What Do You See, Then?

Josue Diaz has subscribed to our website long time ago, and apparently “…really likes what he has seen by now”. Josue wrote: “Attached is an image that I just saw yesterday and I immediately thought this was Optical Illusion material. At first you may think that it is an abstract image. My friends and I stared at this for about 10 minutes with no results. We really thought this was someone trying to pull a joke on us, but then later that day we were told what the illusion was. I was so amazed, I mean, it really really is a good illusion. It’s just like they said to me. Once you know what it is, you won’t be able to see anything but that. Thanks! I hope you can use this on your website!!! The answer to this illusion is that it is a XYWZGF. A real life picture, not a cartoon.”

What does this picture show? Once you see it, there's no going back!
What does this picture show? Once you see it, there's no going back!

440 Replies to “What Do You See, Then?”

  1. Haha, I got it. Won’t tell yet, but let me say that I didn’t see it until I put it into Photoshop and did an operation on it. And I’ll add that it’s a partial crop, not the whole thing.

  2. AAAH! I see it! And i cant stop looking at it! I cant see anything else but this bovine beast! (Hint Hint). I cant get the solution file to work, but i got it when i saw the title of it… Am i first?, because i really dont care and i wish everyone would stop saying “am i first”. I bet that after me, there will be people that clearly are not first, saying “am i first?”.

  3. i got shown this in an RE class when we were being taught about enlightenment. our teacher said that once u r enlightened, u cannot see with unenlightened eyes, like this photo. onc you see it u cant not see it. v cool illusion, and enlightening :).

  4. I have no idea what that is, after 10 minutes of watching.. I just see a guy on the left, looking away with his hand in front of him like she/he is asking for something?

  5. I see a wolf on the right. the grey is the head with the teeth on the left side and the moon (while circle) above the head.

    I dont know if this is what I am ‘supposed to see’ but thats what I see.

  6. So, has anyone figured this out, I work in a garden centern, and have showed several co-workers this image, and so far many have said it is a plant of some sort….I told them they are crazy and have been lookin at plants too long

  7. ohmy!! this is the best one i’ve seen in awhile really great i couldnt get the pig/shark picture 4 awhile now everytime i look at that i can see it, same 4 this one

  8. I can’t get it at all, but I can see one thing like a monster face in the middle of the picture and some other figures.

  9. I can not see what it is, and I am lookingvery much forward to read other posts, hoping they will see what it is…
    Is it optic or haptic – near or far, is it vertical og horisontically…? I can not see it! And it buggers me!

    Please enlighten me!


  10. i see a cow! i saw it in the first 2 seconds of looking at it… i dont know if its right but that’s what i see!! :)

  11. What a “Moo-velous” illusion! Don’t be too distracted by the white in the center. Just sit back and gaze at the whole of it and it will hit you like a stampede! Way to go Josue Diaz!

  12. man im so lost: the middle thing kinda looks like a head looking right but thats the only thing i can distinguish.

  13. at first i thought it was an arial of a continent or some part of the world, but now it looks like a cow or a horse taken by an early 1900s camera

  14. Lions with night vision? I think I see one large on the lower right and ‘saw’ one in the upper left corner but I can’t see it now! Arrrgggg . . . What is it???

  15. kinda looks like a pic from an electron microscope or some other camera that sees other parts of the EM spectrum, but as for the image im not sure. Maybe some landform taken from space.

  16. Nope! This is (in my opinion) as bogus as the girl with the cello.

    I wouldn’t waste more than ten minutes staring at any optical illusion. And after ten minutes of staring (and flipping, rotating, zooming in and out and a bunch of other effort:) nothing!

    Remember what I said about frustratingly annoying illusions that I couldn’t get after minutes of staring? Well, this is one of them. Either that or it really is a bogus.

    Here’s a suggestion, Vurdlak: if after a few days nobody comes up with a definitive answer that everyone could clearly see (and I don’t mean some unclear ambiguous kind-of-like-this kind-of-like-that answer, as Josue said, once you know, you can see nothing but that) then perhaps you (or Josue) could post in this comment section the real answer. People who don’t get it would be very grateful for that =D

    In the mean time, I’ll reserve my vote until then. I don’t want to vote 1 star for what actually IS a good illusion image.

  17. I remember when I first saw this one, it took me forever to work it out, but you’re right, after you see it, you can’t not see it.

    Showed it to a few of my college teachers, and it took them longer than me, I actually had to point it out before they saw it. lol.

  18. Turn your head left, it looks like a person whos back/neck joint is impaled by a huge spear/stalagmite/stlactite/rock formaion thing

  19. It’s an old picture made from an airplane or another flying device. You see some meadows or farmland or whatever. Maybe some clouds too (upper left). The picture is old, so there are some scratches on it.
    So what am I supposed to see – will you ever tell??? You didn’t put a solution, that’s frustrating – now I will go throught the day and wonder and will be even more frustrated when there is no solution. ;)

  20. This seems to be like
    1. A flying bat
    2. Some part of earth from a plane
    3. A silhoutte of a boy with a hat.


  21. I see a lion in the bottom right corner growling at a zebra with it’s head bowed in the bottom left. Mind you, it could be anything!

  22. OH! It’s a COW!!!

    Wowowow! That’s so cool! I thought it was some person from the shape or some aerial view of some country ><;
    Haha, finally saw what it was!

  23. at first sight i didnt saw anything special.. but i came back 30 minutes later and i clearly sawed an lod man with a few hairs on the head and he seems to be real bored..

  24. In the beginning I had problems figuring out what’s behind this illusion. But after I have reopend my firefox I was just able to see half of the picture and that was the key to the secret. If you mask the right third of the picture you will see the head of a cow. And as already said afterwards you can’t see anything else than the head of a cow.

  25. So, I’m new to the site, and love it. But, is there a spot on the website that tells you what the mage is? I can’t seem to find it, also there is no place indicating where I send an e-mail to get the answers, little frustrating..Well, does anyone see what this is?

  26. Just thought sum1 should know, if u click the “what the illusion was” link, then on that page click the “here” link, to reveal the pic on that page, it brings you to a porn site. Not even joking.

  27. It looks like a cow, or a deer? It’s shoulder area and body are off to the right. Looks like some sort of wire fence behind it’s head on the left lower corner.

  28. i don’t know what to see..
    first thing that jumped to mind was a person leaning against something else.. but since this is a real life picture i guess it is not.
    i pictured white being clouds or chalk and black being wall or sky, but i don’t get much further than that..

  29. I see the head of a cow. But did anyone notice in the upper left hand corner the image of what appears to be the skull of a child?

  30. I wish someone would hurry up and write something because I can’t see what it is and it is really bugging me

  31. OMG this is really great. I coudn’t see it either, until I read it was a cow. And now I see it looking right at me: the face of a cow. This is cool!

  32. Looks like a picture of the side of a cow hide that’s all…if you were to zoom out you would see the whole ow…not really an illusion…correct me if I’m wrong…

  33. I saw this image more than 30 years ago in a problem solving seminar. I could not recognize anything in the image for several minutes.

    I have not seen it since. However, I instantly recognized it …

  34. Seen it now! Thats well cool!

    And if anyone was like me and couldnt see it, heres where it is…

    Big black shape on right is one of its ears, and the little black shape off the bottom of it is one of its eyes. Bottom centre shape is the cows nose and big white upper centre circle is the cows forehead. It is looking straight at you.

    Hopefully you can see it now!

  35. How is this an illusion? For those of you that can’t see it, put your hand over the right 40% of the picture.

  36. I know its a cow, but huh? I cant see it at all… This is the first time i havent been able to see one of these… Can someone please explain?

  37. it took me a while to figure out it`s a cow:D i was seeing things like a man looking over his shoulder, a ship, a horse, a skull… but not a cow! xD

  38. jeeze i’ve been looking at it all morning here and there and never saw it, i now see the cow!!!

    Hint: see the kind of X in the white, well the white is the forehead!

  39. haha it is a cow!!
    i was looking at it for a while, and then my dad came over, and poi nted it right out!

    **spoiler link**
    its too hard to describe :P
    so you can read my attempt to tell you where the cow is, or you can just click on the link, to my edit of it ;)


    the little black area with the white dot in it, along the bottom, in the middle, is its nose, (the black
    the bottom left corner of the big black area on the top left of the page is his eye. (you should see it going into a littler circley thing)

  40. Ok I get it. It is a cow’s head. If you can’t see it, focus on the black sections : there is the eyes, one ear (partially cut because touching the left side of the picture) and a mussel (touching the bottom of the picture). The fore head is in the white section and the cheeks are of two different shade of grey. The body/shoulder is grey too. If you can only see a white baby crying with an open mouth, that mouth is actually an eye. What looks like a tunnel is the other eye. It’s a terribly bad quality for a picture. Like someon had folded the paper a lot before photocopying the photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy.

  41. Saved it, viewed it with 3 different programs, inverted it, shrunk it, blew it up, changed it back and finally printed it. Nothing! It must be quite a stretch of the imagination because I’m normally very good at these things but still haven’t found it. More clues please.

  42. I stared and stared and could not see anything (even after reading the comments!), but then stopped and wondered which side of my brain was dominating making me not be able to see it. I closed one eye and saw it instantly.


  44. I see a boy (like Calvin) facing to the right, kneeling, with his arms out (almost as if praying).

    And ok, now I see the cow. He beat me in a blinking contest.

  45. This is a good one. I had someone help me and then got it.
    ***spolier*** It is a cow. The head is looking directly at you and the head blends into the body. The nose is the black oval at bottom left. The ear on the right blends into the black background but the ear on the left is visible. I hope that helps some people.

  46. My first thought was a high altitude, maybe satalite, photo. Then I thought maybe a photo of the ground with a puddle reflecting a cloudy sky. I can’t see a cow at all and now I’m just…..lost.

  47. Eurekow, I see the cow!!! But I see too, in the right side of cow face -the shadow one-, some armed men…they look like mexicians of Pancho Villa. There are four of them.

  48. a bear and lion about to fight, the bear bottom left and the lion just in front of him. or maybe i should up my medication, might see more then lol

  49. man i just got it forget the bearr and lion close one eye the squint and the cow is just staring you in your face with its cute nose. nose bottom center ear top left and go from there. One of the best so far i’m thinking keep up the great work

  50. My four year old spotted it in 2 seconds. I was sitting here trying to figure it out forever. I have been having him look at stuff on this site as an educational exercise. He is getting good. I called him over and asked him if he saw anything and he said, “yeah, a head with a face,” and pointed it out. I felt stupid.

  51. Take the picture in as a whole. Don’t look for small things. Remember it is black and white. You will see the cow then. Yes, it took my son pointing it out but now I don’t know how I missed it.

  52. wow that’s really good.
    For the first time in a long while on this site i’ve had to take more than 2 looks to figure it.
    i actually saw it as i was scrolling the page, it just popped out at me.
    very good image, looks a lot like what it’s supposed to.


    As said before, it’s a cow.
    It is a head of a cow looking at you.

    If you still cannot see it, go to the link in the description “what the illusion was” which is a better copy (contrast) than this one and much easier to see.

  54. Very nice.

    I was guessing that it was a satellite image or an extreme close-up. I had no idea, but now that I know, I can’t not see it.

  55. It took me all day to find it XD
    I found it about 5 minutes ago. Then showed my family no1 got it.
    P.S. it only took all day because I kept coming back. So it kinda only took about 39 minutes.

  56. Okay, I’ll try to describe it. Cow face, with black nose at the bottom, white forehead. Prominent left eye just to the right of center. See it?

  57. This is an old Optical Illusion, I was surprised so many had never seen it. Still it is a very cool optical illusion. For those who can’t see it, the illusion is on the left 2/3rds of the pic and is the cows head.

  58. I’m fairly certain that it is either a photograph of an explosion; Possibly a zeppelin or a hot air balloon of some kind; or a satellite photo from back in the day. Although, I’m not sure which country.

  59. Ok, it’s a cow’s head.
    But it still is also a mans head the white that in the middle, he looks right in the picture.
    The grey to the lower right looks like a lions head sneering to the left.

  60. First I saw a puma (or lion) head with open mouth, viewed from left (look at the lower right corner of the picture).
    After reading your comments I see the cow head.

  61. All I saw at first was the face of a cow. It was so apparent that I could not find anything else. Of course I am a farm lady so this one was a breeze for me. Pattie

  62. Oh wow! I’ve been getting so frustrated with this one, and then suddenly it just popped out at me. Once it does it’s so damned obvious! And yes, now it simply won’t merge back into the background.
    Incredible. One of the best I’ve seen on this website.

  63. Yes its a cows face, I remember this one from an old buddhism book I read years ago.
    its true that once you know what it is, theres no mistaking it ever again.

  64. Look at the white area in the upper center of the pick. On the rightside of the white area right at the center of the picture is a bay openning into a sea of black. That bay is the cows left eye.

  65. I suddenly got it. It’s a cow staring at you.
    The bottom black part (in the center) with the white spot (almost bean-shaped) is the cow’s nose.
    The black area on the top left (about 1/5 down from the top) is the ear

  66. I’ve been trying to put comment on this website several time, and it never worked.
    It’s the last time I’ll ever come here.

  67. WOW! Thank you RB for pointing out what the pic really is. Would never have guessed that is would be a cow. But then what the gigantic blob of white in the bottom left corner. Is that the body?

  68. LOL Oh wow, to me it looked liek Mr. Magoo with a hard hat on, but now I can really see the cow… what a great illusion! I love your posts and really enjoy opening my yahoo and checking out what you have! The posts are as much fun as the pictures :) Keep up the great work!

  69. I see a fetus in an ultrasound like photo. The big white spot is the head and it’s facing to the right. There is some land that comes out a bit into the black water that is it’s hand. I can’t see anything else.

  70. Oh, jeez. The quality of that thing makes it two steps from impossible to see. It was annoyingly familiar, but I just couldn’t see it. Thanks RB!

  71. Okay, so I was wrong. It is NOT a bogus (like the girl with the cello.) It actually IS a very good illusion. Thanks for the answer, guys! And yeah, I got it right away the instant I know what to look.

    Good thing I did reserve my vote. Now I can vote a bunch of stars for this illusion =P

  72. is it meant to be like those inkblot things? coz i see a lot of things. the center white spot looks like a head from side on. the black part in the bottom left looks like teeth, the part right next to that on the left hand side looks like someone screaming or crying. (eyes closed mouth wide open) the edge of the black spot on the top right corner looks like an elephant and there’s lots of other pics but less prominent.

    can you see these or am i crazy? lol

  73. I can see the cow,that’s for sure, but my first impression was the face of a cat.
    Two eyes above, a small nose in the center, below.
    Witch one is it?

  74. move back a couple of feet and blink rapidly if you can’t see it. That made it jump out immediatly for me.

    Before that i saw the fetus thing someone mentioned but it wasn’t very strong so didn’t think that was it.

  75. thats a pretty B.A.M.F illusion but it took me a couple of tries…..and richard is stupid…dont get mad just cuz you cant post a comment!

  76. wow people, the cow (or calf)’s head is an eye-opener, thanks!
    But this stays in my vision; there is a mummy ! or some kind of egyptian sacrogaaf (coffin) in the picture.
    the head is right from the cow’s head, the nose sticks in the (left)eye of the cow,
    I can see clearly mouth, nose, eyes, an ear and some kind of big hat or crown
    Also a shoulder (right of the cow’s nose). Its almost if the cow rests its chin on the coffin.

  77. I FINNNAALLY GOT IT THANKS TO jominy. haha (: and its true, i tried to NOT see the cows face but i just kept seeing it!

  78. Oh I see it. It honstly took me about `15 minutes. OOPS

    Its good though. It’s true now that I’ve seen it, I’ll never mistake it again.

  79. It’s a really grainy, terrible quality old black and white photo. I think the description should say that. I was assuming it was a normal photo. This has more in common with an abstract painting than a photo.

  80. I think I see the cow, but what is the giant white area that is under the big blank black space on the top right of the picture?

    If the white area is part of the cow, that I am probably wrong, but am seeing a very good image of a cow too.

  81. I’m trying really hard to see the cow… but i just can’t.. and its getting really frustrating…
    all i see is a soldiers head and no cow….



  83. Really good.. a Cow!!!!!
    black dot in the top left is a ear…
    black dot in the bottom the nose…
    black dot in near in the center the eye…

  84. Wait, Now I see it! It IS a cow! The big black areas at the top are the ears and the big black area at the bottom is the nose! If you can see that, everything else kinda pulls together!

  85. It’s not a cow stop all agreeing that it is so as to confuse other people.
    What the hell does ‘XYWZGF’ mean?
    I hate this illusion!

  86. Not sure if what i see is correct but i’ll attempt to describe it. The upper area has the letter “M”; that would be the forehead. Go south from the tip of the middle of the “M” and you get the nose(or the two nostrils). Then take the tip of the right side of the letter “M” and go south east( following the trajectory closely) for the right eye. Then the image should come together, i hope.

  87. All you can see in the image is the cow’s head, the rest of the image you can’t make anything out.

    The cow is facing toward us and slightly to the right.
    The bright white roundish part in the middle is the cow’s forehead.
    The little round black bit on the bottom right of that is the cows eye, which continues as the cow’s ear, and then more black which is nothing

  88. click the link at the top of the page that says ‘what the illusion was.’ It’s a skull!
    Try shrinking the image!

  89. With help from the comments (thanks) and staring for a few minutes yeah finally saw it, A COWS HEAD AND SHOULDERS!!!! Staring right at me.

  90. If it’s a cow, then what is the big white thing that looks like a head? I don’t see anything. Can someone who knows what it is tell me where all the features are? it is REALLY frustrating.

  91. Coming back at this (fascinating ain’t it), I’ve copied the picture on my pc, did a mirror-action on it, took a distance, or make the pic smaller and my conclusion;
    a young cow standing in front of a brick wall (vertical bricks) but the foto is damaged or very old. ;)

  92. OMG NOW I C IT!! hahaha…i needed 2 c da comments 2 figure it out… :P ur rite now dat ik wot it is i cant enithing else!! (:

  93. i see demonic things in this 0.o i see da cow but if you look in the top left corner and focus on both the black and white, youll shit bricks.

    1. Don’t make too much out of it. It’s simply 3 leaves and their tattered edges make them look like other things. Your mind is making more out of it than it is.

  94. I see it! if you look a lot you’ll see that the clearer parts in the middle there are trees, the grass, the sky, and some branches come from the upper part. and the black thing i believe are leaves or something

  95. I see a scared little kid in the lower left corner and a tiger or lion about to atatck on the right lower corner. I don’t see a cow anywhere.

  96. it´s a cow face
    …. …………. …………………….
    …. .. .. .. …………………….
    …… ……………………..
    ……. x x ………………………
    …… ………………………
    ……. ……………………….
    …….. ………………………..
    ……… …………………………
    …….. ° ° ………………………..

  97. “We really thought this was someone trying to pull a joke on us, but then later that day we were told what the illusion was.”

    Let me get this straight. You couldn’t see what it was until you were told what it was and you want us to see what you had to told to see and you don’t provide the answer?

    Golly, you’re so much smarter than all of us.

  98. I saw this when I was 15. Seriously, I don’t get how people don’t see it. its a picture of a cow’s head. It took me less than a second to see it. whats so hard to see?

  99. I see a lioness roaring with the huge sun in the background, appearing to just touch the edge of her nose..
    I can see the cow but it doesn’t appear as obvious to me XD

  100. Its a cow. The large white area at the top is its head and the small black area near the bottom in the center is its nose

  101. looks like aerial photo to me. the dark on the right looks like trees… the black is water…. could be snow on the ground….

    that’s all i can see…
    i can make out figures in that…. but it’s just my mind looking to make sense…

  102. It’s a baby cow :D to the left. If you dont really stare at it but just lean backwards alil bit you’l see a BIG baby cow face.

    1. ahhh, i saw it when i took “Meliss says:
      May 30, 2011 at 10:54 am
      It’s a baby cow :D to the left. If you dont really stare at it but just lean backwards alil bit you’l see a BIG baby cow face.” that advise thought i was going crazy haha

  103. I agree with Bandit. I don’t see any animals in this image either. The image itself is an aerial reconnaissance photograph from WWII. Most interesting to know the cordinates. I do have an inkling though. Would Josue Diaz please email me.

  104. I think I see Bin Laden in the bottom left, where the photo is not as black. Please someone tell me that they see him also.

  105. Where is this baby everyone speaks of — i found the cow with in 5 seconds (although at quick look at thought horse…until i delved into the photo completely. But a baby? a lion?

  106. i see an elephant calf, top right,a man with a goaty inthe middle a skull in the top left a tiger in the bottom right and the dinosaur with the sail in the bottom left

  107. This thing made me shit bricks.
    It is a cow’s head with a tree(on the lower right corner) and some barbed fence.

    Just step back from the computer and you’ll see it.

  108. I see a cow face at the first time I saw this pic.
    how could it couldn’t be seen by some of u ???

    the white area (area with X- mark) upper center is it forehead, the dark at bottom center is it nose)… both dark area in upper right and upper left is it ear …

    see ..

  109. Again the cow??!!! At least I can see a kid in this one (looks like Calvin)… Ah, and that “rotated to lef’t” cat.

  110. all I see is a man with vertical slits for his eys. No nose, no mouth with his head tilted to the side close to his shoulders. He appears to be bald. That’s all in the white area. I dont see a skull, tiger, baby or cow! Help please?! If the cow is so obvious…I’ve read all the comments but I just cant find the cow!

    1. That took forever to see, but once you realize the white thing you think is the head is the forehead and top of nose, and the black oval at the bottom is the end of the snout, it’s easy.

    1. thanks Jacqui…. it is a cow… well the other guys were wrong… if u dont mention it, it took forever to find…

  111. Try this. I see a construction worker wearing a hardhat with his left arm up and out, and his right arm coming toward you wearing a glove. Also he is holding some kind of tarp in front of him. His shirt is darker than his head.

  112. theres a man on the bottom left of the screen….kinda looks a bit like osama bin laden…… his eyes are looking to the right….. pretty darn cool!!!

  113. It is a face, or maybe someone been smashed…
    I can see a panda too. And a man’s face with long beard on the left, tryin to strangle the write figure in the centre

  114. I never saw the cow at first if u look at the whole thing it looks like an angel with a crown on top 2 slashes for the eyes and on left and right wings spread out wide

  115. there’s nothing on this picture…just time wasting…it would nice if there is an answer, if ever people here can’t find it…

  116. theres the face of the ape on the right. it looks JUST LIKE AN APE. look closely. you see the side of the side of its face. pretty cool. i also see a cow sort of. i’m surprised nobody pointed out the monkey/ape face in the middle on the right

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