Wonky-Tonk Building Illusion

As I was just about to give up, I found this interesting optical illusion to share with you today. There is nothing complex about this Wonky-Tonk building. It has it’s roof, doors and four windows. There are also two of the tenants in front of it… but wait! Why are the tenants so upset? Apparently they are puzzled by the upper right window of their house. The landlord explained to them there is nothing wrong with it, and that the both upper windows are exactly the same. Although they wouldn’t be much satisfied even if the windows were completely identical, but they are still puzzled how his statement can be true? It is more than “obvious” that the right window is leaning much more to the left, than the left window. Is it possible that the landlord was right? Let’s try and prove this: if you remember the leaning tower optical illusion that won the 1st place in 2007 optical illusion contest, you will see where this goes. Jump inside the article to see the further proof:

If we highlight and paint the right window in red, then cut it from the original image, we can easily move it around the house. What I did next, I made this slice semi-transparent and placed it over the left window. I have to admit I was too shocked when I saw that both windows overlap perfectly. How did the landlord know this from the beginning? Did he construct the building this way on purpose? This is for us to ask, and for landlord to know.

28 Replies to “Wonky-Tonk Building Illusion”

  1. Hello!

    Isn’t this a basic “convergence point” illusion? All lines are converging to a point that would be below the drawing, except for the right window, which being a copy of the left one and not being in the same position is “violating” this convergence, thus making the illusion. :)

  2. Very good illusion, this one! It deals with perspective, our brain thinks the upper left window should be leaning to the left, so it looks like it’s leaning to the right more than it actually is.

  3. It’s always awesome to see how the easiest tricks make our brain feeling so confused! And this convergence point illusion is a perfect sample, absolutely great!

  4. following what Socrates said, you can also argue that the lower windows are NOT the same and are in fact different… which they are. because they are converging at the same point.

  5. That is very strange, not only that, but it looks like the two men are standing stright, when the building is slanting backwards!

  6. Of course, as far as the proof goes, you could have simply flipped the right side window on its vertical axis; this would immediately have made it obvious that the windows are indeed the same.

  7. This is neat, but in another sense, this type of illusions are ‘fake’. Lets say you actually have a tall building and you are looking at it from a helicopter, and it looks like the picture. If you actually see two windows that are physically identical *from that perspective* (like the top row windows), then in reality they will be crooked! If you actually go to that room an measure the windows, they have to be crooked – from them to look identical in the perspective view. If the question is only about the top two windows in the drawing and nothing else, then yes, it is an illusion because the visual system cannot ignore the surrounding. But if the question is about actual windows in that house, it is not an illusion. The tenants are actually right.

  8. i don’t know about the illusion but in this drawing the right window is leaning dramatically more thi the left than the left window. So it’s not even and perspective illusion anymore, it’s a bad drawing and lousy contractor who built the house.

  9. What is the illusion???

    I see a house where due to the perspective view point the top left window appears to lean correctly to the left whereas the upper right window appears to wrongly lean to the left also!

    There is no illusion the upper left and right windows are drawn so as to look identical. The fault with the drawing is that the right window should be slanting to the right, but this is a perspective drawing fault, not an illusion. My seven year old draws perspectively incorrect drawings like this all the time!

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