Are You Far or Close?


Can you read what the poster below says? Now try and move further away from your monitor. Read it again, what does it say now? Should be something completely different, though the message should now look more like what you could’ve seen in the first place if you are a widget user. Anyone has a clue how these hybrid optical illusions work? More examples can be found here.

  • A Snail

    I like this one. I guess its all down to how good your eye sight is. If you can see the sharp lines then that is what you read. If your too far away to see the narrow sharp lines, then you read the fuzzy part.

  • Very Cool

  • crazyyboyy

    As a guess these illusions ork by playing with the focus in your eyes, when close up (or in large as I saw it) your eyes easily focus on one message so dont try find any others, whereas when you’re far away (or in thumbnail) your eyes focus on the alternate message.

  • I didn’t see the fine lines at first and thought I was pretty close, but then I was looking at it on my facebook feed. Nice display.

  • Care Bear

    That’s so confusing. I wear bifocals so I never know whether I’m far away or too close most of the time. Thanx to you I will probably never know. ;-)

  • Jacob

    ohhh! SICK! i think its cuz close up the white lines are dominant but from a distance there to thin to see so the gray-ish far away thingy shows better

  • Jacob

    green lines sry…

  • Mudshark

    Nice illusion. There are 2 phrases, a blurry one and a sharp thin-lined one.

    When you are close, you see the thin lines sharp,
    move away and you don’t see the thin lines, only the blurry.

  • tina

    wow that has really good effect
    like this one :O)

  • Ava

    This is so nice! one of the best illusions i’ve seen

  • Ryan

    It works because when you are close you have higher spatial resolution and the thin lines are more salient (i.e., obvious). Farther away, the thin lines are too thin (if you think about the width of the lines in terms of visual angle) and the fuzzy (also known as low spatial frequency) letters are more salient.

  • Amazing! When I sat down and looked at the sign I read “You Are Far Away” but I could not see the other message; so I walked away and still could not make out anything. But, when I sat back down it popped up and I couldn’t help but smile because it had been there all along. Great Job Vurdlak!!

  • ice

    you don’t have to be farther away from the monitor to see “far away”. in the gadget preview, i see “far away.”
    i guess its easier to see the outline of “close” when you are closer to monitor or the picture is bigger

  • Brad

    Nice i like it!!!! Very good :D Well done to the creator

  • Anna

    I really like this one. Great poster.

  • legomaniak

    the “you are close” is outlined making it harder to see from far away. “the you are far away” is fuzzy and harder to read from closer

  • THAT is ingenius..

  • suresh

    not working

  • Kimon

    When you are close, the clear well-defined letters are easily picked up and draw the brain’s attention to them.
    When you move away, the light-coloured lines get thin and can’t be easily read in the light-coloured mist anymore. This allows the brain to see and interpret the misty letters.
    You can still read the far message when you come close again, knowing now that it exists.

  • Luver.of.Pie

    Woah! Weird! Yet awesome! :)

  • ky

    my mom started yelling at me saying THIS SAYS YOU ARE FAR AWAY! im like noo it says you are close! it was funny, now i c both.

  • Very clever illusion!
    I like it =)

  • Fred

    This would be a good premise for a bumper sticker. I would have it say “Thank you for keeping a reasonable distance” from far away and “You are following too close” when the driver closes in.

  • chris

    obviously, is you stand close, you see the outline over the blur, and it says, ‘you are close.’

    but if you stand far away, than the blurred shapes take form, and it says, ‘you are far away’.

  • Brian Peralta

    too cool!

  • ahdaunti

    Clever use of focus vs. resolution at changing distances.

  • Sero

    Like it, but I find I have to scale the picture down smaller AND move the the otherside of the room not to see the sharp lines.

  • EricD

    i dont know if i have better resolution than everyone else, or just better eyesight (around 19.5/20) but i see the thin lines at any distance…

  • tessa cisco

    thats awsum

  • Lynzi

    Cool! With my glasses on I see “You are close” without them I see “You are Far away” more clearly!

    • Mark

      Very quick and easy to see with bifocals!

  • Cockney Cowboy

    Cooler than penguin pee

  • James Travis

    Well I see this best from about 12 feet. I need magnification to even see the lines !!

  • Voigt

    An excellent suggestion Fred. Now if we could only have something like this for our personal space…

  • Joe Od

    amazing !!

  • gil roy


  • Cherry Blossom

    Didn’t work for me. :-(

  • julyssajane

    if you go faraway it will say you are faraway but if you go close up to it it will say you are close

  • Amazing! I love this one!

  • patko0770

    good. i think because that green color under letters are words and because thoose lines of letters are very tiny, you cant see them from far.

  • Latisha

    that’s awesome :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

  • Joel Corless

    it’s all to do with the clarity of the lines, and which ones your brain can visualise – it works equaly as well if you tilt your computer screen or fiddle with the resolution or brightness.

  • bren

    i read “you are crazy”

  • emil

    pretty obvious how this works aint it? already been explained very nicely.

  • coolio

    u go close, it says ur close you move far away, it says ur far away. nice!

  • Andre Ardona

    WTF.What do you do?

  • amelia

    thats not a very good illusion o u guy should cheak out the hidden wolf illusion that is awesome

  • Sueakyfart

    Really like it its really coo yo

  • MeEgAn GaLaNtE

    It like tells you if you are close ore far!

  • zach

    this worked better when looked at the screen of my laptop from an angle.

  • ravi

    it is because blue color has less wavelength.. so if we go away, blue line cant be seen..

  • Laura

    Doesn’t work very well for me…
    I have bad eyes. T_T

  • Peter Cami

    You are close? You are carash? What does it say?????

  • Kaos


  • TheRhyslightning

    I was in class when I saw this illusion, I saw YOU ARE CLOSE so I got my friends at the back of the room (I was at the front) to look and the said it says YOU ARE FAR AWAY, then I brought it to them and they swore it said YOU ARE FAR AWAY, they still haven’t figured it out…

  • Aaryash Nayak

    when you are close it says YOU ARE CLOSE but when you are far it says YOU ARE FAR AWAY . I got the hint from the illusion itself it first said you are close so i thought that something might happen if we go far and checked it out from a far away distance it is helll awesome!!!!!

It is main inner container footer text