Got Time To Decipher This?

Got this awesome illusion in my mailbox recently, and boy was surprised when I realized how I could actually read those strange symbols! Give it a try and report your findings. What I’m more interested in, is how the hell can our brain decrypt this!? Is it the negative spaces? If someone is more knowledgeable regarding this topic, would be nice to hear your idea… Those of you still struggling, here is a little hint.

461 Replies to “Got Time To Decipher This?”

  1. Oh, I could read it. And yes, yes I do. I won’t say anything, because I don’t want to give away this wonderful illusion!

    Maybe it is kind of like the spelling illusion.

    Ins’t it azamnig how you can raed tihs?

    The human mind is amazing.

  2. “You have too much time on your hands.” No idea how I can read it. Something to do with negative space, I would guess, but I think there’s more too it in this example. I think perhaps some sort of pattern recognition is also involved, like seeing faces (in clouds, wallpaper, etc) that aren’t really there – our brains are trained to recognise certain patterns and shapes and find meaning in them.

  3. I didn’t click the hint before looking at it, and I finished with “You have too much time on your hands” The lowercase “t” kept throwing me off.

  4. Of course I don’t have too much time on my hands. =]
    That was incredibly easy to decipher, strange how it worked. In the thumbnail I thought it said “volume” though.

  5. OMG!! ok it took me like 15 minutes to figure this out. I won’t spoil it for everybody else, but when I did finally get it, I realized how true the statement is.
    this was a really good one

  6. surprisingly, i could actually read this very quickly. it says “you have too much time on your hands”
    maybe I’ve been reading too many of these…

  7. took me about 5 minutes but i think i got it xD

    *******SPOILER ALERT*********
    you have to much time on your hands

  8. Wow I actually got that fairly quickly, kinda like those ones. Actually I like most of the illusions that you use, good stuff :)

  9. Hard to find a “rule” or “criterion” that fits the translation for all letters. Looks like nearly the center portion of all lettes is “white” unless a line goes throug the middle. You would have too much time on your hands if you could figure it out completely.

  10. This is a great example of Gestaltism. Gestalt theory began around 1910 with three psychologists named Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka and Wolfgang Kohler. Artists like Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Josef Albers were influenced by Gestalt theory, as were others at the famous Bauhaus design school.

    According to Gestalt theory, when we look at anything we immediately organize it into a pattern or shape that our mind is familiar with rather than seeing it as a bunch of individual random shapes.

  11. I read it the first time. But I do alot of art and draw in the negative sometimes. So maybe that was why i could see it the first time.

  12. Wow, what really surprised me was that when i took 2 seconds to look at this i could actually figure it out… And yes maybe i do have slightly to much time on my hands..

  13. I think the reason I can read it is because some of the letters are easy to guess, and those letters give you hints to the other letters.

    Your brain does this fast so you might feel like something amazing happened although it hasn’t really.

  14. No one has more time than anyone else. There are 24 hours in every day. Time is the great equalizer. It’s how you spend it that matters.

  15. You have too much time on your hands. I got it the first time I read it on the full screen view. The widget only showed a partial view.

  16. It look me a little time to realize that some of the symbols stand for more than one letter. “you have too much time on your hands”

  17. Finally worked it out. The word at the top right gave me the most trouble. Strange how some of it is negative and some not. Its a bit like playing hangman trying to work out the words from the letters you can work out.

  18. Now I get it, but most of it is just guessing and not “reading”… Probably has to do something with the fact dat you actually expect real words there…

  19. My solution after painting outlines around the symbols:

    “You have too much time on your hands”

    whereupon the letter “T” is tricky, it seems to be a capital “T”, all the other letters are at lower caps.

  20. I see what it says. Of Course, I don’t want to give it away to anyone that doesn’t know, but if you’ve spent more than 5 minutes trying to figure it out, you’re probably close to seeing the truth.

  21. “You have too much time on your hands” …. title gives it away a bit …. but this did not take me much time to work it out as I have been playing with this type of “illusion” myself lately …

  22. hahah i got it… it took me 5 minutes to figure out the last word and 1 minute to figure out the first 7 words… i was about to post a comment asking what the last word was ( and so i scrolled up again) and kind of skimmed through the last set of shapes for half a second and started typing again… then i realized that the word was “hands”. i dont know how i did it but i guess skimming through it helps… for me :)

  23. “You have too much time on your hands” is what it says. Some of the symbols are pretty much identical with the corresponding letters, though most of them aren’t… But as they say, “the human mind abhors a vacuum of sense; when faced with absurdity it would strain its interpretative faculty to the utmost to make the meaningless meaningful”. I guess this principle does come into play here.

  24. “You have too much time on your hands”
    Once you see that the first word is “You” it’s not hard at all to tell what the rest says. It has a little to do with the negative spaces, but not that much seeing as how there is no negative space around the letters, just the “inside” of them. Once your brain figures out that a certain white “character” corresponds to a certain letter you can put everything together quite easily.

  25. Wow, I can read it. It says “You have too much time on your hands”
    I wonder how I knew that, how interesting (:

  26. Oooo i got it! :P Don’t know if I want to spoil it for others yet. You can figure it out if you have too much time on your hands ;)

  27. …you have too much time on your ………, hm I don´t know what is the last word, but the rest of words is easy to recognize

  28. not that difficult, but i do wonder how the brain relates these signs to actual letters… weird. I guess since we can read one or two letters of a word, the rest is suggested by our brains.

  29. Hello! Great post, I managed reading it quite easily. As soon as you spot the way the letters are introduced, the words become obvious!

  30. Wow that’s amazing… The letters h, m, n and r have almost the same symbol and c and d are very similar, too. But because you know the words
    I can read it:
    You have too much Time on your hands.

  31. You have to much time on your hands ?

    Its lkie tpynig lkie tihs? You can siltl udnretsnad it, we hvae srmat biarn, huh?

  32. I found it hard to decipher this. The ‘C’ and the ‘T’ took me some time to figure out.
    It says: you have too much time on your hands

  33. Hm, dont really can see it, but i guess its called: You have to much time on your…the last word I dont get it. But it looks fpor me like an h a h c…neverless funny picture actually…BTW_ 1st ;P

  34. Yep I most definitely do (answer to the image ;-) ).

    Nice one that. Definitely something to do with the negative space that one.

    Best wishes,


  35. i think it says ‘you have too much time on your hands’ . the title was a clue. no idea how i did it, though.

  36. does it say “you have too much time on your hands”? I’m not a native speaker, so I don’t quite understand…

  37. I cannot figure out every single word… but may be because english is not my mother tongue and I don’t know some of these words…

    I read: “You have too —- —- on your —–”
    the fourth word is may be “time” ?

  38. dude, even if i could read “you have too much time on your hands”..such an interpretation is very subjective, subjective to me being already aware of the saying. The upshot is such an interpretation lacks uniformity between letters like h and n. There are many others.

  39. I can read : You have too much ulme on your hands

    But i’m not really sure about “ulme” ^^’ maybe time instead of ulme .

  40. You Have Too Much Time On Your Hands…!!!!!!!!!!
    Took me a while, couldn’t see the “Too” and “Much” Hahahaha nice. I like it :D

  41. This I read in an instant. So I tried it on my 19 y.o. and my 10 y.o. 18 y.o. got it immediately. With just a little assist 10 y.o. got it…I figure he hasn’t heard the quote too often, so knowledge of this phrase must play a part in how quickly you can read it.

  42. kewl. im first! Well, i saw this and i got stuck in the end of the first line, but then i came back and I read the whole sentence. :D not a bad illusion, but its a bit obvious.

  43. You have too much time on your… hahcs? nancs?

    Sorry, I couldn’t decrypt the last word lol… my english not so good :P

  44. “You have too much time on your hands”

    Hahahaha!!! I have solved it! It took me about five minutes.

    I was able to decipher “you,” “too,the ‘m’ in “much,” “on,” the ‘you’ in “your,” and the ‘s’ in “hands.” Then I somehow concluded that it said, “You have too much time on your hands,” considering the blog title and everything. :)


  45. “You have too much time on your hands”. Your title for today’s illusion was too much of a give away.

  46. It really didnt take too much time! It helps to lean back from the moniter a little, and stop focusing on the white area.

  47. That’s an odd one — at first I thought it would be trickier than it is, but if you just go through it quickly, your brain may sort it out without waiting for you to make sure it makes sense. Pretty nifty.

  48. I’m honestly baffled.
    I seem to make out the words “you”, “have”, and “your”. All generic words, and it’s probably just my mind trying to make sense out of abstract symbols (which I’ve got the feeling is the point of the whole illusion) – if I really let my imagination loose I can make out words like “volume”, “sound”, “head” to name a few… these may all just come from my own cognitive bias, though.
    I guess I’ll feel like a fool when I see it; I just know it’s staring me in the face.

    Awesome illusion nonetheless.
    If anyone could point me in the right direction..? ;)

  49. SPOILER!!!!!!!
    – You have too much time on your hands.
    Thats funny. It took me a while to figure this out :D

  50. “You have too much time on your hands”? I’m strictly guessing….I paint negative space in pictures but this one alludes me completely. Come on people, get those brains working and tell me what it says…..I’m waiting….;<)

  51. Well we know that the mind tries to make order from chaos by use of learned memory. Which is why we’re able to understand and largely over look typo’s, and also one of the things that helps you understand things like text speech.

    For me, I couldn’t decipher all of the individual letters, I still can’t. But when I could recognize 2/3 characters of a word, my mind is able to fill in the remainder, and once I understood the first line I only had to barely look at the second line before i knew what it said.

    It’s like a cell phones auto-complete feature.. you recognize the first part and the context, it fills in the rest… I love my brain

  52. OHHHHH Hahaha! That took me a while, I was starring at it, so I asked someone for help, and right away I found it! That’s great :)

  53. HAHAHA that’s brilliant!
    I think my brain knows that the written part is true already so it’s easier for it to read it :D

  54. It doesn’t ever take me long to read any kind of word illusions…my eyes usually see it right away. Then I see friends try to do it and it blows my mind how long it takes them! I guess some people can see things like that easier but it makes me wonder why…is it a left brain right brain thing???

  55. Took me a while. But after I see it, it’s so obvious. I think it helps that it’s a common phrase. If it’s a more obscure phrase, it would have taken a lot longer to figure it out, I am sure.

  56. i know what it says!it took me about 40-45 seconds. and its true though, what this says. at least for me.haha. am i first comment?

  57. I like this optical illusions website, however what I DON’T like about it is sometimes the writer does not give an answer to the optical illusion. For example, “Got Time to Decipher This?”. My answer is “No I do not have time to devote every second of the rest of my life to figure out the answer!” The answer is not “in-your-face” obvious, nor does the link to the “little hint” help in giving a clue to the answer!” The “little hint” link is about Arabic writing, the above is NOT Arabic writing, so the writer is comparing oranges to spinach!

  58. i think it might be something to do with the fact that some letters just look similar when writen in ‘negative’ and out brain just fills in the gaps.

  59. I got the first word, thought the second was “never” for a second, got confused… and then realized it was “have” and then easily read the rest without effort after that.

  60. Yes, that largely is because of the negative spaces. Our brain often doesn’t even read single letters, but it reads a combination of letters (which makes us read sentences quicker, but also sometimes causes us to misread things). It recognizes patterns, which can also be found in negative spaces. For example the U/N/Ms have a very distinctive negative space and the S is just easy. So our brain recognizes that this is the kind of pattern it needs to decipher, it would actually have more difficulty if some of the letters were normal. You probably also unconsciously went searching for a couple of letters that were less obvious to you, just because the pattern was obvious. It would be much more difficult if it was less obvious that the brain has to look for one certain “language”, for example if the image was highly cluttered.

  61. It says you Have Too Much Time On Your Hands.
    I pretty much got it straight away from the negative spaces as you mentioned.

  62. I’m not sure why I can read it I just can it came to me right away. It would be great if someone could tell us why. Have a great day all.

  63. I don’t know how it’s done – but I see “you have too much time on your hands”. I guess I do if I have the time to focus on this.

  64. This puzzle is very interesting and is not that simple to solve. If you can figure out the first two words, the phase will come out easily.
    This puzzle is an interpretation puzzle. “Is the glass half full or half empty?” Our mind doesn’t always pick up on the most obvious clues so we have to look at the shapes or characters presented.
    If I have too much time on my hands, then the person that created this has twice as much time on theirs. lol

  65. “You Have Too Much Time On Your Hands” ?
    did it w/o the hint! realli kool… would like to know how ur brain does it fuh real. =S

  66. It took me ten minutes to decode this, with my sister’s help. Don’t read this if you want to keep it a secret.********hvae*********mcuh********tmie**********hdnas*******************

  67. “You have to many time on your hands” ?
    I’m french, and if this is an idiom or something like that, i didn’t know it before.
    The power of mind, :D

  68. I think it’s just shape recognition, which makes the message of “You have too much time on your hands” amusing, because I imagine most people would recognize the message faster than they realize. unless it’s a comment on too much time spent surfing the web.

  69. I must have written too fast, “too many time” instead of “too much time” in my first post.
    But that’s what I’ve read at the first time, just stop paying attention when I wrote the first one.
    Still power of mind ^^

  70. you have too much time on your hands…. took me literally 5 seconds to read. We are able read it so fast because the shapes depict actual letters and our brain already often overlooks things, therefore it it human nature to be able to read this phrase.

  71. That’s wierd that we can read it – and its not all negative spaces. The T’s are not in negative space (or maybe only partly). Now I gotta spend some time working.

  72. Pretty nice one, a little difficult at first glance… but yeah i have a lot of time jeje

  73. Nope… I can see many letters forming as spaces inbetween the white blocks but I’m not able to comprehend them. Help, guys?

  74. I don’t know, but when I looked at this picture, I saw the message immdiately. Actually, I’ve been surfing the site for a while, and it keeps happening, when I’m supposed to not possess a quick enough mind to get in until after a minute… Though, as I type this, my keyboard looks funny, and if I look around my room, it looks distorted.

    1. Umm you literally just did. yours was the first one that i saw that had the answer posted in it. dont be a hypocrite

  75. I haven’t really run across one yet where I couldn’t see what it was.. but I also could only make out “You have” as piyush did.

    1. I got easily but when i first glanced over it, it looked quite hard… but it is true I do have to much time on my hands!!

  76. I love this one! I have to admit that I first had to look at the hint, which was also a fun trip – But I was able to read that which is a true fact concerning my life…And it only took a few seconds: “I have too much time on my hands” LOL! I had a stroke last year which left me disabled and I spend every day, at home, alone, goofing around with the Internet. Keep them coming! I haven’t been able to solve all of them but, it’s good exercise for my brain after brain surgery. :)

  77. Nice illusion..though i am sure it would be a lot tougher to decipher if it was some arcane text. Shows how our brain wants to fit everything according to what it knows (well, which every optical illusion does) XD

  78. I used to be a master at these optical illusions when I was a child, but for some reason, I still cannot read the entire message (of course I know what it says b/c everyone posted the answer). Maybe it has something to do with my eyes? I have astigmatism in both. It really pisses me off, though ;-/

  79. Not sure if anyone’s said this yet or not, but I’m pretty sleepy and don’t want to read all the comments XD; I think the reason our brains can read this message so easily is because of closure. If you don’t know what closure is, it’s our brains filling in missing spaces to form something that we’re familiar with. A lot of illusions work this way. I think because the shapes of the empty spaces slightly resemble the actual letters, our brains are able to piece the puzzle together and make sense out of what we’re seeing. Also, once we get the first few words, it’s much easier to figure out the rest because of the context it’s in.

  80. Manny is 100 percent correct. That is why we use camo in the military and when hunting. It breaks up the lines our brains want to see.

  81. You have too much lime on your heads
    That’s what I thought the first time, but I figured out it was
    You have too much time on your hands

  82. i thought the first 2 words was “Volume 100” in a few seconds but in a sec i knew it was you have too much time on your hands easy

  83. We had to do this in Psychology. It’s to do with how your brain interpets words. If you wrote a sentence but mixed up the independant letters in the words, keeping only the first and last letter then you can read it the same. Your brain doesn’t actually look at the individual letters just the shape of the word, length and predicts it too.

    Hpoe eervonye enjoys otpcial ilulisnos as mcuh as i do! :D

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