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By on November 22, 2011, with 58 Comments

Getting the answer to the question presented before you is a lot harder than you may originally perceive. Still, if I helped you out with some additional fun-facts, you might actually have a chance at cracking this. So, what we you should know is that the author behind this installation is Markus Raetez, person responsible for YES/NO ambiguous sculpture we featured recently. Markus has a great talent for ambiguous art, and also loves making a reference to every-day items in his creations. Playing around with Moillusions way of tagging and lurking file-names is a big no-no. It might help, but this would mean taking a shortcut, and we all know you can do better than that. If none of this helped, you might as well expand and reveal the solution anyway – like I care. But it would be interesting to learn if some of you actually came to conclusion on their own! (PS checking above hyperlinks might provide additional hint or two ;)

What is This?

What is This?


58 Responses
  1. san says:

    haha…really got me..

  2. Dani says:

    I have to see this in video because I’m having a hard time seeing how exactly the first picture becomes a pipe in a different angle!

  3. Gabe says:

    How is this an illusion?

  4. Slammer says:

    Never would have guessed it. Cool

  5. Sergio Ramos says:

    i was going to say a burnt slightly deformed potato chip. but for someone to come up with that answer outright? i dont think its possible.

    • Suor de Sapo says:

      Agree! Even after looking at the title of the picture I couldn’t see a pipe. It’s one of those 4D illusions – you have to change the point of view until reach the right angle. Yould be better if the first image was the hidden one followed by the answer: “What do you think is this?”, or “Are you sure this is a pipe?” and then the second picture would reveal it is NOT a pipe!

  6. mrboma says:

    Ok, so I will take your word that these are the same object, but I certainly can’t see it for myself. What angle are we looking at it on the top versus the bottom? Visual cues on the pedestal would help. Even more helpful would be a series of photos or a video so we could see the object from all 360 degrees and understand the exact shape and how it can look abstract from one angle and not abstract from another. Otherwise, you could be showing me 2 completely unrelated objects and I wouldn’t know the difference.

  7. NeeL says:

    Ha! You’re hints brought my mind to the metal cylindrical type. ;)
    Had to check for the solution, obviously.

  8. Josh says:

    Ceci n’est pas une pipe :)

  9. GEM says:

    I’m Not Sure, good illusion, I’ll keep trying!!

  10. wiool says:

    You could’ve explained that this is coming from Magrite’s “This is not a pipe” painting:


  11. Rikke says:

    i need more pictures to believe this.. Does not make sense.

  12. Whatplot says:

    Ceci n’est pa une pipe!

  13. This guy says:

    This one was almost impossible to figure, even with help of the tags or hyperlinks. I would like more shots taken from different angles though, because I don’t really understand how it’s made!

  14. Tim says:

    I’m guessing that what looks like a pipe in the second picture is actually just a curved “front” rather than a “bent tube” (which is what a pipe usually is).
    The two pictures are taken from pretty much exactly the opposite sides of the pipe, with the “mouthpiece” of the pipe closest to the camera in the first picture.

  15. Chenoa Zephyra says:

    Check out this link and it will explain more about the artist and his sculptures….


  16. Bekohlko says:

    The second picture is looking at the first picture from the right side. Look at the line where the different colors of wood meet. I can see how it works, but I never could have guessed it.

  17. yumekage says:

    It’s making my brain hurt, but I’m starting to see how this was made. The best clue I can give for the angle is the left edge of the pipe that looks slightly thickened or darker. That’s the edge of the round part in the very front of the first picture. And if you cover the entire bowl part, you can start to see that the stem extends back a bit. Hopefully that helps other people understand!

  18. Lee says:

    this might make sense if the pipe is hollow and open on the side facing away on the 2nd image, to compensate for the flat and curved look of the first image. Otherwise, it’s quite a stretch…

  19. Joe Barone says:

    I wouldn’t have gotten this in a million years.

  20. Kaerlion says:

    My guess is that the second shot is taken at an angle required to put the right edge from the front curve of the first image exactly as it fits the left edge of the pipe on the second image. So that edge is seen as a line. So to get the second image you have to keep turning around this piece of art counter clock wise.

    My second guess is that it’s a fake. Why? If you look closely at the base, the coin like metal stuff. We have exactly the same pattern. Unless we have turn the art itself (and not us around it) that doesn’t make any sense that we have the same pattern from a different angle.

  21. Cheddar says:

    Oddly enough I can see it. Think about the pipe as flat 2d and twisted rather than the illusion in 3d. Hard to explain. But follow the imperfections in the wood.

  22. Dan says:

    Ceci n’est pas une pipe.

  23. TB says:

    I am pretty sure that this is not a functional pipe. It looks more like one of those rotational illusions where what it looks like from one angle is completely different from what it looks like when rotated 90 degrees. Since the two directions are orthogonal, the appearances can be arbitrarily different.

  24. eric says:

    oh common thats impossible! you cant figure it out from this angle… and the hints made me think maybe this was a close up of something larger…

    for those who are confused from which perspective you are seeing this – its face on, or from the left in the solution

  25. Coolboy says:


  26. DANIBIRD says:


  27. Josh says:

    I am also having a hard time believing this one. Look at the pedestal. Look at the black base on both the ‘question’ image and the ‘solution’ image. They are *exactly* the same and in *exactly* the same position, even though the sculpture has moved.
    (The cardboard tube is also the same, but cardboard tubes are the same on either side anyway so not enough evidence there)
    Either one of the images have been photoshopped or the artist has created a needlessly complicated inner-rotating pedestal base for some weird reason.

    I’ll just reiterate for those skimming through the comments:

    ## Look at both pictures ##
    ## Look at the black part of the pedestal ##
    ## Notice that they are exactly the same ##
    (image attached – hopefully)

    So yeah. Looks to me like this may be faked.
    Sorry guys!

    Any more pics or vids of the sculpture? Those could clear its name.


    • me123987645 says:

      Yeah, know that you look at it they are the exact same.

    • Josh says:

      As interesting as that link is, Isa40, it still doesn’t show any other angles or any videos of the sculpture rotating. Unfortunately I don’t believe something just because “a website said so” – I have to see it with my own eyes; especially when it comes to awesome optical illusions :)


    • Suor de Sapo says:

      I believe the inner part of the pedestal rotates instead of whole pedestal (look again more close specially at the ‘Solution’ one). That way more people is able to see the object for a short period of time instead of only one person could watch it from the right (and only one) angle.
      And I believe that not because one site said so, but because everyone can google for it and if it was a fake, certainly someone (at least) had reported it already. That’s common sense.

    • AmetuerAspirant says:

      have you considered that that’s a reflection off of the pedestal? and in process of rotating said pedestal, the entire world stays in the same place, therefore making the reflection stay the same? hmm?

  28. Mark says:

    I think the trick is that the object looks like a pipe, but only from one special angle – it is not a pipe. Although I agree you can’t see a pipe from the first image.

  29. didi says:

    The pipe is flat not round. Therefore can appear distorted at another angle.

  30. sage says:

    Ho !
    At least two other people sought like me “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (This is not a pipe) !

  31. Large says:

    Sorry, don’t see it. Actually what I see is that the base is identical in both pictures, down to very little scratches and dents. If the object rotates, it does so without the base. I’d like to see the video…

  32. eee efff geee says:

    WHAT IS IT??????

  33. Deb says:

    I kinda see how that would work with shadows. But think my vision is better, from one angle it looks like a tongue sticking out, from another it looks like what it would if you looked at a tongue from inside the throat, LOL Love illusions, but this one does’t get it for me…

  34. bobo says:

    It’s michael moors tongue which was extracted from al gores hinney.

  35. LD says:

    Like a flattened doggie dropping…

  36. V0rt3x says:

    Is it just me or are these illusions getting worse?

  37. HeadNSpace says:

    It is a snake eating an elephant?

  38. eee efff geee says:

    crazy I never thought it could be a pipe but…….I still don’t see it >.<

  39. anonimo says:

    i didn’t thought in that

  40. Grease says:

    looks like the sole of a leather shoe, my guess!

  41. Moustache1020 says:

    Though it’s difficult to see without the correct view, when you see the before and after side-by-side you can tell that you simply have to turn the sculpture 90 degrees to the left for it to reveal its intended appearence. I like it. That is a good one.

  42. illusion lover says:

    didnt get that

  43. liamva says:

    I think its bark.

  44. Anirulz says:

    It’s a pipe. It’s easy to see. Just hover your mouse over it and it will say ‘pipe’. See? Straight forwards and easy.

  45. Smartguy says:

    Looks like bacon…do not eat though!!!

  46. MIA says:

    Well part of the pipe is black. So look in the first picture, the part in the back is black, so we’re clearly seeing this (as someone mentioned) from a different angle of about 90 degrees. The part closest to the viewer in the 1st picture is the bowl area.

    Also if you look closely at the very top of the pedestal, they are NOT exactly the same. Showing the inner part of the pedestal rotates. In the 2nd pic, on the left, it looks like the rotating part is lifted slightly.

  47. bj boo says:


  48. Ksenia says:

    Ah, easy! Twisted metal atop a coin atop a toilet paper roll. I had a book of these when I was little, I’m good at I spy, too. :)

  49. SomeoneSpecial says:

    Thats amazing. I thought that this is slipper xD.

  50. Ebony says:

    I don’t get it whatsoever

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