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The Best Optical Illusions

Updated on June 28, 2014

My Favorite Optical Illusions

The best optical illusions make you think about how things work or may challenge your mind and space. Early optical illusions were on paper, and I always loved that it made you look at things in multiple ways. The most famous optical illusion is in the Louvre in Paris. If you've ever stood in front of the Mona Lisa, or even if you look at it on the screen, it appears that no matter what angle you are at, she is looking at you.

Like problem solving, illusions make you think about the possibilities and really look at what is being said or displayed to determine if there is truth or some sort of "magic" at work.

As I find more of these I will continue to add them to this page.

Light Illusion

Light illusions are incredible to me. Watch this video and see if you can explain what happens.

I would have to see this one in person. Although, as far as I can see, the square doesn't change color, only your mind is making the illusion of the colors changing. Could it be the magic of TV or editing, absolutely, but further research does show others observing the same phenomenon.

Is the above light illusion real?

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Which Ball is Bigger?

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This is one of the great optical illusions and it is commonly found in different scenarios. As you look at the two balls above, the question the illusionist will ask is which one is bigger?

These spatial illusions really work your mind, as your mind perceives a space to be fuller and will adjust the image to be larger or smaller. In reality both images are the same size. Don't believe me, you can count the squares in the images, or better yet, use a ruler. This is similar to the moon optical illusion where a full moon appears to be bigger over the horizon as compared to the same moon later in the evening overhead. By placing your thumb over both moons you will be able to tell its the same size.

The Old Lady and Young Lady Optical Illusion

Which one did you see first?

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I remember this one from when I was in school. I believe it has to do with the black and white, do you look for the image within the white part of the drawing or the black part of the drawing, and then can you bring your eyes back and forth.

British cartoonist W. E. Hill, who published this famous drawing in 1915 in Puck humor magazine, an American magazine inspired by the British magazine Punch (right figure). It is believed that Hill adapted the figure from an original concept that was popular throughout the world at the time on trading and puzzle cards.

Moving Picture Illusion

Do you think the picture is moving or still?

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The picture above was created by Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka from the Department of Psychology at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan. Professor Kitaoka has created many of these illusions which can be found on his website.

The picture above is a still picture in jpeg format and only appears to move as you stare at it.

What is your favorite illusion?

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    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 

      7 years ago

      I love the old and young lady even though I can't see the old lady.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I like the light illusion, watching the square appear to change. Fun! Thanks.

    • DieselJoe profile image


      7 years ago

      I'd say the moving picture...great lens! Thanks!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The moving picture illusion is the most baffling one! It requires a very very strong mind and will to make the image look 'as is'! Awesome lens. :)


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