Is It a Tunnel or Pyramid

Few days ago I found this image on flickr, and was puzzled for a while. Am not sure if it’s photo or a painting, but it hides an awesome optical illusion. I still can’t decide it the photo I’m seeing represents some kind of a tunnel, or top (peak) of a pyramid of some sort. Which one do you think it is? How did you decide? Are there any hints you can share with rest of us?

I also read that you think I link too many words in my descriptions, which I admit can be little distracting. I’ll try and link less, but more targeted illusions through my links, so please comment if you think I improved my technique?

Concerning my vacation, I’m having a blast here on Adriatic coast, you should definitely visit south Croatia when you have opportunity – like Mecca, you have to see it at least once in your life. Islands and cities like Korcula, Dubrovnik, Hvar… are something so beautiful, you can’t imagine. The only bad thing that happened, is that my forehead burnt under the sun, so I had to stay inside the house last 2 days. My brother had the same problem, which you probably already read on his website. Enjoy summer!

136 Replies to “Is It a Tunnel or Pyramid”

  1. this one is pretty elementary. i could draw something like this in 5 seconds. it doesn’t represent a tunnel or a pyramid. it’s either one. whatever you want it to be. i gotta say i’m not impressed with the last few illusions… anyone share my opinion? i mean the last one turned out to be fake… (the same colored squares or whatever)… i’d like to see this website become what it used to be.

  2. It is a tunnel because of the reflection on the top of the tunnel. Pyramids can’t reflect the wall on the other side.

  3. You have to understand that the website has to meet needs and it isn’t possible to find an outstanding illusion everyday so let it rest.

  4. To me it looks like a photograph of the inside of a roof. If you look closely, you can see reflections on the boards of whatever is below it.

  5. actually, i can safely say it is NOT a pyramid. artists and possibly other graphic designers will realize that the lines in back do not match perspective- wise with the front lines. if this was a pyramid, the lines would probably get smaller in back, rather than bigger. however, this is an easily possible tunnel, since the viewpoint is closer to the roof.

  6. Its a tunnel…

    You can see reflections of the side lines on the roof of the tunnel plus the the reflection of the dark lines that look like a square box are also visible…

  7. its a tunnel…

    You can see the reflection of the lines on the sides and the dark box shaped lines in the center of the pic on the top of the tunnel…

  8. Yeah, this is a neat picture, but it’s pretty basic when it comes to optical illusions. I really like to have to work to figure them out–but this one is either a tunnel or a pyramid–it’s VERY easy to see either one.

  9. Based on what looks like a flash/light pattern on the sides, and the “skewing” of it’s shape (bottom appears more narrow than the top), I’d say it’s a tunnel of some sorts, maybe an air vent. The darker section could be where two pieces are joined together. I think most photographers will see this as taken with a fairly wide lens (<20mm), which will warp the image somewhat, and make the "end" of the tunnel too small to make out.

  10. I believe it is a tunnel. The third square out from the middle is a bit darker than the other lines. It looks like there is a reflection of this square on the top side. I do see the pyramid too, if I ignore this reflection.

    In answer to the quality of illusions on here: I feel there is something for everyone, some you will like, some you won’t. Also, keep in mind there may be newer guests who haven’t seen the illusions that some people find to be poor. And if you think the quality is low…help out and pass on some great ones to Vurdlak! Overall, I think the site is great, and always open to your suggestions for improvement (which are more useful that flat out complaints!)

  11. It’s a tunnel. Look closely. The darker square in the middle, or toward the end of the tunnel is reflected on the ceiling.

  12. I think its a Tunnel, theres a bit of reflection (at the top of the black square) and perspective that doesn’t really fit with a pyramid.

    Really interesting =P

  13. Well, in my opinion it’s obviously a tunnel. In the centre of the picture you can see a darker square, and above the reflection of it. This won’t be possible if it were a pyramid.

  14. But that’s the whole point of an illusion: to make you question the true nature of what it is trying to show. I think this a very well done one….

  15. It’s not a drawing, and I think some people can keep some comments for them…
    Indeed there are some reflection on the wall, that is made probably in some glossy plastic (so not a drawing, or a really well done one).

    It cannot be a tunnel because the vertical lines of the hypothetical tunnel are too regularly spaced.
    In a perspective they would have more space near the eye and less at the end of the tunnel.

    An other signal is the reflection of the thicker line. If it would be a tunnel (so whit squared or rectangular section and walls) the reflection would be perfectly identical: I means that the lines would be parallel and orthogonal with the original, and of the same dimension.

    On the contrary the original squared line become a sqeezed trapeze and also the lines on the walls reflected on the roof of the tunnel are tilted.
    This mean that the also the roof is tilted, like the wall of a pyramid.

    So I think is a pyramid from the bottom.

  16. Odd angles for a pyramid, although equally you don’t get many tunnels that carry on ad finitum… If you see where the thicker black line is, it seems to have a reflection above it, which makes me think it’s a tunnel with a ‘false wall’ at the end, perhaps.

  17. Obviously a roof from underneath.

    (1) The “peak” is reflected off the side; (2) THe lighting would more likely be diffused more if not inverted; (3) If not intentionally an illusion, it would not be possible to view a pyramid from any angle resulting in this view.

    Case closed.

  18. of course its the illusion part is that it could be both, but i think its actually a photo of a tunnel not a pyramid because of the light relfecting off the left and right hand faces of the tunnel as if there was one light shining in and relfecting back because if it was a pyramid it would need 2 light sources to make those 2 light patterns which is just less likely. its simple but its good to see a real object making an illusion not just a drawing

  19. If it was a tunnel, the slabs on the wall would be of different size. (Those farer away would be much bigger than those near the camera)

    So, under the assumption that normally you buy slabs of the same size, it is a pyramid.

  20. Appears to be a view from below looking “up” into a steeple-shaped ceiling. There are reflections on the left and right side from a ight or window, and you can just make out the “mirroring” effect (the reflection is upward) of the dark square near the center of the photo. Not a tunnel — and not a pyramid ;-)

  21. Well I saw it was both at first like half a second in… but then I looked closer and saw it could only be a tunnel. It’s hard to explain, but you might figure it out. (look at the top side)

  22. its a photoshop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ill give 2 reasons why its clearly a PHOTOSHOP

    1 its grey pyramids arent grey

    2 theres one darker light

    = 1 photoshopped image

  23. This one is definitely a tunnel. You can tell by the reflections. If you look to either the left or the right wall you can see a reflection of light, that if it were a pyramid, it would not be on both sides. Then if you look at the dark ring about 3 lines from the top, you can see the reflection of that onto the ceiling.

  24. I think it is a tunnel. If you look above the darker square near the middle. It seems to have a reflection. If it were a pyramid this would not happen.

  25. This is a tunnel. The darker square is reflected in the top of the tunnel. If it were a bird’s eye view of a pyramid, the reflection wouldn’t be there.

  26. It’s a tunnel. Look at the corners where the side walls meet the ceiling – you’ll see a very slight reflection of walls in the ceiling (especially in the upper right quadrant of the photograph, and where the thick black lines are part way down the tunnel). You wouldn’t get those reflections if the photo was of the apex of a pyramid.

  27. awesome. I love images that “pop” back and forth like that. Looking at the end of the “tunnel” it gives me the impression that it is a pyramid.

  28. As far as this would be a real thing, it is, in my opinion, rather a tunnel. Why : because one can see a reflection of the darker square on the “ceiling” … this would be impossible for a pyramid :-)

  29. its a tunnel no its a pyramid no its a tunnel again oh sumbody plz help me 2 find the answer coz i cant figger it out and its annoying me

  30. actually,, at first look i thought pyramid, but the reflection on the top/roof gives away the assumption that it is really a tunnel.


  31. Anonymous #1, I’d like to see you update the site with a new illusion almost every day. Nobody is making you visit if you don’t like it, so stop complaining. Havn’t you thought that it might be hard to find a new illusion after probably already uploading the majority of them.
    Rant over.
    I think it looks like a hollow pyramid from the inside looking up towards the peak.

  32. this one is meh, but the last one was pretty cool. it didn’t turn out to be fake, it just turned out to be even more of an illusion than expected–what looked like a lighter colored square was actually darker!

  33. I see reflections in the top wall that connects to the side ones. Notice the darker square, you can see the lines from the side reflecting onto the top of the wall. Also notice the top right hand corners where the top wall and right side walls meet, there are reflections there too, you can barely see them but they are there. Maybe the top wall is just blank and what we see is just a reflection from the bottom. I think I’ve been awake way too long. Insomnia sucks.

  34. It’s a tunnel, except for the last three lines on the wall (after the thick one).

    You can tell because you can see a reflection of that section on the ceiling of the tunnel. If this was a pyramid or a flat surface, no reflection of that kind would be possible.

  35. meh, it looks more like a tunnel then a pyramid IMO. and yeah, Anonymous(first one), it is true that anyone could make this in 5 seconds. what’s your point? It’s still wild and it is an optical Illusion of sorts. But there is one thing, if you’re going to bad mouth a site that you (by the looks of your post) visit regularly, at least have the balls to put your name up.

  36. You can tell you are looking into a tunnel, or more precisely, the bottom of a pyramid by studying the reflections on the surface. Near the center, you see a square band that is darker than the rest. Above it, you see its reflection because the camera is closer to that side than the others. Also, look at the left and right sides near the entrance… you see here identical (or similar) reflections, which is exactly what you would expect looking into the bottom of a pyramid with a 90 degree apex. Not sure? Put two mirrors together and try it yourself.

  37. Ok, first let me say that I’m not saying your wrong “anonymous”, but I do disagree.

    This optical illusion is not elementary to me. Here’s why . . .
    I saved the photo to my pictures so that I could view the photo with my photo software (yes, I’m a nerd and I love photosoftware). I often modify photo’s for fun and by doing this I’ve learned how to tell a unedited photo from an edited photo.

    This particular optical illusion is confusing until you start to pay attention to the lighting and reflections. If you notice the darker black square in the “center” has a reflection above it and the sides of the tunnel has some sheen so that means its probably metal. The reason I refer to it as a tunnel and not a pyramid is because the bottom part of the tunnel is darker and the top of the tunnel is the widest piece, which means its not symmetrical and so it makes you feel like you are standing in a hallway. Also, the black square helps create the illusion that its a doorway. Its definately a modification of some kind. I’m not sure exactly how it was done, but I almost think they used a mirror affect. But this is just my opinion.
    Very kewl. I like it. Good find.

    ~ Jessika

  38. em yes i know, it can be either a pyramid or a tunnel.. anyways i see it more like a tunnel. and yes i agree, the last ilusions were kinda -x- . and the 2 “same colored squares” or whatever weren’t near the same color, i checked in paint :P hu hu

  39. It’s either a lopsided Pyramid or an obtuse hallway. In my opinion I think it’s a hallway because of the shadowing towards the back looks like an opening in the hall.

  40. Hey man, dont be like that, im sure the people who keeps going the website do their best, if u have a complain, maybe u should start sending material to help them!
    Great website, with some ups and downs, go guys, you are doing a terrific job!

  41. actualy it is a tunnel cuz, if you look at the top face it has the reflection of that [], and the pryamid would be lopsided, and the pitcher it taker twords the celing which makes the top look bigger

  42. I think this one is a pyramid because if you look down the end of the ‘tunnel’ the the lines on the walls should become a lot closer together wheras they don’t!

  43. I disagree. I think it’s definately a tunnel. For 1. It’s too distorted to be square like a pyramid. And 2. you can see a reflection off the ceiling, of the rest of the tunnel. Again not something you’d have with a pyramid.

  44. I think this has to be a tunnel becouse you can see the reflection of the black square in the “roof of the tunnel”. but that’s my opinion.

    i tend to agree with you anonymous, i’d like to see more complex illusions

  45. I agree with the first comment. I also think it looks like a tunnel more because the pyramid walls are a little lopsided.

  46. First, this is definitly a tunnel. And second, for the first post of Anonymous, i would just like to say that you are extreemly wrong. This is a very good illusion, and aparantly SOME peaple only care about critisizing. I mean, what if this illusion was yours?

  47. It’s a tunnel. The top of the picture is the side furthest away, but it is still bigger. If it were a pyramid, it would be waaaay too big on one side. Pyramids are hardly ever irregular, and this one would be so irregular, it would be really instable! It’s not really an illusion. Just at first glance it could be seen differently.

  48. Silly question, it´s either a pyramid (not very symmettric one, though) or a tunnel , whatever you want it to be.

  49. Those of you who think its a tunnel have obviously never seen one. Go on google and search for a picture of a tunnel and then come back and compare the characteristics of perspective with this picture. It is CLEARLY the inside of a pyramid. There are numerous instances in this picture that prove its a pyramid.

  50. the square reflection on the cealing is imposible if it was a pyrimid. without that square reflection it would be indistinguishable. If it had a triangular shadowit would be a pyrimid.

    p.s. anyone who sees the logic of this explaintion and can simplify it. feel free to do so.

  51. All though the point of the reflections is greatly made. It still looks like a pyramid to the untrained eye! Just as well as a hallway

  52. I am # 56. I have changed my mind. It could still be a tunnel or the inside of a pyramid looking up? But the top angle is longer than the bottom angle. I am thoroughly confused.

  53. i think its more a tunnel as the top side of it seems to big to equal to the other side to be a pyramid. But it also looks like a roof as someone has said below!

  54. I study architecture, and if there is a thing I can do is to recognize a geometry.
    This photo could be a tunnel only if the plank are realized on purpose of correct the perspective, and the wall and roof are expressly tilted (however in this case the tunnel will be a truncated pyramid, so it will be both the thing).


    – Focal Point: if the perspective is constructed on adapted plank it will be a tunnel like this: Tunnel plan…. however, the focal point is always to the infinite, so the last plank shold be also infinite…. or Km (Miles) long….

    – Reflected light: the reflection of the light don’t have any relevance. It can be one light reflected on a pyramid, two lights on a tunnel or pyramid, or also a whole room reflected on a pyramid roof….
    I have as hobby also the photography (architecture and photos are tightly connected), and this is not a photo taken with the flash, so the light can’t say us nothing.

    – Reflection of the lines: this is interesting… a mirror reflect object ALWAYS whit the same angle of incidence, no matter from the point of view you see it.
    If the mirror and the object are orthogonal, or the line parallel so will be the reflection… two parallel line, in perspective will point always the same focal point, so the reflection of a line on a mirror, if orthogonal to the mirror, will continue on the same straight line.

    On contrary if there is a tilted roof the effect is that of the photo.

    I made a graphic explication that can be more intelligible.

    – Tilted roof or ceiling: if there is a tilted roof, as I hypotized before, as shown in the drawing the farest section will be shorter than nearest, but in the image the section is the same squared, so this means that, if the ceiling or roof is tilted, also the other wall and the floor are tilted to mantain the section similarity.

    But if all the walls are tilted then is a pyramid….

    -Example: This image is of a similar pyramid roof made with plank. It’s in wood, but the principle is the same….

    Pyramid roof

  55. Lebamom said…
    If it’s a pyramid, it’s taken from the inside looking up, not the outside looking down.

    Yes, is a pyramid taken from the inside looking up, no dubt.

    It isn’t a trivial illusion…

  56. its a tunnel because pyramids have the same size sides when if u look at this one the side at the bottom is very small while the side at the top is pretty big therefore its a tunnel


  57. I agree this is a pyramid or steeple from the inside.

    I don”t agree that this site is lame. I’m thankful for all the work that goes into it.

  58. In response to the fact the lines should be closer together towards the centre…I believe it was the greeks/romans (?) who built their columns wider at the top so that from a ground perspective, the column would appear to be the same width all the way to the top.

    Therefore, the spacing could be larger near the end of the tunnel to give it the appearance of equal size rings.

  59. It’s the inside of a pyramid. I can tell because of the pixels and having seen a few insides of pyramids in my day.

  60. I am pretty sure it is not a tunnel. The vanishing point feels like it is way too close, and the angles leading to the vanishing point are kind of steep. In addition, the lighting is far too consistent for it to be a tunnel. If it were truly a tunnel, it would get darker towards the vanishing point (or else there would need to be another source of light, which there isn’t). I think it is much more likely to be the inside of a building or hut, with a pyramidal roof.

  61. @ Dani

    The difference between greek columns is that they are limited elements.
    They don’t reach the vanishing point like this tunnel.

    I said that the vanishing point (I called focal point, but it was a mistranslation) goes to the infinite so to correct the perspective of the tunnel the last planks have to be infinite or kilometer long.

    Greeks wanted to correct some imperfection of the buildings caused from uman perception…. this is very different….

    See Versailles… The park is all realized with a corrected perspective, but this too is not infinte….

  62. It’s funny how many responce this got, and how fast — a lot of you say it’s a tunnel, and some of you say it can be see as either depending on how you look at it… but darn me if I don’t just see the pyramid (as it might look from the inside if it was hollow) and that’s it. I can’t seem to force myself to see a tunnel at all.

  63. i say its a tunnel with a wall at the end. and the celing has reflected that wall. and it doesnt continue on forever. kinda like that illusion that was on a crane with the door making it seem like it went on froever.

  64. I’m pretty certain that this is a tunnel of some sort, because on the top part, or the “ceiling” the darker square in the middle is reflected from the bottom. Unless this was deliberately done, there’s no way that that reflection would appear on a pyramid.

  65. looks more like top roof to me though.

    from the perspective the photographer is trying to capture is rather unique…

  66. well this is def. not a drawing due to the reflection on the upper wall. therefore it would have to be a pic judging from the reflection and the gloss. someone looking straight up into a ceiling for god knows what.

  67. this one is unbelievably easy, i’m surprised that so many people can’t get this one. it isn’t necessarily a pyramid or a tunnel, it is simply a photo taken by someone standing in a room with a pyramid-shaped ceiling;
    They took the photo with their back near the wall behind them, which accounts for the shape you see being asymmetrical.

  68. there is no way its a pyramid. The sides and top are not symetrical like the bottom, which therefore says to me that it is a pathway that is leading down a tunnel. The uneven sides and ceiling are typical of what would be seen if crawling into the tunnel.

  69. Yes it seems to be tube-like. Perhaps the inside of a steeple. This image reminds me of the inside of some type of open-rafted european architecure. Also my one of my first thoughts was that this image was upside down.

  70. Ummm… I don’t know if anyone noticed this or commented on it. It is most likely a pyrimid because a photo of a tunnel would have depth of field to some extent. This is a smaller object.

  71. In my opinion, it is NEITHER a tunnel nor a pyramid. To me it looks like a ceiling in a church. I have seen one before, with the lines being the crackes between the boards and the reflection look to be the reflection of the lights. This would also explain the darker line at the top which is probably where the supports start.

  72. It’s a mirror, you can tell. I’ve seen two mirrors, and they showed the other mirror showing the other mirror showing the other mirror, and it never ended.

  73. It’s a tunnel. This entire site has really become lame. Shouldn’t bother adding stuff to the site for the sake of adding everyday. It’s be cool to be daily, but would be more special if the illusions were really good. Just a thought.

  74. i think its i a building with glass rudes, so if you were outside it is at glass pyramide on the roof of the building have seen those buildings in my life!

  75. i say its a tunnel type because see at the bottom how it is kinda of narrower..well if you took the picture of whatever from the top itf it was the peak it would all be even…get what i mean?

  76. Here is some constructive criticsm……………………………………………………..IT SUX BALLS!!!!!!!!! XD

  77. It’s a tunnel. You can see the reflection of the bottom, or floor, on the top, or the ceiling. Pyramids don’t do that.

  78. It’s a tunnel because the top of a pyramid is perfectly lined up unless we’re talking about the bent pyramid.

    1. It could be a pyramid…. How do you know how a pyramid has to be made….. one side could be longer than the other. And plus,

      !!!!!!IT’S A DRAWING!!!!!!!

      It could be anything!

  79. It is neither a tunnel nor a set of mirrors nor a pyramid. If you look at it as a 2 dimensional pattern you’ll notice that the distance between each square is equal. Therefore the squares are not becoming either closer or farther away.

  80. I must agree with CJ, this is most definatly a tunnel, and while it may appear to be a pyramid like shape, the nature of the reflections on the walls of this tunnel give it away. if ti were a pyramid, it would reflect the environment around it, not the shapes it is comprised of. the reflections of lights at the top are exactly that, a light that was used to illuminate the interior of this tunnel of sorts, however it does come to a ddefinitive point near the end, so I’d be most willing to wager it is an elongated, reversed pyramid like shape ie: not _/\_ but ¯\/¯, where the – represents the ground :)

    The interior has been painted with some sort of slightly reflective white color, like car paint… the lines are either a flat black base coat showing through, or black construction paper, with painted black being the most logical assumption, as there is no visible paper fibers, and the white (especially noticeable near the edges of the photo due to the specular nature of the white paint) stands off of the background ever so slightly… it is also possible that the white is a tape of some sort, or little whiteout strips, both of which would be much more easily measured and applied precisely.

  81. It’s looking up in a cabana/gazebo of sorts. You can see the reflections of the stuff right outside it as they get hit by the sun. The underside of the roof has been painted with a glossy white paint.

  82. It is a hollow roof that is shaped like a pyramid (Or a roof of a square castle tower) photographed from the inside, pointing the camera up, but in an angle (So not straight up). Made of wooden planks with glossy painting (Maybe white painting, but the photograph is in black/white so we can not know). All wooden planks have the same width but get shorter in length the closer to the top (Center) they are.

  83. From the light reflections/refractions on the sides… I have surmised that is in fact the underside of a shallow pyramidal roof… such as found in a gazebo.. vanity wood house or museum.

    It is at a shallow angle.. it is a pyramid but the unique flat angle gives it the strange appearance.

  84. If you look at it upside down you can tall its a tunnel because the line seperating it in half in the middle the upside down part is a little more wider then the other sides

  85. It’s a pyramid! The reflection of the square wouldn’t be like that in a tunnel! And if there’s mirrors, it’s supposed to be IDENTICAL. Seriously! You just all got beat by an 11 year old!

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