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By on May 12, 2010, with 93 Comments

magnet_slopes_optical_illusion_thumbIn this video below, miniature balls roll up the slopes just as if they were pulled by a magnet. This behavior seems impossible as it defies gravity, and the magnetic forces can’t help, as the balls are made of wood! I can assure you there are no fancy computer graphics. Just cardboard, glue, and some wooden balls. It’s a real scene, indeed!

This marvelous “piece of art” was created by Koukichi Sugihara, one of the top 10 finalists of the Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest in 2010. Hence, you can even grab some building instructions off of his website, and construct your very own Magnet-like Slopes. You’ll quickly realize how Koukichi achieved this effect, after seeing the video. What is actually happening is that the orientations of the slopes are perceived oppositely, and hence the descending motion is misinterpreted as ascending motion. What is so remarkable about this illusion, is that it is entirely generated by a three-dimensional solid object and physical motion, instead of a two-dimensional picture.

  • Care Bear

    Cover it with snow and we can all go skiing.

  • Xaver

    Really really great illusion. I thought that it has to do with the point of view… but I had never expectet that the real object is that complicated! Amazing

  • Cyn

    lol there’s a way to mess with my head before I’ve had coffee! This one was wild. I had sorted out intellectually how he had done it fairly quickly, but until he turned it around I just couldn’t see it.


  • Me

    OMG! It’s so cool!

  • Draco

    Too Cool!

  • rd


  • Carl

    That is one of the best illusions you’ve posted in a long time. Great find.

  • aytee

    very cool

  • Living Sound

    One of the best!! Stunning.

  • Fred

    This is an excellent illusion, reinforcing the notion that you can’t always trust what you think you are seeing.

  • SkinnytheSkinner

    well, I knew from previous experience that it was just a point of view illusion, and that the balls were actually descending, but I just couldn’t see it until he turned it around.

  • popesantaxiv

    Oh man that is so SICK!!!

  • Barb

    I loved it. Thank you.

  • edthedish


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Haviland/100000657164709 Richard Haviland

    By far one of the best posted. I have no idea how it was done. It just blew my mind when he lifted the mini ramps. I am anxious to see more comments and opinions as to how it was done. Yes indeed!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hanna-Bouma/1791674375 Hanna Bouma

    That is so cool! First I thought: It has to be done like this. But then I changed my mind, turns out it wás done like that, but just a little different! Awesome :D

  • mage_cat

    Amazing, even though I knew how it worked I couldn’t see it!

  • Chris

    it was obvious that it was slanted, but how do u position it and what angle do u put the camera at?

  • Awesome Anonymous

    this is AWESOME cool trippy amazing and can fall under the ILLUSIONS category. no offense but a lot of these pictures and stuff just arent illusions. not that they arent cool. but this is an illusion site so im just saying.i love this site though and it is awesome.

  • nockgeneer

    A favourite.

  • Digit

    What can I say ??? A W E S O M E ! ! !

  • http://www.myspace.com/kaspaxxx Andrew

    the more marbles he puts on the more you can see the difference in the slopes lengths

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Barrett/100000548389444 Patrick Barrett

    how does that work!its awesome!

  • cin


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Colin-Hoult/1173532912 Colin Hoult

    Brilliant. One of the best illusions yet.

  • http://terra-wah.deviantart.com/ Terra

    Absolutely one of the best illusions I have ever seen.

  • FLEA

    Very cool! In my hometown, there really was a hill like this. We called it Magnetic Hill; when you drove along it, you could take your foot off the gas and it seemed like you were being pulled uphill, but it was actually a downwards slope. Natural illusions for the win!! xD

  • mikayla

    it is a magnet!!!

  • Cudel


  • anonymous

    i knew it was gonna be something like that, but for some strange reason i still cant see through the illusion.

  • Joop Van Dijk

    Really cool!

  • Monxy

    I knew that there was something like it, but I couldn’t see it. Great illusion though.

  • Jess

    thats amazing :D

  • tony

    Love it!!!

  • anonymous


  • Abbey

    I was beggining to doubt this website, but that is a great illusion! Brilliant!

  • Jilly

    this is AWESOME, ………..awsome, I love this…..I thought that the movement must be downward, but I couldnt imagine how xD…….until I saw the whole video

  • Valerie

    WOW! That is fantastic. I wasn’t expecting that, it has messed with my head. Will I be able to believe anything I see again? Best Illusion ever, really clever.

  • Emma

    That’s so so cool!

  • Rawr I eat Cookies


  • galloots

    soooooooooooo sick

  • Brooks

    The overwhellming power of mis direction due to manipulating perspective cues is trully awsom in this illusion [wow!} and over such a short lengty or distance ( the “ramps” see to be just a few centimeters long.) One of the strongest perceptul mis cue and contour illusions I have seen.


    Ya FLEA straight up man I’ve been on that hill too. soo sick. Ya. This is a good illusion tho fo sho, kinda wish my driveway was like that…

  • Jimmy Slater

    Now THAT is sweet..

  • Seoane


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Levy/100000498952391 Chris Levy

    very nice M8 so simply but all so Brillant
    Thank you :-D

  • Tinker

    that was freakin stupifieing!

  • Alfred Hadfield

    Hi Koukichi.really great ,totally blew my mind ,can i share the vid with others :-) absolute knock out ,

  • Nikolai Scheel

    i know how they did it.
    the slopes are actually low in the middle and high in the edges. they just put the camera angle in a clever position.

    very well done. aw, who am i kidding, it was

  • Nikolai Scheel

    i figured it out from the picture before i saw the video. the slopes actually go down to the middle.

  • Ed

    This is simply amazing!!! What a great achievement! Koukichi is a f*cking genius!

  • whatever

    they should sell that and make tons of money XD

  • akki

    amazing video
    this one is awesome, one of the greatest illusion structure

  • Erick B. Coria

    It is beyond cool, is amazing, extraordnary!

  • http://www.tattoosfromgrease.com Grease

    WOW, amazing…
    That is one of the best..
    Love to make one of them!

  • a

    obviously it just is slightly tilted towards the camera…..

  • Scott

    a says:
    May 16, 2010 at 8:15 am
    obviously it just is slightly tilted towards the camera…..

    No, it’s an illusion of shading of paper on the base that makes it look like the middle post is higher than the outer ones tricking our brains to think that the ramps are slanted up toward the middle rather than down.

  • http://www.abercrombie-usa.com abercrombie fitch

    So exciting,it is so fun.

  • Matsie

    that was mad!!! props Koukichi you are a legend

  • Someone


  • JMAN12

    I cant see the vid!! But it is awesome!!!LLLLLLOOOOOLLLLL!!!

  • Massive Marbles


  • Janmanni

    Great illusion! About the same principle as in this excellent illusion: http://www.moillusions.com/2006/03/dragon-illusion.html

  • Why would I tell u?

    ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!!!! by far the best illusion i’ve seen for a while. AND it’s a 3D shape, unlike most

  • barb

    Ummm they are magnetized….??? so whats so great?

    • oooo

      retard they aren’t magnatized watch the video

  • Gman

    SICK. Really awesome. And no, they are not magnetized. Watch the whole video, stupid.

  • Carissa Morse


  • prin09

    They are not magnetized because they are made of wood. The balls are descending, but the slopes are at an angle so it looks like they are ascending.

  • kiran

    nice……..but booooooring

  • Kawaii-Ningyo

    This Japanese name or surnameee! xD! Illusion is very very nice and strange :) Sugihara-sama :)

  • dragon fire 3000

    THAT IS SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    If you know engineering drawing, then this is not an illusion.

  • person with no name as far as u no

    this is epic lol it looks impossible almost =3

  • mitch

    This reminds me of the toy where you try to get a ball to roll “up” 2 rails that that can be manipulated at slightly non-parallel angles

  • Lupeboko

    if someone knows the title of the song used in this video, pls tell me!!!! pls i love it!

  • Katie

    They used this optical illusion to explain “Magnetic Hill” in New Brunswick where people believed that when they drove down the hill then put their cars in neutral at the bottom, their cars were rolling backwards up the hill, when really they were rolling downwards… Check it out on youtube.com ;)

  • shazz

    Damn…that is nice stuff

  • yasirmalik


  • Lanney

    Here’s something really similar and like this.

  • pop

    that was absolutly awesome

  • Ryebread

    That is so cool. I gotta do that

  • Everyone



    This is the reason why i want to move to japan.

  • mark schaefer



    OMG I can’t believe it! I <3 OPTICAL ILLUSIONS!

  • Lulahoop

    Fantastic illusion! One of the best I’ve seen so far! :D

  • Mat

    Can you download something which teaches you how to make that?

  • GenCat

    mind = BLOWN

  • I

    calm down. its just cardboard/paper!

  • Ali

    It may be a three dimensional solid object but what is helping here most is the 2D representation on a flat screen. The perception must be entirely different when the eyes have the entirely three dimensional object placed in entirely normal environment

  • Nik Sis

    One of the coolest illusions!

    But what I really like in this video is its music!
    Even music has a mystery tone!

    Does anybody know its origin/composer?

    I would be grateful.

  • jojo

    its the p.o.v they want you to see