40 Eye-Popping Optical Illusions That Are Seriously Warping Our Perspective

You know those photos you have to squint at and tilt your head a little to the right to figure out what’s going on? Mesmerizing to the eyes and brain, the perfectly timed photos, obtuse camera angles, and poor lighting band together to create these optical illusions. See if you can figure out what’s really going on in all of these eye-popping pictures!

This floating pirate ship is perfectly set on top of the distant ocean waves, ready for a swashbuckling adventure. Its captain is that dude in the blue hat, commanding the ship’s movements with the magic of a thin string. Or it’s a kite.


No matter how many times you look, you can’t help but see two animals, right? But there’s only one! The trick here is this aardvark’s coat design.

Malene Thyssen – Wikipedia

Be careful where you step here. It may not look like much, but when you fall into this river — yeah, it’s there — you’ll learn that the leaves played a trick on you.


We’re thanking our lucky stars that there is nothing wrong with this doggo. It’s all about perspective — he’s just laying next to a matching log!


Sometimes we feel like somebody’s watching us, but then we realize it’s just a reflection of a trusty bedside lamp in the lenses of glasses.

A friendship that defies nature: a cat with its panda pal…wait, no, that’s just the cat’s butt.

My oh my, that baby has a huge hand. And, wow, that man has a tiny forearm. There’s something a little unbalanced about this photo, but the two in it know there’s nothing wrong. Like father, like son.

No, cities aren’t building sidewalk pianos for passersby to tinkle the ivories. This is a cool trick of the light creating a musical path of piano keys.


Is this a man with a dog’s head? Or a dog with a human body growing out of his neck? We think they need a head adjustment because this picture is insane!

Even clouds can carry heavy burdens. The gate just couldn’t take the pressure! (Or, maybe, this is a well-time photo and an old gate).

Most kids love to play in the pool, but this girl prefers to rise above such traditions. What a rebel!

You probably could create this illusion with Photoshop, but here’s the less expensive version — wine glasses lined up in perfect harmony. Still mesmerizing.

This rather haunting photograph is a prime example of the power of make-up. We’re hoping she doesn’t pay a visit to your home — she could be out front right now!


Someone using Facebook Live thought it would be hilarious to post a picture of their kid clinging for dear life. Turns out this was all staged, and the kid was never in danger at all — he’s actually laying on his side!


Another reckless parent risking their child’s life for that perfect shot? Nope! They’re not posed on a building ledge; they’re just positioned beside a miniature train with minimal danger to the little one. Hang in there, baby!


Birds were already terrifying thanks to the Alfred Hitchcock classic, The Birds, but imagine if they grew into massive giants. We’re grateful that this picture is merely an illusion.


Dalmatians are great. That is, until winter comes along and you keep losing the dog in the snow. Where’d you go, Fido?!

We Rate Dogs – Twitter

Do not fear, there’s no alien landing happening here. What you see below is actually a car door that needs some serious cleaning.

There’s nothing like being greeted by your favorite furry friend. Even better is when there are two. Even weirder is when they look attached at the hip.

Has terror of The Birds come back to haunt us? Or perhaps it’s just ice on a windshield. Either way, one can only hope it’ll fly away soon.

Playing hockey seems pretty difficult without a head, but the player on the right appears to be doing it pretty effortlessly. In reality, his neck is just positioned in a way that makes him look like his helmet is short one noggin.

This part in this little girl’s hair appears at first glance to have supernatural abilities, as it extends far past the top of her head and out into the path before her. Of course this isn’t the case, but it still looks super cool!

Demon owl or cup of espresso? Unclear at first glance. The mastermind behind this illusion created it by dropping two chips into a mug of coffee. Pretty cool, huh?

Babies with adult-sized legs? This image will surely be turning up in our nightmares, but luckily it’s just an illusion. The legs belong to the mom, whose torso is obscured by the infant plopped on top of her.

What did this woman do to deserve having her head grabbed by the statue of a Roman emperor? Nothing, as it turns out. It’s just a picture taken at the perfect moment.

Blogspot – Imagegraphy

That girl looks a little too old for that boy, no? Also, doesn’t his head look…freakishly large? In fact, the love-struck blond is sharing a smooch with whomever is behind the amused-looking child.

We wouldn’t be caught dead dining with a headless lady. But to be fair, these women likely share this viewpoint, as it’s merely a mirror trick that lends this customer her strange appearance.

A man with the head of a fish? Not quite as alluring as a mermaid, that’s for sure. This swimmer just happened to pose right as a fish was swimming by. Don’t worry, he’s not actually a monster.

It’d be super cool if inanimate statues could blow plumes of smoke into the air, but this otherworldly shot can be attributed to clouds that, while also inanimate, appear to be excellent at posing for pictures.

At first glance, it looks like the girl in the pink dress has a strangely contorted body. If you take a closer look, you’ll see this is not the case — the brown bangs actually belong to her friend in the white tee.

This little boy certainly wishes he could collect waterfalls using a single cup. Sorry, kid, you can’t. The bright side is that he definitely knows someone with superb camera skills.

Flickr – stuant63

Dogs on airplanes? Maybe. Humanoid dogs on airplanes? Please, no! Thankfully the body belongs to a slumped over sleeping woman, while her dog appears to be sitting straight up beside her.

Here’s another animal-human hybrid that we’re really glad doesn’t exist. While the photo is an illusion, at first glance it really does look like this guy has an equine head. Nope.

It’s hard to think of a scenario in which you’d willingly inhale someone else’s hair into your nostrils. And as far as we know, none exist, because this illusion is simply a result of locks blowing in the wind.

You wouldn’t expect this chick to have the arm of a burly, hairy man — and she doesn’t. The “arm” is actually a leg, and it belongs to the dude sitting crossed-legged beside her.

Dogs with the bodies of ballerinas would certainly be something, but this optical trick clearly comes from the pup being positioned perfectly behind a newspaper ad. We wonder if the owner even notices.

Loose Leashes

Levitation? If you ask Elon Musk he’d probably say we’ll be doing it within a few years. But this shot just comes from the shadow of the flag — not of the woman’s gravity-defying podium.

It’d be pretty rude — and seemingly impossible — for this man to have his leg hooked over that woman’s waist. Fortunately, it’s not his leg at all, merely the pattern of her shirt that creates this illusion.

This photographer got pretty creative with his props, using an old watering can to make it appear as if he was sprinkling the moon. These illusions are all mind-boggling in their own right. But some optical tricks actually went viral on the internet—and made headlines.

Bored Panda

Not many people would think much of this picture of a tree in the middle of a meadow. Well, not until they realized that it was actually a man in dark camouflage wearing what appeared to be a tree costume. “Run, Forest, run!”

The post 40 Eye-Popping Optical Illusions That Are Seriously Warping Our Perspective appeared first on Eternally Sunny.