Hungry Eye Optical Illusion

An excellent photograph was sent to me by Marcus yesterday. After a while the magic disappeared – since longer I observed it, less illusionary it felt. Still, I remember firmly how strong and puzzling was the moment I first glazed my eyes over the photo. For a second there, I trully couldn’t understand what was going on. Hope your first “stare” brings as much surprise and joy as I experienced. Don’t forget to share your first impression in our comments below!

Update Feb, 28th – Here’s another take on the “eye” without the teeth. In the mean time, thanks to our commentators I’ve learnt that the artist behind this mesmerising body-paint is Sandra Holmbom.

80 Replies to “Hungry Eye Optical Illusion”

    1. The fact that at first glance it looked like an eye with teeth makes it an illusion. As long as first impression is deceiving or misleading, it’s an illusion

    2. I agree with Indie.

      Wikipedia said – “An optical illusion (also called a visual illusion) is characterized by visually perceived images that differ from objective reality. The information gathered by the eye is processed in the brain to give a perception that does not tally with a physical measurement of the stimulus source. There are three main types: literal optical illusions that create images that are different from the objects that make them, physiological ones that are the effects on the eyes and brain of excessive stimulation of a specific type (brightness, colour, size, position, tilt, movement), and cognitive illusions, the result of unconscious inferences.”

      More at:

    3. Even a lake reflection picture is an illusion. You have to guess if it’s not upside down or not… The same here: I struggled to perceive if it was an eye or a mouth. There’s some subjectiveness, of course. One must respect how fast others figure out what’s going on. Just because you did it immediately that don’t give you the right to determine if It’s an illusion or not. At most, you can say “didn’t work as an illusion for me” or “it did not foolish me”.

    4. This picture is very interesting and I like it a lot. However it is not an optical illusion. Just because your dumb enough to think a picture of a mouth is an eye that doesn’t make it an optical illusion. There is clearly a chin in the picture and… Also there is only ONE eye… Just FYI cyclops don’t exist.

  1. As soon as I saw this, I’m like:”This is a mouth.” You know I’m getting a little scared, because I did that Schizophrenia test, and looked straight through it at the first try. But then again, I’m 11 years old… but I really do love your site!!!

  2. Sorry….erm…i don’t get this one..and i normally do a lot of these…it’s a woman with green eyes and teeth in them…you have shown me better over the years…or maybe it’s just me getting old

  3. Wow! At first,I thought it was really creepy, then I thought it was a painted eye on the lips photoshopped in an eye socket… then I realized its was not(photoshop), it was all painted on the bottom of her face. Nicely done.

  4. Mr Spoilsport is well named. I’d say that this is an illusion, even if it’s used in the broadest sense; it’s lips painted to look like an eye. Mr Spoilsport probably spent his childhood telling little kids that there’s no Father Christmas.

  5. LOL, my husband saw it & said, “Whoever painted that had too much time on their hands. I thought it was awesome, however! Good job!!

  6. This is hilarious! At first I thought, “photoshop”, then, in between, “wow,creepy” which was an opinion rather than logic, so I went back to figuring it out and noticed, “Oh, it’s lips!” Then, because the eyelid and surrounding artwork is so believeable, I wondered, “so where did the teeth come from?” Duh! It’s a mouth! I felt stupid, but all these thoughts came in about 3 seconds. (I’m a trompe l’oeil muralist, so I LOVE messing with people’s heads visually.

  7. Between the two photos is the following message;
    Update Feb, 28th – Here’s another take on the “eye” without the teeth. In the mean time, thanks to our commentators I’ve learnt that the artist behind this mesmerising body-paint is Sandra Holmbom.
    When was the word “LEARNED”” replaced with “LEARNT?”

    1. haha! u no, just wandering, dont u also find it weird how the person appplied fake eyelashes to their LIPS???

    1. @chelsea the ladies teeth are fine, nothing wrong with them.

      you got to be kidding me if your upset her teeth are a little chipped

  8. I sure wish some company would make theatrical contact lenses like this, it would be awesome to have a pair with this illusion in them.

  9. Oh my gosh! I actually thought the eyes was ripped in half. Observing the image breaks the illusion. Good one!

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