It’s only natural to think that our eyes dictate how we see the world. But the brain plays the largest part in that; the eyes just gather information for our minds to process. Sometimes, there’s a miscommunication between the two.
That’s how some optical illusions are born: when our brain can’t really understand what the eyes are saying. These fun mind exercises are tough to decipher, making us realize that it’s not always best to trust what you see.
1. 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.
2. 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!
3. 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?
4. 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.
5. 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
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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!”
21. “Was not expecting to find a cow in my swimming pool,” admitted the photographer who snapped this photo. Honestly, the cow probably wasn’t expecting someone to interrupt her afternoon swim, either. So get a mooove on already!
Thiiiou / reddit
22. Does winning the presidency come with the power to summon orbs of light? Unfortunately, not even Barack Obama can do that. This strange shot occurred thanks to the sun positioning itself at an opportune spot, but you don’t have to be President to pull off a mind-boggling illusion.
23. These four women in Kharkiv, Ukraine, took the phrase “model citizen” to heart. Donning orange vests and high heels—for reasons still unknown—these professional models hit the streets to do some cleaning. The guy in the back loved their decision.
24. To help dieters get over their fear of the extra skin that sticks around after extreme weight loss, this woman rolled out this funny photograph that requires a second look. She even went the extra mile with the flour to make her belly look like dough. Kudos, girl!
Morty_Goldman / reddit
25. It was a beautiful day in the village when this woman stopped for a moment to sit on a stone post. Hopefully the egg-shaped lamp on this particular pillar was removed a long time ago. Otherwise, that’s pretty painful!
26. Some might say cats are magical creatures. Others might say they’re sinister beings, deceiving humans with cute looks on their path to world domination. This photograph showed that, unfortunately, both might be right.
27. This pink pajama-wearing homeowner probably wished she did a better job of placating her horse when the equine argued that doggie doors discriminated against horses. “You should’ve installed a horsey door, lady!”
28. Falling asleep on the subway was evidently such a regular occurrence for this guy life that he rigged a tool to keep his head propped up. The little rider next to him, however, isn’t all that impressed.
29. Playing with fire will get you burned… unless you’re this dog, in which case, playing with fire got you a super cool photo opportunity that will make people momentarily wonder if you are actually a flame-spitting dragon.
30. Here’s yet another mannequin setting unrealistic beauty standards for the average woman. No normal-sized person could possibly fit two waists and four legs into a single pair of jeans!
31. Evidently, the post-Cars years were rough on Pixar’s Lightning McQueen. He looked like he’d either seen the wrong side of a car wash or was sneaking around a parking lot waiting to scarf down any leaked motor oil.
32. For some reason, this sketchy van with blacked-out windows came down with some serious road rage. Who hurt you, van parked on the wrong side of the tracks? Why is there so much anger in your engine?
33. At first glance, you might think these girls unleashed a twisted demon—a minion of destruction and all that is evil. On closer inspection, though, you can see it’s just a cat thinking he’s a twisted demon, a minion of destruction and all that is evil.
34. Thomas the Tank Engine watched melted components and a weird, brain-like interior burst from two of his fellow flashlights. Judging by the look on his face, he’s very pleased he was not one of them.
35. Believe it or not, bananas are not magic… but this mind-bending image suggests otherwise. Strangely, the photo actually makes it look like a chunk of the concrete step is missing rather than a chunk of banana!
36. An old British wives’ tale warns that a swan can break your arm if you get too close, which is why the patrons of this U.K. restaurant felt a little threatened when this burly bird walked in with a mean look in her eye. This feels like the set-up to a joke.
37. Luckily, these aren’t real skulls, but brilliantly carved pearls. If this news disappointed you—and collecting polished human skulls feels like something you might be interested in—please walk into the nearest police station with your hands in the air.
38. By reading the surprise on this cat’s face, you’d think he witnessed a rat resurrected from the grave and bent on revenge. In reality, he merely recognized his owner standing on the balcony through the kitchen window. Ah, to enjoy the simple things!
39. How was it possible that a cat’s shadow was such a perfect mirror of himself? It even has eye holes for—oh wait, that’s not a shadow. That’s a separate cat entirely! Now the real question is: is that black cat named Shadow?
40. If dashboard camera footage is anything to go by, driving in the insurance-fraud haven of Russia might already be a tense game. But throw a photo of a guy with a machine gun into the back of your car, and well, you put the game on hard mode.