MIT Illusion of Many Albert Einsteins


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This optical illusion set is located at the MIT museum in Cambridge, and is consisted of eight portraits. The whole set was created by Aude Oliva, Ph.D. The small thumbnail on the left gives you idea what you would see when you’re far away from it – Looks like 8 different portraits, right? Well, as you assumed it’s just another optical illusion. To experience the effect, you have to look at each portrait from smaller distance. I enlarged the photos for you the see them easier (or you can open the left photo in full-size).

You can see them all magically turn to Albert Einstein. The expanded image changes as you get closer. You see It’s JUST Einstein. You can try again, by expanding the image and stepping backward! How did this work? Our eyes see the details when we get closer, and this changes our perception of the image! Jump inside this article to see all the close-ups (8 of them), and if all this still isn’t enough, I linked some words to similar hybrid optical illusions. This should be enough for some time. Also, please take a second to vote for this story on Digg.

  • Maggie <3

    This is cool! :)

  • Anonymous

    it works if you just squint your eyes too

  • Anonymous

    wow .. cool :D

  • Maggie <3

    indeed you can o.o coolness~

  • shannon

    neat (=

  • Charles

    This is super awesome, and 2. Anonymous’s way works well indeed. Very nice illusion.

  • LafinJack

    Where can I get large printable versions of these?

  • Anonymous

    I believe this one is better live. You spot the portraits, and then they change while you approach.

  • Zantak =D

    awesome ^^

  • Anonymous

    what if it id just drawnon and is not a illusion…… it might just be einstien on one and other people on the other

  • Junior

    strange…..very strange

  • Anonymous

    Way cool!!

  • Paul

    the first photo really looks like daniel radcliff/harry potter xD nice OI

  • Anonymous

    Very cool!!

  • Anonymous

    its pretty cool. i likee elbert

  • Anonymous

    the first one looks like daniel radcliff, the one right beside it marilyn monroe, and the last one albert einstein

  • Anonymous

    after looking at the pictures for a while i think i have figured out what they might have done to make this. if you look closely (i find looking at the daniel radcliffe picture easiest) it looks like there is just a blurred picture of daniel radcliffe BEHIND a picture of einstein. the picture of einstein is simply made more transparent, so from far away you cant see it and you can only see the picture of daniel behind it, which hasnt been made more transparent. if you look at the other pictures you will see that his jacket will look different in all the pictures, sometimes with lots of white where the tie is, and sometimes with almost no white at all. that is because the people in the pictures behind him are wearing different clothes.

  • Julie

    Very cool! I never thought Albert Einstein could ever be morphed into all of these people.

    I love this!

  • Anonymous

    awesome, but its much better i nperson

  • Natalie

    This is so cool! I really like Albert Einstein, and I have been interested in him for about eleven years. I also am interested in optical illusions, so this just made my day! I hope that all of you respect Mr. Einstein for the great man that he is! Does anyone know any other good optical illusions?

  • Anonymous

    Hay que estar muy aburrido para hacer eso!

  • Emma

    the two at the top right are george bernard shaw and salvador dali. the bottom left portraits are sean connery and john lennon(?). someone has already named daniel radcliffe and marilyn monroe but who is the woman jsut next to the real einstein?

  • art

    my mom liked it and recomended the site to her friends!

  • Anonymous

    Omg that is awesome,i totally see daniel radcliffe and marilyn monroe, optical illusions like this are awesome!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Wow! That is really neat! Is the first one Daniel Radcliffe? it sure looks like him!

  • LazyDude

    after looking at this photo for a while, im starting to think that it is completely photoshopped. maybe im wrong, but my friend has photoshop and he does stuff like this everyday. i cant believe how obvious this is and no one else notices it except me. one of the photos is einstein and the other is celeberaties. am i the only one thats not stpuid?

  • Anonymous

    he was not is he’s dead now you know that right?

  • i*is*awesome

    to Paul:
    I WAS GONNA SAY THAT!!!!!!!!!! I HATE U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :@ >:P

  • Pinocchio

    I generate exactly the same kind of illusions, too. I have a weblog with a few of them. For example, the link below is the hybrid face of Lena and Yulia from the music band TATU.

    Enlighten me with your comments!

  • Anonymous

    I think that is Kate Winslet? to the left of Einstien

  • Keely

    i think that this is very has its own uniqueness and i love that. it just has something really cool to look at.

  • tboner

    This is exactly why I <3 this website so much

  • Anonymous

    in the top left corner it looks like harry potter

  • the technogirl

    this is similar to the illusion “no sex causes bad eyes”

  • Anonymous

    Other really cool illusions at the MIT Museum are the holographs

  • kit tink ka

    is the mystery woman next to albert rachel weisz ?

  • Cornelius

    Daniel Radcliffe, Marilyn Monroe, ?, ?, Dr. Phil, ? (but someone mentioned John Lennon), Kate Winslet or Madonna, Einstein.

  • Dan

    I recognize Sean Connery, Sigmund Freud, John Lennon, Salvador Dali, and Marilyn Monroe in 5 of the photos, and one other seems to just be a photo of Albert Einstein, but I’m not sure who the other two are — possibly Daniel Radcliffe and Kate Winslet.

  • Joe Parker

    These pictures reveal the secret behind Mona Lisa’s smile.The different types of photo receptors in your Retina perceive either soft/fuzzy shades or sharp contrasts depending on focal length and angle.That’s why Leonardo’s famous painting appears to smile when you look away.

  • tristin

    if u squint looking at the seperate einstien pictures, you see the pictures u see from far away

  • scott


  • i tried to figuer out how this person did this art!first i steped away from my pc then i got closer and then i went to go get my mom and her husband!her husband was like WOW! i told him what i tried to do and he couldnt figuer it out! XD

  • Whatcamallit

    Hehehe cool!

  • awesom

    kewl i like it

  • notarealname

    i see it

  • AwesomeAddict

    youll see it if u scroll up and down fast!! :D

  • mave

    after looking at 4 random illusions you start to look at things for what they really are. Its about being flexible.

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