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12 Most Dazzling Optical Illusions That Left The Internet Stumped


12 Most Dazzling Optical Illusions That Left The Internet Stumped

You will have to look thrice to understand.

The internet recently gave us an optical illusion of many girls in a photo and four friends toasting at the end of a hike. If you wish for more, we’ve rounded up a mix of baffling viral photos that will leave your head spinning. These optical illusions will illustrate how the brain processes and interpret things, including vision and size. Are you ready?

The most famous illusion is The Dress, a photo that appears possibly black and blue or perhaps white and gold. The Dress had ignited an uproar of controversy around the internet, but then it turned out, more intentional and accidental illusions are also starting to take their place. Spoiler alert: in this article, explanations for all the photos are included, so you wouldn’t have to stress much before seeing what’s hidden in the illusions. Do have a look, enjoy and share with loved ones. 

Are These Legs Oily?


This photo went viral in 2016 after Hunter Culverhouse, an art student, shared it to Instagram. It appeared Culverhouse’s legs were covered in oil, but it turned out it’s just streaks of white paint that are dry. Speaking with INSIDER, the student said the effect was unintentional and that the photo was taken after she finished up some homework for an art class. 

It’s actually streaks of dried white paint.


The Strawberries Aren’t Red, Right?

Akiyoshi Kitaoka/Twitter

Shared on Twitter by Akiyoshi Kitaoka, a professor of psychology at Ritsumeikan University, these pixels have been completely drained of any red. But then many people still saw it red strawberries. Later uploaded by Silicon Valley, writer Carson Mell separated specific pixels to show that they are, in fact, gray and green. The brain might think they’re red due to a phenomenon called color constancy. 

The strawberries are gray and green. This is due to a phenomenon called color constancy.

Carson Mell/Twitter

Kendall Jenner Appears To Be Missing A Leg 

InStyle magazine/Instagram

In early 2021, Instyle magazine posted an Instagram photo of Kendall, Kylie Jenner, and Hailey Baldwin hanging out together after the Golden Globes. Their legs were bare, but, oddly, one went missing –Kendall’s left leg! The internet eventually figured it out and disclosed it was under her dress all along. If you look closely, you’ll see the horizontal top of her leg. 

Kendall’s leg is under her dress.

InStyle magazine/Instagram

Is This Dress Blue & Black Or White And Gold?


This dress was initially shared on Tumblr by a woman name Caitlin McNeil, a singer-songwriter from Scotland who had sent the photo to her friends but disagreed on the color. Interestingly, it’s black and blue. The way people had seen the dress differently is a little complex, but science has since offered explanations. Majorly, how the brain determines color relies on two things: the color of the object and the light source’s color. This photo was overexposed, implying that the light in the image overshadowed the color of the subject. 

The dress is black and blue

Screenshot / Roman Originals

Can You Spot All The 12 Dots In This Image?


This illusion emerged from an academic paper published in 2000 in the Journal Perception by Jacques Ninio and Kent. A. Stevens. It went viral on the internet when Akiyoshi Kitaoka shared it on Facebook and game designer Will Kerslake posted it to Twitter. There are 12 black circles in the image, but most people couldn’t see them all at once. Naturally, black dots against the grey line is trickish, and you certainly might think the dots are lighter than they are; hence you just see greyer.  

Peripheral vision is tricky

Is This Little Girl Under The Water?


This photo initially posted on Imgur by User Maskari sparked a debate on Reddit in 2015. It’s perceived that this girl was underwater as air bubbles seem floating, and it also looks like she’s just jumping into the water. However, the girl’s hair was dry, and her ponytail isn’t floating – which would have if she was underwater. The air bubbles are just droplets. 

If she was her ponytail will be floating.


These Are Suspected To Be Sand Dunes  

Luca Parmitano/Twitter

Flying a few hundred kilometers over a desert in 2013, the European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano took a dune photo. But then, many people felt it looks like a bunch of pits and not hills. Eventually, Phil Plait pointed out that the image made more sense when looked at upside down on the blog Bad Astronomy. The illusion is simple; the sun had cast shadows from the upper-left. 

The answer was in flipping it over.

Luca Parmitano/Twitter

The Photo Of Six Girls With Five Pairs Of Legs 


This photo went viral on Reddit in 2016, showing six women sitting on a couch. Here again, the person sitting in the middle of the couch seems to have no legs at all. It turned out the woman has legs. It’s observed that she leaned her torso on her left and her head to the right. Her posture did make it hard to tell that the legs on the viewer’s left are hers. 

The woman in the middle has legs. Look closely!

Jacob Shamsian/INSIDER, jr0d7771/Reddit

These Shapes Are Mirror Images Of One Another 

The Illusion contest/YouTube

This illusion is named “Ambiguous Cylinder Illusion.” It was developed by Meiji University Professor Kokichi Sugihara and has won the Best Illusion of the Year in 2016 from the Neural Correlate Society. Your brain corrects the image’s shape to appear as a circle or a square, depending on your viewpoint. Anyone can create the same illusion with more elaborate shapes made up of circles and squares, precisely what Sugihara did with the objects.

The Ambiguous Cylinders are between a circle and a square.

The Illusion contest/YouTube

Two Train Segments Are The Same Size 


This illusion went viral when Marc Blank-Settle, A BCC Presenter, shared a clip of it on Twitter using his son’s train set. Both curves in the track have the same size, but one on the left appears more extensive than the one on the right when next to the other. This effect is called the Jastrow illusion. Instead of comparing the right side of one piece to the right side of the other, it naturally compares the right side of the left track to the left side of the right track since those two sides are next to each other. 

This effect is called the Jastrow illusion


The Faces In The Background Are The Same 


Nothing seems off about the women in the foreground, but something seems weird about the background: Everyone has the same head. This image went viral on Imgur, uploaded by @What047. It was captioned: “It took me forever to find what was wrong here.” It’s glaring that someone had edited the photo, and everyone’s head was replaced with one belonging to a curly-haired guy looking to the ground. Most of the time, the background of a picture is usually the most interesting!

Heads in the background are the same.


What Does This Appear Like?

Arron Bevin/Facebook

You possibly will think it’s just a brick wall, but you are wrong. Arron Bevin of the U.K shared this image to Facebook, and it did take him a good 5 minutes to figure out that it was a cigar. The cigar had wedged between the bricks and blended into the shadows. Besides, the ashy end of the cigar appeared like a grey stone. 

It’s a cigar.

Arron Bevin/Facebook

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