Sunday, July 31, 2005

Dead-end Optical Illusion, or is it?

I found this on Decksitter's Photoblog. The photo is titled Dead-end. I found this photo interesting because the title would lead one to believe that this is indeed a dead-end.

Deadend optical illusions image

Copyright Decksitter 2005
Used w/permission

I believe however that this is an optical illusion?

If this isn't a dead-end then what is it?
READ MORE - Dead-end Optical Illusion, or is it?

Friday, July 29, 2005

White's Optical Illusion

Below is an excellent example of White's illusion. This is an interesting effect, below there is only one shade of gray, one shade of blue and one shade of red (to be clear all of the gray you see is the exact same color, this applies also to all blue and all red you see).

Although the color lines on top appear to be darker than the color lines immediately below, they are actually identical. That is, they are identical in intensity, but perceptually different in lightness.

As you can see, the color lines on top are mostly surrounded by black, while the color lines below are mostly surrounded by white. The color lines' surroundings are changing their perceived color.

Whites Optical illusion

READ MORE - White's Optical Illusion

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Candle Flame Optical Illusion

This illusion was created by Stephan Uhlmann. There was no digital manipulation of this image in any way. I like the simplicity of this image, very nice.

You can find more photographs by Stephan here.

Candle Flame optical illusions image

Anyone want to venture a guess how this was accomplished?
READ MORE - Candle Flame Optical Illusion

Public Service Announcement Optical Illusion

[Found on The Steel Deal.]
This is my version of a Public Service Announcement (PSA).

Everyone surfing the internet should be aware of this illusion because anyone chatting online might have fallen for this illusion and not even have known it.

I have mentioned these type of illusions on this blog before but since my kids do view this blog I thought I would bring the topic of Cyber Illusions up one more time. I think kids are especially susceptible to this kind of illusion but I have known people of all ages to fall for this illusion.

So without further ado here is the latest Cyber Illusion PSA for y'all to ponder.

public service optical illusions image

Y'all be careful out there :-)
READ MORE - Public Service Announcement Optical Illusion

Monday, July 25, 2005

Moors’ Clock Tower Optical Illusion

Below is the Moors'’ Clock Tower, one of the most famous architectural landmarks in Venice, Italy. Italy Traveller says the following about this landmark:
In short, the Tower and its large Astronomical Clock, a masterpiece of technology and engineering, form an essential part of the very image of Venice. For more than five hundred years, they have measured out the flow of life and history within the city.

Moors' Clock Tower image

The clock in this tower is an amazing piece of art and science. Below you can see this beautiful 24 hour clock up close.

Moors' Clock Tower image

Given the history of this clock tower and the fact that it is the focal point of St. Mark's Square and the Piazzetta, which leads from the square to the sea. A daily gathering place for town folk and tourists.

What would be the effect if you had to put up a massive scaffold to provide a much needed facelift to this building?

How could you minimize the intrusion into the aestheticss of the Square?

Moors' Clock Tower optical illusions image

© Richard Rutter 2003
used w/permission

Well in Venice they created their own optical illusion to minimize the impact of the construction.

This photo was taken by Richard Rutter who runs a site called Clagnut. He said the following about this illusion.
Scaffold illusion taken Jun 2003

The clock and its tower are actually hidden by the scaffold. What you can see is actually a cloth on the outside of the building work. Very effective.
My Thanks go out to Richard for allowing me to show his photo here.
READ MORE - Moors’ Clock Tower Optical Illusion

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Flooded Home Optical Illusion

Here is another spontaneous optical illusion. Julie from Muscoda, Wisconsin posted this on Webcanvas back in March of 2002.

Before we get to the optical illusion let's look at the below picture. From the ground to the top of the lattice doors below the decks is about 4' 6" and the lot is level.

Before Flood optical illusions image

Julie experienced some flooding and took multiple pictures on this day but the one below was the only picture that exhibited an optical illusion. This picture was not manipulated beyond the addition of the letters and arrows.

Flood Mystery optical illusions image

Arrows "A" point to the actual level of the water. Let's say about one foot deep. The question that Julie had was why does the level of the water appear to be about three feet higher on the lattice at the bottom "C" than on the lattice on the top "B"?

Can anyone here explain why this optical illusion causes this distortion.

You can go to the Webcanvas post to see the answers that were given to her to explain this effect. I was able to wade through what they said and I can explain it a little simpler, but the right answer is in these posts.

I might add my interpretation in the comments section in about a week.

So, what do you think caused this effect?
READ MORE - Flooded Home Optical Illusion

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Diagonal Waves Optical Illusion

Prior to viewing this image please read the caution above.

I saw this optical illusion many times around the net but it never impressed me until I saw a larger image. In the below image you might experience two different effects.

The first effect is apparent even when you look at smaller versions of this illusion. Stare at it long enough and you will see a 3-d effect. It will appear that your screen has rolls in it. Please remember that this is not the case and if you check you will only get finger prints on your screen.

The second effect is only seen when this image is relatively large. You should see motion in this image as your eyes wander over the different quadrants. If you don't see this motion click on the image to enlarge.

optical illusions image

Click image for larger view.
READ MORE - Diagonal Waves Optical Illusion

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Holsteins Optical Illusion Watercolor

How many cows do you see?

Holstein optical illusions image

"Holsteins" - a Vermont parody of "Pintos"
© 1994 Mike Mayone

Here is an original watercolor by Mike Malone. This is obviously a parody of Bev Doolittle's "Pintos". Mike talks about this painting in his gallery.
If you're unfamiliar with the work of Beverly Doolittle, Mike wants to explain this painting... and it's title. Back in the late '70's Bev Doolittle painted Pintos, a masterful watercolor depicting five wild Pintos against a snowy outcropping of reddish rock, typical of the landscape of the west. It brought a new level of excellence to the concept of "camouflage art".

With the greatest respect for Bev's work... and a mischievous love for parody, Mike just couldn't help but paint a "Vermont-Style" version with our black slate, white snow and "state animal" being the perfect fit.
This is a great work and if you are interested in buying it or checking out his other works you can go here or here.
READ MORE - Holsteins Optical Illusion Watercolor

Monday, July 18, 2005

Leaning Columns Optical Illusion

I found the below image on /T/BLOG/ over the weekend. This is a photoblog by T.J. Kemme.

I found when viewing this image that there was an optical illusion at play.

Due to the shadows curving around the columns I get the impression that this structure leans to the left. There is also the sense that the columns are spread wider at the top then they are at the bottom.

Real life example of the Zolner optical illusions image

© T.J. Kemme 2005
used w/permission

This image is of the sidewalk behind the Mountain View Civic Center in Mountain View, CA

The above columns may in part seem as if they aren't straight due to what is know as the Zollner Optical Illusion. The below image is a a series of eight vertical lines that are in fact parallel to each other. You can see how the slanted lines (similar to the shadows above) cause an apparent distortion of the image and the lines appear to tilt.

Zolner optical illusions image

Zollner Illusion
READ MORE - Leaning Columns Optical Illusion

TV-Mirror Optical Illusion

Below is a young lady holding up a mirror to a monitor and in the mirror we see a different picture than what is actually being displayed on the monitor.

Two Images from one TV optical illusions image

How was this optical illusion created?

I will give you one clue, there is a real mirror used in the creation of this image.

For the answer go here.
READ MORE - TV-Mirror Optical Illusion

Saturday, July 16, 2005

One Jet That Looks Like Two or Vice-a-Versa?

This is a great optical illusion. Would you believe that the below optical illusion of two jets flying next to each other is actually done entirely with paint?

Jet Airplanes optical illusions image

Of course you wouldn't. At first glance though a paint job might just cross your mind. But there are too many wheels and tails for this to be done with only paint.

The truth is that here we have A Lufthansa 747-400 and a United 757-200 landing at the same time on parallel runways at the San Francisco International Airport. These two runways are separated by about 225 meters.

This optical illusion of two planes merging in midair seems almost real due to the Jumbo being 3 times larger than the 757 and being slightly behind.
READ MORE - One Jet That Looks Like Two or Vice-a-Versa?

Friday, July 15, 2005

Ground Cover Optical Illusion Art

We have all heard of the following figures of speech, "ground cover", "a bed of roses", or "a blanket of snow". Well Larry Carlson, a visionary multi media artist has converted this speech into art in the following two images.

Sleep in ground optical illusions image

Sleep in Ground
© Larry Carlson 2003

Sleep in ground 2 optical illusions image

Sleep in Ground 2
© Larry Carlson 2004

Larry Carlson is an exceptional digital artist with a vivid imagination. His many sites are worth a look.
READ MORE - Ground Cover Optical Illusion Art

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Six or Seven Cubes?

This optical illusion is very curious. Look at it and count the number of cubes you see.

Did you come up with six or seven cubes?

Six or Seven Cubes optical illusion

This optical illusion causes us to change our perception, as you look at this image the black tiles will change from being the top of six cubes to being the front of seven cubes.

Which count is easiest for you to see? Did you tally six or seven cubes initially?
READ MORE - Six or Seven Cubes?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pierced Ambiguous Rings Optical Illusion

The following 3-d optical Illusion was created by Zsolt M. Kovacs-Vajna a professor at the University of Brescia in Brescia Italy.

We have seen the Ambiguous Ring and Impossibly Linked Ambiguous Rings by Donald E. Simanek, but try and wrap your brain around this image.

Pierced Ambiguous Rings Optical Illusions image

Used w/permission © Zsolt M. Kovacs-Vajna 2005
Click image for higher resolution

Excellent creation Zsolt, I hope to see more of your work in the future.
READ MORE - Pierced Ambiguous Rings Optical Illusion

Monday, July 11, 2005

Tornado - Rainbow Optical Illusion?

This is a fascinating image below. When I first saw it I was impressed by what I thought was a good photoshop creation. What do you think is the truth of this image?

Tornado - Rainbow Optical Illusion Image?
Credit: Eric Nguyen (Oklahoma U.),

As it turns out this is an actual photograph taken by a storm chaser. Sun, rainbow, tornado and hail all colliding in this rarely seen combination. I found this on Astronomy Picture of the Day. They had this to say about this picture.
Explanation: The scene might have been considered serene if it weren't for the tornado. Last June in Kansas, storm chaser Eric Nguyen photographed this budding twister in a different light -- the light of a rainbow. Pictured above, a white tornado cloud descends from a dark storm cloud. The Sun, peeking through a clear patch of sky to the left, illuminates some buildings in the foreground. Sunlight reflects off raindrops to form a rainbow. By coincidence, the tornado appears to end right over the rainbow. Streaks in the image are hail being swept about by the high swirling winds. Over 1,000 tornadoes, the most violent type of storm known, occur on Earth every year, many in tornado alley. If you see a tornado while driving, do not try to outrun it -- park your car safely, go to a storm cellar, or crouch under steps in a basement.
READ MORE - Tornado - Rainbow Optical Illusion?

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Dartboard Optical Illusion

I found the below on a site called Art Effects, their slogan is "We Put The Trick, In The Trompe Of Trompe L'Oeil"

Here is are two niches in a game room.

Take a look at both the Dartboard and the scoring tablet above. Both of these are painted on the wall.

Now look at the top photo again. You will notice the final dart in the illusionary coffin so to speak. It is stuck in the wall, see below.

READ MORE - Dartboard Optical Illusion

Friday, July 8, 2005

Taylor Hall Optical Illusion

The below optical illusion was created by John Pugh, he is an artist that does excellent trompe l'oeil (French for trick the eye) murals. The below is from "Chico Statements" a magazine published twice a year for alums, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of California State University, Chico.
John Pugh's trompe l'oeil murals are so lifelike they cause mishaps and confusion for the unsuspecting. In 1981, after the completion of his first major project, the mural on Taylor Hall on the CSU, Chico campus, several fender benders occurred because motorists were distracted by what looks like a gaping hole in the building.

Click image for larger view.

The following is from John Pugh's web site.
April 1981 Taylor Hall, CSUC

1. Soon after the mural was complete a woman employee that worked upstairs across the street from Taylor Hall called the administration and seriously complained and asked then they were going to fix the wall.

2. It was also reported by the C.S.U.C. public affairs officer Bob Pentzer that after the completion of the Taylor Hall project several rear-end accidents were reported occurring at the stop sign adjacent to the mural because motorists were distracted while viewing the broken wall illusion.
READ MORE - Taylor Hall Optical Illusion

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Tilting Table Optical Illusion

Check out the Optical Illusion below.

Tilting Table optical illusion

You all know that if it did tilt down to the right that it would probably not be displayed here in this gallery of illusions.

Even though we all know that all horizontal lines in the image below are perfectly level with the bottom of the screen and parallel to each other there is still a strong optical illusion that the top platform tilts down to the right.

My sister pointed out that an easy way to see that they are all parallel to each other is to look at the image from the left side of the screen.
READ MORE - Tilting Table Optical Illusion

Pennywise Illusion

Penny Word IllusionHere is an illusion of a different type.

I was talking to a friend of mine that has taken up coin collecting rather late in life. He figures it will be cheaper then getting married again. Anyways he went into a coin dealer he knows to talk shop and came across an interesting tidbit.

According to his coin dealer 1972 pennies are significantly more valuable than 1932 pennies.

Now I know that I am a layman and know absolutely nothing about this hobby but this doesn't seem right to me. Can any of you explain to me why this might be?

One answer that made sense to me can be found here.
READ MORE - Pennywise Illusion

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Pacman Optical Illusion

This is an amazing optical illusion.

I found this illusion on several sites on the internet. One semi-popular link farm spent 6 pages of comments discussing this optical illusion. Many were confused about what this optical illusion was all about so let's start off with the following. (If all goes well you might see something like the small image to the right).
  1. The below image is an animated gif file.
  2. The image is composed of 12 frames, each frame has 11 purple dots on a gray background.
  3. These frames are designed so it looks as if one dot is removed at a time progressing clockwise.
  4. There is no green dot in this image at all.
  5. There is no green dot in this image at all.
  6. There is no green dot in this image at all.
Stare at the center cross, you will notice a green dot start going around the circle. As you continue to stare the green dot will appear to consume the purple dots until all that is left is the green dot circling the cross, then the purple dots will reappear one by one until they are all visible again.

Pacman or

Jeremy L Hinton
Copyright 2004
Used w/permission

Simply put the reason you see the green dot is because that is the afterimage (or negative) of magenta.

For a more thorough explanation of how this optical illusion works go here.
READ MORE - Pacman Optical Illusion

Sunday, July 3, 2005

Pope or Devil Optical Illusion

The recent installation of Pope Benedict XVI gave rise to numerous stories in newspapers across the world. There were literally thousands of photos used by various news services.

Imagine the surprise of many faithful Catholics in New York when they saw this AP wire service photo used in amNew York newspaper.

Pope 1 scary optical illusion image

In this photo, due to the optical illusion of horns coming out of the Pope's head it is hard to tell if this is a man of God or possibly a stooge of the devil. Needless to say many people took time to write the newspaper and let them know that they weren't happy by this illusion.

The newspaper printed the below two letters they received and an apology to anyone who may have been offended by this optical illusion.

Pope 2 scary optical illusion image

One of my readers sent me the bottom picture but for the life of me I can't find the email anywhere. If you sent this to me leave me a comment so I can thank you properly.
READ MORE - Pope or Devil Optical Illusion

Saturday, July 2, 2005

Coca-Cola 600 Optical Illusion

One of the readers (Andy Marsh) of Optical Illusions Etc... was at the Cola-Cola 600 NASCAR race a few weekends back. While there he saw something amazing.

Yes, I know Jimmy Johnson's win at the end was an amazing finish, but that was no optical illusion or was it? I mean it is "Lowes Motor Speedway" and Jimmy Johnson is sponsored by "Lowes, this was his third straight win of the Coca-Cola 600. I think this might need further investigation, but I digress.

What Andy saw was a woman prior to the race some how climb up a 200 foot pole. He noted the amazing feat. Later he saw them disassembling the pole, during this process he realized it wasn't a pole at all, but in fact was a ladder viewed from the side. He took the below photo and sent it to me. Thanks Andy.

Coca-cola 600 pole optical illusion

READ MORE - Coca-Cola 600 Optical Illusion

Sunset Optical Illusion

I was surfing the vast wasteland of blogs a couple of weeks back, looking for optical illusions when I came across this sunset. It was included in a post titled Standing 'O'. This was one of those days when those gathered to watch the sunset were rewarded with a beauty.

James writes:
"As the sun slipped below the horizon, something happened that I have yet to experience again. The spectators who had gathered broke into applause."
At this time I pondered what coast this was on? Where was this beautiful sunset experienced?

Sunset optical illusion image
Standing 'O'
Copyright 2005 James Jordan
Used w/permission

I saw the tall masted ships and thought it might be a inlet on the United States west coast, maybe this was on Florida's west coast?

I have seen similar sunsets from Key west past the piers with the ships tied up. There were many days in Key west when those that gathered to witness the beauty of a sunset broke into applause.

It might not even be in the states... maybe Australia, wait a minute I remember earlier photos on this blog being taken in Bermuda.

At this point I hit the back key on my browser so I could read the post (you see I had enlarged the photo immediately upon coming across it).

I was very surprised when I found out where this was taken. This image presented to me the optical illusion of something that wasn't there, similar to Kanizsa's Triangle optical illusion only instead of seeing a triangle that wasn't there I was envisioning a place/land that was implied even though we don't see it. Reality was different then the wanderings of my mind, beautiful, but different.

The link to this specific post isn't working but go here and scroll down to Tuesday, June 14th for the answer.
READ MORE - Sunset Optical Illusion

Friday, July 1, 2005

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor - Justice William Rehnquist Optical Illusion

Occasionally something in the news jars my memory. Sandra Day O'Conner announced her retirement today. This caused me to remember that this optical illusion was laying around my hard drive.

Here we have an optical illusion of two justices of the Supreme court. On the left is Justice Rehnquist, but if you turn the image on it's head we get Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Rehnquist O'Connor Optical Illusion Image

I don't know who created this gem, but would very much like to give them credit. If anyone knows please leave a comment. Meanwhile as with everything on this site the copyright remains with the original creator.
READ MORE - Justice Sandra Day O'Connor - Justice William Rehnquist Optical Illusion
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