I Love Optical Illusions And These Are Awesome. I Will Never Trust My Brain Again!

Our brains have developed incredible tactics and coping mechanisms to help us make sense of the complex world around us. But some parts of our highly adaptive minds aren’t perfect and can be exposed through carefully crafted illusions.

These squares are actually the same exact color. Hold your finger over the boundary between the two shapes and the colors will be corrected.


The Cornsweet illusion exploits a phenomenon in the brain known as lateral inhibition which creates more contrast between the two objects because of the differently colored edges.

Which way is this train moving? Look long enough or blink and your brain will change the direction.

2-illusionsThis is part of the’wagon-wheel’ effect. Closing your eyes for a second then opening them or looking in the direction you want the train to travel, should allow you to switch directions on command. The same goes for this wheel…

Stare at this swirling gif for 15-30 seconds, and then look at the underwater city and waterfall below.


5-illusions 6-illusionsStaring at the swirling gif makes your eyes fatigued, so the non-moving images come to life as they try to regain composure.

You probably won’t believe it, but the squares marked’A’ and’B’ are actually the exact same shade of gray.


8-illusionsYour eyes and brain are constantly trying to figure out the color of the objects around you, and they automatically adjust for shadows. Since B is in the shade of the green cylinder, but is still the same color as A, the brain believes that it must be a far lighter shade of gray and adjusts what you see.

These yellow and blue blocks appear to move one after the other, right?

9-illusionsWhen the black bars are removed, you’ll see that they’re always parallel and that the black bars are distorting your brain’s perception of movement.

Stare at the center of the colored version, and wait for it to change to black and white.

10-illusionsInstead of turning black and white, your brain fills in the color it thinks you should be seeing, based on the orange and blue photo. Blink and you’ll be back to black and white. Try it with this image too…

These bouncing dots form three circles that are rotating around the center of the image. Now, try focusing on a single bouncing dot and you’ll see that the three circles and their colored dots aren’t actually rotating at all.


See this spiral? There’s actually no spiral, it’s just circles, but your brain is convinced it is looking at a spiral.


Fix your eyes on the black dot and the gray stripe will turn blue or green.

14-illusionsAs you focus on the dot, the gray begins to merge with the orange background. The moment you look away from the dot, the bar will return to gray.

All the dots on this image are white, but some appear black.

15-illusionsNo matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to look directly at the black dots that appear in the circles. Why this illusion works is still a mystery.

Blink quickly while looking at this image and you’ll be in for quite a show.


By manipulating the human brain and eyes, this illusion is able to create amazing animations with nothing but a black card.


They even manage to fool cats.


These three cars may look like they’re different sizes, but in reality, they’re all exactly the same.

19-illusionsThe Ponzo illusion happens because our brains judge an object’s size based on its background. If something is the same size as another object, but looks further away, we’ll think that it’s bigger.

Stare at the green dot too long and the yellow spots will disappear. Blink and they’ll return.

20-illusionsThis illusion is called the Troxler effect and however hard it may be to believe – the yellow dots are always present. Unvarying images very quick to disappear from our awareness, especially when they’re surrounded by constantly changing imagery.

This image has a similar effect, stare at the cross in the center and the blank spot will turn green.

The dinosaurs’ eyes follow you wherever you go…

22-illusionsThe “hollow face illusion” works because our brains perceive objects differently when we recognize them as faces. Although the right eye of the dinosaurs get farther as you move, you brain believes the distance is closer than it really is.

Stare at the yellow dot and the pink rings and then slowly move your head further or closer to the screen and the rings will rotate.

23-illusionsThe Pinna-Brelstaff illusion occurs because of flaws in peripheral vision.

Akiyoshi Kitaoka uses geometrical shapes, brightness and color to create motion illusions. These images are not animated, but the human brain makes them appear so.


Using similar techniques, Randolph is able to create similar, more psychedelic illusions.


Using clever design, artists like Ibride are able to create art that look different or even impossible depending on the angle.


Cover the sides of the hallway with your hands and the animation speeds down, cover the middle and the animation speeds up.


These horizontal lines appear to be sloping, but look long enough, and you’ll see that they’re parallel to one another.

29-illusionsInitially, it’s difficult to see the gray line between white and black tiles, meaning that the brain fills in the gray as either black or white, creating the illusion that the lines are sloped.

The photograph of the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the right appears to lean more to the right. In reality, they’re identical photographs and the towers are parallel.

30-illusionsIf two towers are parallel, then from a ground perspective they’d eventually converge into one another. So, when your eyes and brain see two towers that are parallel, they assume that they must be moving apart as they rise into the air and create the resulting illusion.


In this list, you had the luxury of knowing the images and gifs are actually illusions. But can you imagine how many ways your brain is deceiving you every day without your knowledge? In fact, its likely that everything you’ve ever experienced is heavily distorted so you can actually process and understand what you perceive. Thanks for reading, and please pass this on to others!

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