess everything is based on what our minds are trained to see. Yes indeed, yes indeed.

  13. It would seem I am not the only one that didn’t see the “E” until it was mentioned. I only registered lines. But as for the apple a saw both illusions right away…

  14. Interestingly, I see the E when I look with one eye. It doesn’t matter which.

    The E immediately goes away when I open the other. After a moment, it comes back into the scene.

    Oh- and I didn’t know it was an E until I saw the explanation of the illusion.

  15. Hey Vurdlak,

    I really thought the “E” was just a bunch of random lines at first.

    Also, please cool it with the hyperlinks. They just clutter up the page and link to almost random illusions. Save them for actual links to artists or installations.

  16. I had to look really hard to see the E, and the faces looking at each other. All I saw originally was a bunch of random lines and an apple core!

  17. Never saw the E, and still cannot see it. The first image is just 3 random lines that doesn’t resemble anything. And isn’t the second one a bit old..classic?

  18. i thought it was just a bundle of random lines, then when you said it was an e, i figured it out. i can see both the apple and the faces in the other one. it reminds me of that illusion with the vase and the faces…

  19. i am so surprised to c all the post above…i saw the letter “E” as soon as i saw that picture, and was facing difficulty in figuring out only de lines… good though

  20. I saw the letter E even before I read the article. Basically stenciling is a form of writing and this is perhaps a style not an illusion. Maybe if you had it in different shape and indicated that this was letter E, it would have appeared to be an illusion. Sorry this is not an illusion but more a stencil art.

  21. they are both simple and cool.

    i saw the e first, and i saw the two faces first.

    i really like these illusions.

  22. same here. no E until i read it…flawed perhaps? its cause its not really shading i think. if it was more like light to dark maybe it’d be easier to see the E.

  23. I saw it as lines, then realised it could also be an E. Once you see the E it’s really hard to go back!
    Great illusion, I love these simple ones.

  24. I saw the E immediately and I can’t unsee it. I thought!

    If you tilt your head 90 degrees you can see the lines again. :)

  25. i love love love it!
    as a great illousinist i would say to that if you tebce your eyes you can see tyhe e!

  26. Good one with the E! Amazing how are brain works like this. I can see the face on the left but not on the right of the apple core?

  27. “I immedately saw the E.
    Unitil I read the description I thought there was no illusion at all, just a boring letter E…”

    Same here!!

  28. I saw the E but then it changed to lines then back to E then back to lines and so on…The apple one looks like to white faces in front of an apple to me…

  29. yea i didnt see the E till u pointed it out, and with the other one i saw both without reading the last part.

  30. Yes I saw the E right away but if you look again you will see an F in the interior. Turn it sideways and see L Z Z.

  31. I saw the E immediately, and can by no means stop to see it.
    If these are two faces, they’re wearing very funny hats! :D
    (Just kidding, I knew it before)

  32. I feel so much better after reading all the comments from people who DID NOT see the E, as was my experience! I was thinking there must be something wrong with my brain to have missed it. I too wondered what relationship those lines had, compeletly missing the block E. Whew!! that’s a relief!

  33. i saw the E right away and couldnt help but seing it, when it was quite a bit smaller on my windows gadet but when i opened it up to the full web page i could break it down and just see the lines

  34. if you cross your eyes whil looking at the “E” then it looks like random lines of some forein language.

  35. i thought the E had the “-_-” face that’s flipped to the right.. and then i slowly recognised the E. very cool!

  36. I saw the E instantly, and the faces and the apple simultaneously. (early exposure to vase/face)

    I can’t see the E as simple black lines, but when I try to see it that way it turns into Tetris blocks.

  37. I only saw it as three objects but when it was pointed out to be an “E” I know find it difficult not to see it as an E anymore. It takes real concentration to separate the lines again. Funny.

  38. I didn’t see the E but now I do I can’t stop seeing the E, depends where I focus on the apple as to what I see. simple but brilliant

  39. i cant really see the E it looks like lines to me but i got the apple/faces immediately.. had to read the description for the E though :)

  40. I saw the E right away as many did and I was able to concentrate and see only random lines. But my brain jumps right back to the E if I don’t force it not to. Very interesting. It’s almost like those fractal illusions where you see a smattering of chaos and if you unfocus your eyes a 3-D image appears.
    The apple faces is a lot like the old candlestick illusion, which gets repeated. I like that the faces are not symmetrical.

  41. E – 3 D is really good , i could never figure it out properly . Whereas apple was very clear of two faces staring at each other.

  42. I didn’t immediately see the E for some reason, but as soon as I saw it, I couldn’t turn it back into three innocent lines.

  43. oww i see it noew there is an aplle who has sharp theeth and its like a monster and there is a litle lybrint next to it nicee

  44. If you are having trouble NOT seeing the E, try tilting your head to the left and focus on seeing an “L” and two “Z”s and once you see those slowly turn your head upright while concentrating on the LZZ. Once you are upright you shouldn’t see letters any more just lines.
    Try it!

  45. Did not see the E until I read the text. Only the power of suggestion lead me in that direction.

    Does this mean I’m a psychopath?

  46. I don’t see the E at all. Even after trying I just can’t make out an E. It reminds me of a maze, slightly, but that’s about it.

  47. I didn’t see E until I read the article, I was wondering why one was an illusion while the other wasn’t

  48. actually i couldn’t figure out what those lines were till u told me it was an “E”. Now that is all I can see. :(

  49. wow i saw the faces in the apple straight away i stared at the otherone for at least 30 seconds and had no idea. untill i read the blurb lol

  50. I saw just the lines first then I read your explanation and saw the letter E. Now I cant see the lines only the E

    The apple core/two faces reminded my of the vase/two faces.

  51. I didn’t see an “E” and I had to read the description to understand the lines and finally see it!!! o_0
    I see both the face and the apple remains at once.

  52. It is said that not seeing the “E” right away, your brain is thinking with its “verbal” side. The opposite is for those that see it right away, your brain is thinking with its “non-verbal” side. I could not see the “E” right away, I actually had to like move to one side of the screen to see it.

  53. I had to force myself to see the E , I had only seen the lines at first , until I read your description then had to try hard to see the E

  54. it seems that most people didn’t see the E first, FAIL, lol :D Me neither. I didn’t even see the E after i read the description, then after looking at it for a while i realized the “E” in it :D the other one is just way too easy

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