Dynamic Optical Illusions

Where nothing is as it seems.

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Checker Shadow Illusion

This fantastic illusion was created by Edward Adelson.
Incredibly, both A and B are the same shade of grey. These type of optical illusions usually just use simple contrast to fool the brain, but this illusion employs two effects. First of all, it plays tricks on the mind thanks to the dark shadow contrast around B - but the effect is reinforced by the bright white background contrast near A.
With some 'training', it is possible to see both A and B as the same shade, but otherwise you might want to import the picture into a paint package to prove it to yourself.

Vanishing Fluff
Stare at the black dot for a minute (the longer the better), and watch the colored 'fluff' disappear!

Rotating snakes

Kitaoka's best illusion in my opinion. It will be interesting to see if it overtakes the 'Eclipse of Mars' illusion in poll votes.
For more optical illusions like this, visit his Rotating Illusions page.

Find your blind spot

Another popular one - and quite unnerving if you've never seen it before...
Close your left and eye and just focus your right eye on the tiny cross. At some point the big circle will disappear as it crosses your 'blind spot'. If you can't see this effect, then try sitting closer/further from the screen. optical illusions 14

Vision distorter (v2.0)
Watch your very world around you distort!

If you've downloaded the 'Microsoft Video 1' AVI versions zip, first unzip it and then open one of the four extracted anims through Windows Media Player. Now you'll need to loop the animation. If you're using Windows Media Player 7 or higher, then simply select Repeat (Ctrl T) from the Play pulldown menu.

If you're using Windows Media Player 6 or lower then select "View > Options" from the pulldown menu, and then click the "Repeat forever" button in the Playback area.

Once you have the animation running, you'll want to make the picture as big as possible (processor power permitting) for maximum effect, so select "Full Screen" from the view menu (or press Alt+Enter).
Seeing is believing..... or so they say. Well believe it no more, because as these animations will show, your very world is going to distort around you!
Improved over time, this ranks as one of the more scary optical illusions. There are anims to make everything shrink, grow, and both!

For this stunning illusion, you'll need to have flash installed, but in all probability, you most likely already have. Otherwise, you may download the standard "Microsoft Video 1" AVI versions here (20k zipped), but then you'll need to follow the instructions in the blue box-out to the right.

INSTRUCTIONS: After clicking on the box of your choice, sit up fairly close to the monitor screen and stare into the center of the animation for a minute or 2 (the longer the better). Once you've done this, look at something else, and your vision will go haywire! Things will really look as though they're shrinking or growing!


Grow + Shrink!

You think those are cool? On top of other new illusions, we have 6 more types of stretch, including: SHRINK! SQUASH! THIN FACE! FAT FACE! and MOTOR-WAY! Click here for more info...

optical illusions 16
There's certainly something very ambiguous
about which way this is meant to be up...
(This intriguing "ambigram" was originally
created by John Langdon).

NEW for 2019: Here are the results of the poll we once had:

(also see the choices / comments people made here. Older comments here and here

Enjoy those? You ain't seen nothing yet...

If you think those were good, you'll probably be stunned by some of the 10 illusions on our new page. We've slaved away over the past year on these, and believe that they are amongst the cream of illusions found anywhere in the world (internet or otherwise).

We didn't just churn them out of course. Many of the illusions went through several stages to see which variation worked 'best'. For example, the 'Starstruck Horizon' went through about 20-30 different designs before we decided on the final version/s.

The recommended donation price was $3, but due to the low number of donations, the page as of 01/02/2010 is now completely free.



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The optical illusions that have been created by myself on this page and this page are copyright 2002 onwards D. White.
If you wish to use any of them, then please contact me for permission.