These illusions are seriously confusing when you first glance at them, but after a moment of staring at these photos, what’s really going on will be revealed. Whether it was caused by a trick of light, perfect timing or someone’s poor planning, these illusions can fool even people with 20/20 vision.
From cats hovering above the ground to buildings that appear to be as flat as a sheet of paper, these illusions might just have you asking, ‘wait, what am I looking at?’
An Office Worker Accidentally Created a Tile Illusion
This is why you should always hire an expert to do your tiling work. Even when a design idea seems fine, it might accidentally cause vertigo for many people down the line. But, it is cool to see this illusion in real life, so maybe they built in a unique reason to visit their building!
Cats are known for their ability to jump several feet in the air and always land from extreme heights without a scratch. But did you know that cats can also hover in midair? This is actually a photo of a cat sitting on the ground taken from above, but it’s enough to fool plenty of people!
The Rock Formation Creates the Illusion of a Frame
Looking past these rocks at the landscape ahead almost looks like peering at a photograph because the rocks create a perfect frame around the view ahead. Where these lines meet up are called tangents, and they’ll often create illusions in photography.
Two-Headed Goat at the Petting Zoo
These two fluffy goats got cuddled so close together that it looked like there was only one two-headed goat there! This kid doesn’t seem phased by it though, good for him.
Is This Girl a Centaur?
This photo was posted onto Reddit with the caption, “walked into the kitchen to find my cousin in her true form.” Her black leggings and the dog’s black legs behind her create a truly hilarious illusion and it’s also sweet that the dog is keeping such a close eye on its owner!
A Footprint in the Sand Appears to Be Coming Out of the Ground
This footprint looks like its doing the opposite of what should happen because it seems to be coming out of the ground! Really, the shadows just make it seem like like it’s a convex shape, but focusing on the heel of the foot can break the illusion.
This Coin Appears to be Translucent
By balancing this coin on a ring, the reflection of the ring creates a perfect circle, creating the illusion that the viewer can see the other side of the ring through the coin itself. This is a perfect illusion to recreate at home.
Normal Lighting Caused a Cube Illusion
If you focus your eyes on the white ledge of the tiles, it creates an illusion that you are looking at a concave cube, and if you look at the corner of the cube, you can reverse the illusion to see a convex cube. But, it’s really just a photo of the corner of a white office.
The Reflection of Chairs in the Room is Unsettling
This teacher was probably surprised when his student asked to take a photo of him, but he gave a great smile for the camera anyways. Too bad this photo looks like it would embarrass anyone who was wearing khaki pants behind the reflection of those chairs.
Does This Finger Have Teeth?
This picture will surely make many people uncomfortable. The reflection of this person’s knuckle in the glass next to their actual knuckle look too much like teeth. This is surely one of those things that can’t be unseen.
This Color Photo Seems Like It’s In Black and White
If there was even one red car in this photo, it would ruin the illusion but because all of the cars on this street are grey, white or black and the snow has blanketed everything else, it really seems like this is a two-toned photograph.
Is the Popcorn Spinning?
The lid of this plastic popcorn container makes the contents inside appear to be spinning. Imagine the surprise of the person who bought this tub only to find out when they got home that the contents were completely stationary.
This Sinkhole is a Dam Overflow Drain
This strange sight is something that most people never get the chance to see. In order to make sure that water doesn’t flow over the top of man-made dams, overflow drains are put into place to take the extra water somewhere else. This is why people can’t swim near dams.
This Beach Photo Looks Like a Family Walking Into a Void
This could either be a family photo taken at a beach on a particularly sunny day or a shot from a film where a father and daughter are suddenly abducted by aliens. Either way, they can frame it and have a great talking point when people come to visit.
The View From an Airplane at Night Looks Like Space Flight
Imagine your surprise if you looked outside and saw this view while you were taking a normal flight. You may just think that you were leaving Earth’s atmosphere entirely! Thankfully, it was just a red-eye flight that departed late at night while the sky was totally dark.
A Real Life Video Game Quest
These lights typically do the job of illuminating the walkways on campus for students to use, but once it snows more than a few inches, all these lights can do is illuminate the snow in front of them. That creates this eerie light box in the middle of the street.
I Didn’t Order An Eye on My Pizza
This mushroom pizza has a topping on it that looks seriously creepy. The top of this mushroom looks like it’s staring right back at the person who is eating it, so they probably won’t be ordering seconds at this restaurant!
The Delivery Truck Looks Like Friendly Neighbors
Imagine the surprise of the person on this side of the fence when they saw some towering, joyful people peeping into their yard. It really takes a moment to realize what exactly is going on here and why you shouldn’t be terrified to see this sight on the other side of your fence.
This Frozen Trail Looks Like a Rushing River
There’s a layer of ice on this forest trail, creating the illusion that there’s a blue river running through the woods. That ice looks very thick though, so it’s best to just pretend it’s a river and not walk over it!
This is a Lake in Tanzania
Lake Natron in northern Tanzania is a salt lake where water can flow into it, but it does not flow out. The salt content of the lake makes it extremely caustic, meaning it can cause severe burns if many creatures, including humans, touch the water in the lake.
The Algae on Top of This Moat Looks Like Green Concrete
This smooth, light green algae looks like a flat and sturdy plane, but it’s not as stable as you might think it is. One step on that green turf and you’ll sink right into the waters below, and probably get a mouthful of algae on the way down.
Rainbow Portal to Another World is Just a Puddle
This perfectly circular puddle hidden in this rock seems like something unnatural by the way it is reflecting rainbows, but it’s just a photo of a puddle taken as the sun was perfectly reflecting off of it.
It Seems Like There’s a Tiny Phone on the Table
That’s either a huge deck of cards and a massive wine glass or that phone is awfully tiny! Really, the phone is set on the floor next to the girl’s foot behind the glass table, giving it the illusion of being on the table.
Is She Smoking or Sipping?
When this woman’s mother saw her taking a sip of her drink, she scolded her for smoking! At this angle, it really seems like she’s got the object that’s actually far behind her in her mouth.
There’s a Floating Rock Above the Raccoon
This illusion is truly mind boggling. At this angle, it appears as if there is a floating rock on the right side of the photo, hanging in midair above the raccoon. But in actuality, the photographer was standing above the pair of raccoons and caught a photo of the sky’s reflection in a lake, where the rock is resting.
This Seems Dangerous Until You Look Closer
At a first glance, it looks like this daredevil father is putting his baby’s life in danger, but that isn’t a real railroad below them. This dad is just helping his kid get a better look at the miniature train that’s only about a foot below them.
Mirrored Buildings Seem Invisible
Mirrored skyscrapers like this one confuse not only passers-by on the street, but also in the air. So many birds are confused by these buildings and they mistakenly try to fly into them, before being stopped by their reflection or a windowpane.
His Friend is Floating
This photo was taken at a perfect angle to create the illusion that this girl is floating in the air. She is actually sitting on the edge of her chair with her legs crossed, completely obstructing the view of the seat below her.
A Floating Island Off the Shores of Thailand
This illusion of a floating island is an example of a Fata Morgana mirage. These mirages create the illusion that a structure is floating on the air above a body of water and they happen when rays of light are bent as they pass through air layers of different temperatures.
The Chrome Finish Makes the Tissue Holder Invisible
The perfect shiny mirrored finish of this tissue holder makes the container nearly invisible, which is perfect if you’re going for that minimalist look in your bathroom.
Hex Wrenches Look Like They Exist in Another Dimension
These hex wrenches set up in a line look as if they are floating in mid air and aren’t interacting with any of the objects around them. These could be the tools that M. C. Escher built all of those staircases with.
The Bottom Step Disappears in this Illusion
If you focus your eyes on the side of the stairs closest to the camera, it’s unclear where the steps end and the patio begins. Hopefully the illusion doesn’t appear when someone is walking down the stairs or this could cause a lot of unnecessary accidents.
A Cloud or a UFO?
This cloud may appear to be shielding an unidentified flying object, but it’s really just a type of cloud known as an altocumulus standing lenticular cloud. These clouds appear when strong winds move precipitation near topographic barriers like mountains or other structures.
Is this a Real Building or a Facade?
This building really seems to be just an empty set for a movie, but it’s actually a triangular building photographed at its most extreme angle. It’s almost impossible to tell how it’s even possible to enter that building at all!
Artwork or Hole in the Fence?
This perfectly sunny day looks just like a photograph, and the hole in this fence looks like an artist just hung up their work. If it wasn’t for the matching sky above the fence, it would be hard to tell if this was an illusion or not!
This Building Hasn’t Finished Loading
This building in Houston, Texas appears as if it hasn’t been finished, but that isn’t the case. The building’s front side has a convex corner, but the corner itself isn’t visible from the side of the building that faces the street, so many people view this illusion every time they drive through Houston.
These Construction Workers Are So Close to the Ground
At the angle this photo was taken, it appears as if the workers fixing the bridge are only about a foot away from the ground below them. But in reality, the machine they are on is extended towards the camera, which can’t capture the support arm extending from the machine.
This Rice Field Is Falling In On Itself
This photo of a rice field makes the growing space appear to be falling into the Earth at its center, but if you focus your eyes on the man in the middle of the photo, it’s easier to understand how the field actually appears.
This Hallway Just Doesn’t Line Up
There was no way to put the wheelchair ramp in the center of the hallway, so they should have tried to put a different carpet pattern on the ramp. Because this is a total eyesore that definitely could have been avoided.
Is the Carpet Moving, Or Am I?
This carpet looks like a glitch in the matrix, and you may be surprised to know that the person who took this picture was standing completely still. That’s an odd choice for a hotel floor because it must cause a lot of vertigo.
This Flat Building in Singapore
No, this building isn’t actually flat, it just has a harsh angle on one side that isn’t visible from this view. But it creates this incredible illusion, which is pretty amazing in its own right!
Is There Oil or Paint on Her Legs?
At a first glance, it looks like this woman’s legs are glossy with oil, but after a moment, it’s clear that there is just paint on her legs. It’s interesting how the brain can see an illusion and then lose the ability to see it again after the truth is revealed!
Just Stack Your Chairs in the Void
It’s hard to tell exactly how these chairs are existing in time and space, but if you focus your eyes on the bottom of the legs of the chairs, you can see where they meet the ground and lean on the wall above.
Is This Cardboard Box Floating?
While this may appear like a package floating in midair, it’s actually a photo of a box that was laid on the ground beside a drain, which is nearly the same exact shape and size as the package itself.
This Hotel Carpeting Appears Three Dimensional
This carpet design looks like it’s popping right out of the floorboards! But it is a strange pattern because the only 3D aspects are the flowers, while the colorful bands in the background are completely two dimensional.
This Building Has the Grey Dot Illusion
If you glance at the front wall of this apartment complex, it may appear like there are grey dots on the white walls next to the corners of each window. There aren’t any grey dots, but your eyes might be tricked into thinking that there are!
Snowy Squares Look Like an Old Video Game
The way each square in this university’s courtyard is shaded makes it appear as if the ground floor is in an eight-bit world in an old Nintendo game. The simple design of the buildings in the photo also add to the retro game feel.
Which Toilet Paper Tube is Larger?
This classic illusion makes one of these toilet paper tubes appear to be bigger than the other, when in reality they’re the exact same size. Feel free to measure it for yourself, they’re really the same size!
This Piece of Wood is Absolutely Flat
The strange grain pattern on this piece of wood makes it appear to be a warped and twisted, when in reality it’s a flat piece of wood that was sanded down to reveal its unique ring patterns.