At first glance, you may think that this is an easy puzzle to solve. You can spot five or six faces almost immediately. But, what about after you found those few? How long did it take you to find the next five? Did you make it all the way to the fifteen? Or did you give up on there even being 15 faces in this face illusion? Try to spot as many faces as you can before you share it with your friends to see how many they can find.
Originally, this optical illusion was found in the book The Art of Amusing, which was written by Frank Bellew in 1866. “Being a collection of graceful arts, merry games, odd tricks, curious puzzles, and new charades. Together with suggestions for private theatricals, tableaux, and all sorts of parlor and family amusements. A volume intended to amuse everybody and enable all to amuse everybody else; thus bringing about as near an approximation to the millennium as can be conveniently attained in the compass of one small volume.” This brain teaser is sure to give you and your friends a few bad moments before you discover all fifteen faces.
Did you notice the face inside the mole? The one inside his cravat? The first time I glanced at the picture I assumed it would take mere seconds to find them all. Thiry minutes later I was still searching. Of course the more obvious ones jumped out at me, but I didn’t realize there was a face inside the mole until it was pointed out to me.
Bellew expresses his artistic genius through illusions, something not easily mastered. The ability to create pictures inside a picture, to make the viewer look back again, and again to find all the pieces, is a talent that not every artist possesses. He was a pioneer in comics and optical illusions. Charles Dickins says this of Bellew, “Frank Bellew’s pencil is extraordinary. He probably originated more, of a purely comic nature, than all the rest of the artistic brethren put together.” Very high praise from one of the greatest author’s of all time.
Everytime I look at this picture I saw a different aspect of it. The first time I thought it was a solider, the second time a native american, the third a wealthy colonist. And that was before I even noticed the hidden faces. As far as optical illusions go this one sets the bar high. To be able to take a picture and make someone see something different everytime they look at it is amazing.
To be completely honest, I still haven’t found all fifteen of the faces. But I will continue to look; it’s a personal challenge I just can’t walk away from. Maybe you found all fifteen faces in a matter of minutes, see if your friends find them just as fast. Did you notices the ones inside the shadows first? Or only after counting the ones inside the man and it not adding up to fifteen? After you find the 15 faces in this face illusion, check out this picture and see if you can find all the hidden animals!