Lego Penrose Stairs Illusion


Seems when M. C. Escher created his famous lithograph Ascending and Descending (all the way back in 1960.), he didn’t have a slightest clew how many people will get inspired by this exceptional deceiving work! Just look how cute R. Watson’s escher-inspired Lego Penrose turned out to be!

But what I also think, is that it couldn’t hurt encouraging your little toddlers to try and construct something similar on their own! Not only will you motivate them to “mathematically” analyze the 3D space, they will also learn the beauty behind optical illusions, and educate themselves while doing it! When Escher chose to construct this deception, he placed the staircase on the roof of a building and structured the building to convey an impression of conformity to strong (but inconsistent) vanishing points. He has the right vanishing point higher than the left one.

  • seb12

    the second photo reveals how it works

    • ASD


    • ASD


  • NeeL

    Just look at the smuck grin at his face thinking he rules the world by walking up and up to the highest place.
    Pathetic how he doesn’t realize he is the joke of the day, not able to get any higher!

    (Talking trash about Lego makes me feel good about myself…) :(

  • jaecool

    The vertical streak of light INSIDE the well also gives away how it was made. Very good though!

    • im cool like that

      it has a start and an end. its NOT impossible!
      it goes up, turns, carries on going up, turns and then finishes. its just the angle the photo is taken that makes it look endless.

  • The Best

    I saw the solition at the first picture, this illusion is no so good as the others

    • I

      Me too,the tile is smaller than the one before it

  • jaecool

    .. and the inconsistent perspective on the steps. These kind of shots are best taken from a long distance with a long lens to minimise perspective distortion.

  • WhoAmI

    the sun light spoiled it

  • Anh Pham

    ha ha, a right angle for the camera to make this, not too badddddd.

  • This is a perfect gift for my nephew. The first photo is really an optical illusion. Nice stuff.

  • Cool!! i can make my own paradox now!

  • Sean

    LEGO!! My favorite!

  • Andrew

    Its the middle tile on the right that gives it away

  • Jean

    Nice inspiration, thank you.

    I rebuild it with my kids.


    • Jean

      Now pictures from Nintendo 3DS available:

  • Terri Aki

    if anyone here had some sort of measurable eye sight you would notice that the ‘top’ step is incredibly dis-proportinate to the step prior. the Penrose steps are about SCALE, not some kid whose been able to build some simple lego steps and take a photo at reasonably right angle

  • Awesome

    Cool I don’t understand how it was made even with your guys help btw 19th comment?

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