Escher’s Columns Illusion


I got this photo some time ago, which was sent to me by one of our fans (who else), and even though it struck me as an awesome real-life optical illusion, I hesitated posting it online as it was obvious there has been some heavy photoshopping involved.

Never the less, I think the illusion in its essence is perfect. Moreover, it became even more interesting when I noticed the second illusion it hides. It took me few moments before I realized that the central column isn’t the only Escheresque object present. Perhaps it’s central placement and focus distracts people’s attention from noticing the second illusion, which isn’t much different itself.

How long did it take you to realize them both? There were some other posts on this site, that showcased real-life Escher Columns in action as well. Unfortunately, I can’t decide which were the best cases. Help me, and post a link (or attach image to your comment, if you wish) to your favorite ones!

  • ZL123

    Yay!! First!! (possibly)
    Cool. What’s the first illusion?

    • Annishia

      well, the first one is that the central column, it’s on top of the others if u look at the top, but u can see it behind them.
      i think the second one is that the two columns on the right look like one…

      p.s. isn’t that a puffle picture from club penguin??

    • Braedon James Poole

      I think it looks cool how the coloms arenout of place

    • Niki

      Awesome! The first one is the fact that the middle column is psyco, the second is that there’s two columns hidden in the last one!

  • omg


  • awesomeman


  • there’s two columns, the one on the left and the one in the middle are both illusions.

  • Linda

    Is it just the middle column and the one on the left? It looks pretty good but I’ve seen so many of these from Escher it’s become the same thing but on a different picture.

  • few seconds after watching it..

  • hysteria

    the left column is impossible as well as the middle column

  • anon.

    Took me a few moments, but I finally found it. Both the left and middle columns don’t match up.

  • is it one of those impossible things?

    like when you look at the middle tube, at the top,it closer than the other two tubes,

    but when you look at the bottom of the middle tube, the tube is placed at the back of the other two tubes, which is impossible?

    i dunno actually XDD

  • Monxy


    First illusion is the middle column, and the second one is the left column. Look closely.

  • Kara

    The middle column is in the foreground at the top, but the background at the bottom, and then the column to the left is in the background at the top and foreground at the bottom.

  • Awesome Anonymous

    the first illusion is that the column is it is attached to a column that is ‘behind’ it, but it is also to the side of it.
    second illusion i think, is it makes a figure of some sort between the columns, just a guess

  • Jupiter

    Well there is the first column which looks like it starts at the top of an arch closet to us but the bottom end on the far side of the room. The second one is similar. the left column starts at the top from the back wall and ends on the floor close to us

  • Cara

    Yes, the first two illusions are the middle and right columns, but nobody has mentioned that the floor is not solid. The center of the floor is open making the area the columns sit on a wall, not a floor.

    Am I the only one that sees this?

  • Helena Bruce

    Nice one!

  • Ken Hortin

    Have a look at the arches, they are another story! Married of course to the columns illusion. I think! Like it tho! Keep looking at it, more seems to happen.

  • Jack

    All three pillars are illusions!

  • Interesting article on BBC if you haven’t seen it:

  • Katie

    Ok… I see the lanterns hanging off the columns and also placed on the wall behind all the columns.

  • cletus

    Many are saying that the two columns are the two illusions but I would assume that the two columns are one illusion and there is something else for the second?!?

    • cletus

      Ah! Now I see it… The first and middle column are one illusion and if you look closely there is another. Size matters.

  • Sherin

    It is all an illusion PAINTED ON A WALL!

  • Ass[i]am

    the second illusion is the leftmost column.
    look at it’s base and it’s top.

  • I really can’t see anything that I would call a 2nd illusion… ok, the size of the columns according to their distance is wrong as well as their placement, but this count as the same illusion to me. And the 2 columns on the right probably are too close to be separated, but it’s difficult to tell from this angle.

  • owen

    the second is that the left column is in front at the bottom but is behind at the top

  • steve youknowme

    did any one notice the blue wall over lapping the middle column (bottom left middle column). yes! ; ?!!

  • steve youknowme

    THE BLUE WALL is over lapping the middle column (bottom left)yes ;]

  • steve youknowme

    ; ]

  • steve youknowme

    spolier? hold mouse pointer over any column it will tell you one to look for ; )

  • steve youknowme

    an other trick how they got the columns insde the building. also ic it done with collored chalk? : |

  • fauzi

    i think the second illusion is the column on the left from the bottom base

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