Optical Illusions To Mystify Your Mind

Optical illusions aren't just found in magazines or optometry textbooks. The world around us is full of visual trickery. Color, shape, perspective, and shadow can confuse our brains and make us question our physical reality.
None of the photos on this list has been doctored or Photoshopped---any strange phenomena you perceive is a product of your own point of view. Read ahead for a seemingly twisted arch, an apparently floating man, and the whole world in a patch of grass.

The Squiggly Mile

On the right amount of mind-altering substances, this trippy hallway probably just looks like a normal hallway. Although the floor and all of the walls in this space are actually perfectly straight, it looks as though that girl is navigating a dangerously curvy pathway. Lines are amazing.
We wonder how many people can actually walk through this hall without stumbling. This optical illusion would definitely hinder your ability to walk normally.

Just Another Wave In The Wall

This mountain range is not really next to a lake. That thing that looks like a lake is actually a concrete wall. The shadows perfect hit the wall making it's white paint appear to be the color of lake water. The sun directly hitting the top of the wall gives it the illusion that it's a sandy shore.

We hope any travelers that pass by this spot aren't hoping to go for a swim any time soon.

How Many Legs

Obviously this elephant has four legs. Right? The real question is which for legs are real, and which are tricking us into thinking they're real. We just don't know! We might never know!

What do you think? Are you going as crazy trying to figure out this illusion as us? The trick here is that the elephants feet have been moved, so what actually looks like the elephant's legs really aren't. Or are they?

How Many Eyes?
What do you see when you look into my eyes? That's the question we imagine this person is asking. You just have to be able to pick an eye and focus! It's much easier said than done.

Also, which mouth does he speak out of? Is one for eating and the other for talking? We have so many questions, and really hope he has all the answers.

Good Grief
To drivers about to drive across this crosswalk, it looks like Charlie Brown and his gang are marching across the road. To pedestrians waiting to cross the street, the gang looks 2-dimensional and stretched out.

We love seeing how a small shift in perspective can make everything appear different. Not to mention, this is actually a great way to get motorists to slow down.

A Classic Pattern
This pattern is known as the cafe wall illusion. These rows of black and white squares are actually parallel, even though they appear to be sloped.

There's a whole bunch of science that explains why these straight lines look crooked something about retinas and contrast that we still don't fully understand. One this is for sure though, this makes our minds melt if we stare at it for too long.

Body Swap
At first glance, it looks like this guy's body doesn't quite match his head. But don't worry, this is just your eyes tricking you. If you look closer though, you'll realize that it's actually the guy who's sitting down. His girlfriend is hugging him from behind and her head is over his right shoulder.

Either that or somebody skipped leg day we weren't there, so we really can't say after all.

Like Oil And Water
See the glass rod in the photo above? Although both of the liquids in this glass are transparent, you can only see the glass rod through one of them.

This illusion happens because light passes through oil at the same speed that it passes through glass. Light passes through water at a different speed, so the glass rod is visible at the bottom of the cup. Science is weird like that.

You'll Float Too
No, this dude is not casually levitating a few inches above the asphalt. He's just standing next to a wet spot on the ground that looks like it could be his shadow.

It's so much easier to pull off magic tricks in photographs than in person. We imagine this trick wouldn't be so impressive if we could just walk around the guy. Read ahead for the Ponzo illusion in action.

Linear Trickery
A street artist in San Fransisco painted this utility box so it would blend in perfectly with its surroundings. We have to say that life looks a lot better in the picture on the utility box than in the real world. We'd love a little bridge and river at every crosswalk.

But we have to wonder has anyone ever walked or biked into this on accident? After all, it blends in perfectly.

Ponzo illusion
This photo is a perfect example of the Ponzo illusion in real life. The two red lines are exactly the same size, but they look different because of the objects in the background.

Want proof? Tilt your head and look at the lines again, or whip out a ruler and measure those puppies. Is your mind blown yet?

The Ole Floating Boat Trick
This boat looks like it's floating in the air, but it's really just floating on water. The reason this illusion works is because of how crystal clear the water is. You can see straight to the bottom, where the shadow lurks.

Because of this, the shadow looks like it's at the top of the water, with the boat floating above it. We promise boats don't fly though. Just look at the person at the end of the boat dangling their legs in the water for proof!

Cross-Legged Archway
The Delicate Arch near Moab, Utah isn't actually twisted. The side of the arch that's closer to the camera is smaller than the side that's further away.

Want proof? Tilt your head and look at the lines again, or whip out a ruler and measure those puppies. Is your mind blown yet?Your brain thinks the smaller one should be further away, which is why the whole thing looks cross-legged. This is all about perspective, but it sure does feel like our minds are playing tricks on us!

Hidden Man
Can you spot the man hiding in the bags? Look closely at the middle of the image and he should start to take shape. Trust us, he's there. This illusion has been driving people nuts since it was first released.

Look at the pink bag in the middle of the bottom row. You'll see the artists feet in the bag. Keep working your way up to see the rest of the body. Crazy, isn't

A Rock In A Hard Place
Do you see it yet? Look a little bit longer. Spoilers in 3 2 1: See that little rock sitting on top of the brick that is slightly smaller than the other bricks?

That brick isn't actually smaller. There is a cigar sticking out of the wall and the "rock" is actually the burnt end of the cigar. Trippy stuff.

To See The World In A Blade Of Grass
This patch of greenery is called "Qui Croire?" and it was created by French artist Francois Abelanet. The title translates to "who to believe?"

Although it doesn't look that big from this angle, Qui Croire? is made from 3,500 square feet of turf, dirt, and straw. From any other angle, this grassy globe looks like a vast, irregular, weirdly shaped garden.

2D Building?
While this building looks like a flat slab of concrete, there are actually real, 3-dimensional people inside of it. Contrary to popular belief, this is not where all your favorite cartoon characters live when they're not inside your TV.

The building is triangular, so you can't see the sides of it from this viewpoint.

A Dip In The Road
This misleading floor pattern keeps people from running down the hallway. People are more likely to tread lightly if they think the floor has an inexplicable dip in it. From a different angle, this hallway looks perfectly straight.

We now resort to tricking people into behaving. Read ahead for the illusion that gave us The Flying Dutchman.

Optical Artistry
This mural in Sherbrooke, Quebec creates the illusion of a movable wall panel and wide open space.

If only all apartment buildings were this inviting. Leave it to Canada to produce street art this wholesome. We'd love to have a mural like this on the side of our home.

It's A Mirage!
Thanks to an illusion known as Fata Morgana, it looks like the boat in the distance is floating just above the water. The name, Fata Morgana comes from the Italian name for a sorceress who supposedly used false land to draw sailors to their deaths.

Some people believe that this effect gave rise to the myth of The Flying Dutchman.

Just Another Brick In The Wall
It looks like several of the bricks in this wall were pushed in to create a tree pattern. In reality, a very skilled street artist shaded the bricks so that they only look like they've been pushed in.

That mailbox looks pretty jealous that an equally skilled street artist didn't give him a makeover.A Simple Circle

3D effect
Simple illusions can be just as captivating as complex murals. The bars in this railing strategically curve to the right to create a 3D effect.

This railing is completely flat. If only all functional barriers looked this interesting. The world would be a trickier, more beautiful place.

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