Two Fluid Optical Illusions


Its my pleasure to hear all those positive comments you wrote in our yesterday’s post. I’m aware this site needs some additional tweaks and modifications to work flawlessly, but the main thing is that all the widgets and links are working without interruption! Next thing I’m about to do, after finishing this post, is correcting the two “about” links in the navbar, adding random illusion button at the end of each post, and updating all the YouTube links in the “video illusions” section (you can follow my progress by refreshing this category). In the current week I’ll also update all the categories, and replace them with proper WordPress categories, which is very simple to do with this platform. I really like how the search results appear on our new site. You can check them, and tell me if you agree? Additionally, I’m listening to all your suggestions, as it is much easier to add new features once we have moved.

For today I have prepared two simple optical illusions that can easily be seen in mother nature. You can logically conclude that neither of them was photoshopped, but its interesting how the fluid’s density influences the angle under which the light reflects. This stuff is learned in the physics class in your elementary school, so be sure to pay attention when your teacher starts with “optics” chapter.

swimming pool optical illusion

2 straws optical illusion

  • MeMe< willkeepthisname

    This is cool! Pinch punch everybody!

    Good to see comments are posted right away :)

  • Detective Kitty

    awsomely easy though the first pic creeped me out a bit.

  • MeMe< willkeepthisname

    One other thing:

    I don’t really like how the “name” and “mail” boxes keep your name there and doesn’t disappear after clicking away—

    ohh- still with the comment moderation thing- ah wells.

  • Whenever lights hits a transparent or translucent surface it reflects, refracts, and diffuses. Reflection is the light bouncing off. Refraction is the light changing angle. Diffusion is the light spreading out, growing softer, and losing it’s hard edge.

    These photos are samples of refraction. Water and other fluids tend to refract more than gasses. This also happens in glass – which is a very viscous fluid, not a solid.

  • hiwazzup


  • Em

    I LOVES these kinds of illusions!! You should put up some more (( please? ))

  • HEY!

    Hey, just warning that when i click in the ‘spot the object’ link on the right had side of this page. it takes me to the right place but the thumbnails are messed up, and one of the links is ruined. (i’m using a mac, btw)

  • ellie

    the first one really does look like its edited …because ..the body looks more like a man’s body than a woman’s..;)):P ….but yh i suppose its real.:P

  • Zoë

    Hey! The comment section is different! Anyway, these illusions a weird. Especially the first one.

  • J

    David, glass is definitely not a liquid. That myth has been busted many times!

  • today’s link (just now @ 23:15 GMT) brought up a Feed Burner error page from iGoogle. I’m fairly sure that it was a fluke accident though.

  • Umm

    I’m not getting the email alerts anymore

  • Umm

    nevermind, it was my fault

  • YODA82

    Water is so cool

    it has the highest specific heat capacity

    and can break ionic bonds

    and surface temp

    we need to conserve ot so we can take more pictures

  • kurathedog

    just a small thing… the top of the text is chopped off in the title… i think you should lower the font size a bit… and great improvement and illusions!

  • Roy

    OK kids, refraction occurs whenever light enters an object at something other than a right angle. That is because the speed of light is different in different materials. Sound travels faster through solids, but light travels slower through solids. This is because light energy must pass from atom to atom in a solid. The atoms absorb the photons and then emit them to their neighbor. It is kind of like passing a whisper through class rather than shouting it across the room. The closer the atoms are together, the slower the message goes. For sound waves to travel, the atoms must run into each other. The closer they are, the faster the sound moves. Imagine lining a row of students across the room and pushing one of them so that they fall like dominoes verses running across the room to push someone on the other side.

    That being said. I love the pics! May I use them in class?

  • I agree that the first pic looks like a male body and a female head!

  • Bobert

    nice to see the site running again…cool


    that’s so cool i love this website…

  • Isaiah Alvarez

    Amazng like for realz.. i didnt listen in class tho so i dont know how it works lool

  • Guru


  • Tobias

    Wow, I love these kind of illusions:p
    btw: search results look awesome:D
    you did a great job!!

  • Pablo

    J, although I’d tend to agree with you (I wouldn’t say glass is a liquid) what David said is not as evidently wrong as you put it. At the end of the day, this might be a problem of how scientists decide to define certain terms such as “liquid”, “glass” or “solid”.

  • Wow! I just checked the search results and i must say this is beautiful! So clean and tidy and sweetly arranged! Second ‘about’ has gone and random illusion button in its place :)

    About the illusions now, the first one seems a little modified, but if you say it’s natural. i believe you :)

    P.S. I also love the fact that i don’t need to put my name, email and website everytime i want to post a comment! Great!

  • Excellent (natural) illusions!

    New format and host site looks great, and my iGoogle Widget has been operating correctly since the start. :-)

  • When I first clicked on the link, a feedburner page came up, but I closed it and clicked the link again, and it worked.

    Just thought I’d warn you in case it’s something you need to fix.

    Nice illusion… physics in action…

  • David

    oh boy the old Glass is a fluid poo poo again.

    The refraction isn’t because water reflects or refracts more, but because of the change from liquid(water) to gas (air).

    This is why things look normal when you look underwater, not all ‘refractory’.

  • she’s got wicked muscular legs….did anyone else notice that???

  • Dick Fitzwell


  • Kevin

    This is weird. I posted a comment yesterday with my name and mail. I logged off and shut down the computer and now it is still filled in.

    Anyway I like the illusions, especially the first.

  • Anonymous

    Nice illusion :)

  • Haven’t you ever watching women’s swimming? They have very muscular bodies…look how short the legs are, and the back of her thigh… it’s obviously her body.

  • Hallucination

    Something else, Vlurdak. I think you should proof read the ‘about’ page. ;)

  • I’ve been with you since 2007

    Hey! i’ve been with you for a long time, man. I’ve seen this site evolve over the years!

    Good job, I’m proud of you! Wonderful site!

    And comment on the illusion…. mother nature is wonderful, aint it?

  • steve

    Why is the above water object (head )to the right of the underwater object and the straws to the left of the underwater object?

  • Pia Aguilos

    i dont get it. is this photoshopped??

  • mike

    nice pic of refraction. but speaking of glass,
    it is a liquid, a solid has a defined crystalline structure, glass does not. if you want proof, look at a really old building, like an old church or something, the top of the windows is really thing, and the base is overflowing out of the holder, and is most likely stuck.

  • Hi, very nice post. I have been wonder’n bout this issue,so thanks for posting



  • =]

    um…on the second one, i see both straws-.-

  • Lily

    Ok people! No one cares about how light does that to that! If they really gived a crap they wouldn’t be too lazy to read it on the internet! So stop posting that information!! Geeze

  • ha ha haaaaaa!!


    how did that happen

  • Corey Schmetzer

    its not photoshopped kight traveks faster through water i saw this at the sydney aquarium

  • Natalie

    seen it before at home

  • rose

    what the heck i ma only a liytle girl and you guys are scared and i am not well look behind you boo did i scare u i thought so hahahahahazha

  • Quiana

    o really David.. I just thought they had really small heads.. *sarcasm*

  • Best you should edit the post title Two Fluid Optical Illusions | Mighty Optical Illusions to something more catching for your content you write. I liked the the writing however.

  • Someone

    Lol, it’s because of the light though, we learned it in class.

  • jake

    this is obviously real. this is just the science of how water refracts images.

  • James Tanaka

    I taught science for decades, a decade ago. I got involved in optical illusions as part of a section on the brain. I used this photo out of an “old” “Life magazine” to illustrate the refraction of light through materials of different densities, water vs air. This website has some of the other photos that I used in my classroom as my students would be able to testify. I even made a model of the impossible triangle, natually the two end did not touch, but when viewed from a certain angle, the ends did meet. I still collect optical illusions today.

  • James Tanaka

    I found the damaged page with the above photograph. The Life magazine page was Miscellany labeled “NEITHER HERE NOR THERE” Though Kathy Flicker was glad that her stint for the story on pages 88-91 had ended, no one expected her mind to start wandering. But while she was putting a big swigg of water back into the pool at Princeton’s Dillon gym she seemed to lose her head completely. As it floated blitlely away, Life’s George Silk, who thought he had seen everything, grabbed this picture of it– a heady example of distorted caused by the water’s refraction. On the other side of the pool’s window Kathy was feeling fine and very much in the swim.

  • awesome kid

    my childhood mystery!

  • taco

    fer shizzle.

  • invisibleidiot

    If you cross your eyes on first photo you will see it clearly ;)

  • Felicity


  • It is amazing what people can do with photoshop imagination is the limit

  • The imagination is the key to our future

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