Magic of Gary Kantor          847-624-6244 


Optical Illusions (page 1)

This page contains a free variety of different optical illusions, puzzles, and challenges.  New illusions will be added on a regular basis, so keep coming to the various optical illusion pages for new and fun challenges.



Added 3/5/09.  This is incredibly cool.  Doesn't it look like the above picture is moving and expanding?  Guess what?  It's not.  This is just a plain picture and is truly not moving in any way.  But because of the way it's drawn, it really gives the impression that it is expanding.

It took a while to convince me that this was nothing more than just a regular picture (with absolutely NO animations).  If you want proof, here's something you can try.  (This works for some people, but not all.)  Look DIRECTLY at the center of this picture for a few seconds.  Don't move your eyes.  Just focus on the center.  After a few seconds, you may be able to notice that the picture does not really move.


Added 6/11/09.  This is so cool!  Move your eyes back and forth between these two spinning spirals.  Can you determine which spiral is spinning faster?  (For this illusion to work, you must keep moving your eyes back and forth between the two images.)

Believe it or not, neither spiral is moving at all.  They are both just pictures (with absolutely no animations).  I didn't believe this at first.

Here's how to prove it.  Try not to move your eyes between the two spirals.  Just stare directly at one, and only one of them.  When you stare directly at just one spiral, you'll be able to see that the spiral is really not moving at all.  But the instant you relax your eyes and start to look at both spirals again, you'll be fooled into thinking that they are moving.


Added 5/24/09.  Which is darker: 
(1) the top portion of block A, or
(2) the bottom portion of block B?

It appears that the top portion of Block A is darker.  But it's not.  The top of block A and the bottom of block B are exactly the same color.
Just by looking at the picture, you may not believe me.  Here's how to prove it.  Use your finger (or some other object) to cover up the part where blocks A and B meet.  This will cover up the different shades of gray at their intersection.  Once the intersection is covered up, it should become clear that the parts not covered by your finger are all the exact same shade of gray.


Added 12/2/08.  Count the number of people that you see.  The image will then shift a bit (with the upper parts of the people being moved around).  It appears that there are no people added or taken away.  It simply looks like the bodies are being interchanged with one another.  But if you re-count the number of people that are now there, you'll arrive at a different answer than your original answer.








Added 12/2/08.  Try to follow the moving pink dot.  When you do this, all of the other dots will look pink.  But if you want to see something very interesting, stare directly at the black + in the center.  While staring directly at the +, all of the other dots will slowly become green.  And if you keep staring directly at the + in the center, all of the other dots will then start to disappear until you can only see one greet dot moving around.
(The cool thing is that the dots never really disappeared, nor did they really change colors.  You just got the impression that they did.)


Added 1/12/09.  Focus your eyes directly in the exact center of this picture.  You should tiny blue dots moving around, along with the 3 yellow dots.  To make this work, try not to look directly at a yellow dot.  Simply keep focusing on the exact center of this picture.  If you do this correctly, after about 10-20 seconds you'll actually see the yellow dots disappear.  You might only see one yellow dot disappear.  But if you really focus on the center, you may see all 3 yellow dots disappear.  The cool thing is that the yellow dots never vanish - they are always there.  You just get the impression that they vanish.  (Another way to view this optical illusion is to stare at exactly one of the yellow dots.  Within about 5-15 seconds the other two yellow dots will seem to vanish.)


Added 1/12/09.  Watch the rotating object.  It will start off by rotating in one direction (clockwise).  And then, without doing anything, it will start to rotate in the opposite direction (counter-clockwise).  Give it a few seconds and it will switch directions again. 
The cool thing is that this object is NEVER changing directions.  You just get the impression that it does.  In reality, this object is always rotating in the exact same direction.  If you don't believe me, here's how to prove it.  Pick just one red segment.  Just focus on only this segment and watch it go around.  It never changes directions.  It's only when you focus on the bigger picture (the entire object) that it appears to change directions.





Added 12/16/09.  You should see 3 spinning rods in the box.  It is obvious that each rod is spinning.  But it appears that the rods are doing more than just spinning.  It looks like the rods are starting off on the left side of the box and moving towards the right side of the box.  This is just an illusion.  They are not actually moving from left to right. 

To understand this, try focusing on just one of the rods.  You will see that this rod really does spin.  But by focusing on just this one rod you should be able to see that it does not actually move from the left to the right.  Although it's rotating, it is always staying in the same location.


Added 8/22/10.  Watch the mask rotate.  It is always rotating in just one direction.  You might see it rotating from the right to the left (or maybe in the other direction).  But here's the cool thing.  If you stare at the mask, it will temporarily start to rotate in the opposite direction.  It does this only when the front of the mask has rotated and you're viewing the INSIDE of the mask.
Just watch the mask rotate.  Once you are looking at the inside of the mask, it should temporarily appear to rotate in the OPPOSITE direction.  Once the front of the mask comes back around the image should resume rotating in its original direction.
(I assure you, the image has never really changed directions.  You just get the impression that it has.)


Added 2/1/10.  You should be able to see the blue dots rotating in one direction.  The cool thing is that you can actually make the dots appear to rotate in the OPPOSITE direction.
To do this, just try to visualize them rotating in the opposite direction.  You should see their direction change


Added 7/10.  Watch the man climbing up the steps.  He climbs up the steps forever.  But wait!  Is this possible?  How could he keep going up the steps?  The steps don't go on forever (nor are they changing in any way).  So at some time it would appear impossible for him to keep climbing "UP".  But that's not the case with this animated image.  Somehow this image is able to give the impression of the man being able to climb up the steps indefinitely. 


Added 7/10.  Believe it or not, this image is not moving.  It's hard to believe, but this is just a picture and is not animated at all.  To prove it, just stare directly at one of the spirals.  Try not to let your eyes roam.  If you stare directly at just one spiral it should become clear that nothing moves or rotates in this picture.


Added 6/1/13.  This is very cool.  Watch the small yellow and blue pieces.  It appears that they are taking turns (or alternating) moving.  First the blue moves.  Then the yellow.
But in reality, they are both constantly moving at the same pace.  (This becomes clear when the larger black/white image disappears and you are able to just see the yellow and blue pieces moving.)


Added 6/1/13.  Look at the white area inside the yellow.  Which "white" area appears brighter?
It appears that the one on the right appears brighter.  But the answer is that they are both the exact same.  Neither is brighter than the other.


Added 6/1/13.  Doesn't this image look like it is one large spiral?
But it is not.  It is actually a bunch of perfect circles.  None of the circles are connected to the others.
It just appears that they are.


Added 2/15/12.  Watch the red shape rotate around the blue shape.  The interesting thing to examine is when the two shapes match up (or look like they fit perfectly together).  When this happens, watch what happens to the blue shape.  The blue shape appears to twitch (or move in a jerking motion) slightly.
But here's the amazing thing - the blue shape NEVER moves.  It just appears to do this when the two match up.


Added 6/1/13.  Here is a cool video.  Watch the chair.  It appears that it is facing you.
But you are in for a surprise when the man comes in and sits down.
In reality, the chair was always facing AWAY from you.


Added 6/1/13.  Which piece is bigger: A or B?  First it appears that A is bigger.  Then it appears that B is bigger.
The answer is that they are both the exact same size.  (This is a cool illusion because it gives you the impression that whichever piece is below the other is the larger piece, even though they are always the exact same size.)


Added 6/1/13.  Is the train coming out of the tunnel or going into the tunnel?
The answer is that it can be viewed either way.
Look at the train carefully.  If you try to view it going into the tunnel, you should be able to see it doing this.
And if you try to view it coming out of the tunnel, you should be able to see it doing this.


Added 3/14.  Are these a bunch of black crosses, or are they white crosses?
(The answer is that they can be either, depending on how you look at them.)

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