Category Archives: Illusions

Hat Trick

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Holbein’s Skull

The Ambassadors (1533) is a painting by Hans Holbein the Younger in the National Gallery, London. As well as being a double portrait, the painting contains a still life of several meticulously rendered objects, the meaning of which is the cause of much debate. It is also a much-cited example of anamorphosis in painting. The most notable and famous of Holbein’s symbols in the work, however, is the distorted skull which is placed in the bottom center of the composition. The skull, rendered in anamorphic perspective, another invention of the Early Renaissance, is … Continue reading

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Cognitive Illusions

The two squares with the Optical Spy logo in are the same color! Click on the picture Illusion is a step away from reality and optical illusions are those that relate images we see to others that we visualize, perceive, or relate to. Although there are three major types of optical illusions, cognitive illusions remain the most researched amongst them all. So what are cognitive illusions? Cognitive Illusions – In life, we gain awareness and consciousness about many different subjects, changing … Continue reading

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The Road Where Cars Roll Uphill

There is a road in Scotland where bicyclists have to pedal hard to ride downhill… but then coast uphill. Why?

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Mind Your Step

Mind your step is a street illusion at Sergels torg in Stockholm. It is created by photographer Erik Johansson and this video summarize the first three days. Hey, it was filmed in full-HD, so why not watch it in full screen mode.

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Spinning Illusion

Only one of these disks is actually spinning, can you see which one? Click here to reveal answer

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Can you name the paintings and the artists?

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Can you name the paintings and the artists? – Click on the picture to reveal the answers.

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The McGurk effect

The McGurk effect is a compelling demonstration of how we all use visual speech information. The effect shows that we can’t help but integrate visual speech into what we ‘hear’.

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Le Blanc-Seing – Rene Magritte

Today we post a beautiful picture suggested to us by Alan Mason an artist and writer from Stony Stratford in Buckinghamshire, England. It is Rene Magritte‘s famous painting ‘Le Blanc-Seing’ (literal translation: “The Blank Signature”) which roughly translates as “free hand” or “free rein”. Alan also tells us Magritte was recorded as saying that the purpose of art was to puzzle and mystify people, which resonates well with us here at Optical Spy. Initially, the painting appears to be an ordinary painting … Continue reading

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How to make an illusion ad

This new advertisement by Honda is brilliant. Take a look here. Now see how it was made. – Deskarati

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Hidden Faces

how many faces

There are seven hidden faces in the picture above, can you find them? Pop over to Optical Spy to see the answers – opticalspy

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A Portrait of Charles Darwin

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A stunning portrait of Charles Darwin by David Revoy that pays homage to Darwin’s contributions to evolutionary theory, created using different animal and plant species. Via opticalspy

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Moving Patterns Illusion

moving pattern

Here’s a nice moving pattern illusion from opticalspy.com that we thought you might like.  

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ZOETROPE WEIRDNESS

Thanks to Stephen Herbert for this interesting post We all know what a zoetrope is. One of those “cookie tins on a stick”, with slots in the sides, that show a repeating cartoon of a second or so, from a strip of drawings. Dates from way back – 1860s, maybe earlier – and still found in some toy stores. All true, but when we look closely at what a zoetrope is and does, things start to get a little weird … Continue reading

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Fish Tank Illusion

Fish Tank

The Optical Spy fish tank has an unusual construction. Try and imagine how you would put this tank in the corner of your room. Luckily the fish don’t seem to care, it looks like they’re having a great time.  

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Beautiful Face Illusion

beautiful face
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Escher in Color

reptiles in color

Our friends over at Optical Spy have added a great new gallery featuring some of M.C. Escher‘s most famous artworks. But they have all been lovingly colored in. See more here Escher in Color

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Encerclement à dix illusion

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  This excellent illusion was made by Felice Varini. Many more examples of Varini’s work on his website.

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Donald ‘Rusty’ Rust

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D.L. “Rusty” Rust was born in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1932. He began drawing and painting at a very early age and has never had the desire to be anything but a serious artist. His early work was directly influenced by his grandfather, Emil Rust, Gil Elvgren, Bob Toombs, and Norman Rockwell. However, he feels there has been no one single influence in his wildlife art and insists that all wildlife artists have affected his style. For many years, Rusty’s paintings … Continue reading

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How to animate the impossible triangle

See the history of the impossible triangle here

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