23 optical illusions that will confuse your brain like never before

Have you ever stopped to look at something and then took a double take to make sure what you saw actually occurred?

Our minds can play some really awesome tricks on us and the internet is full of mind-bending optical illusions that amaze and confuse us at the same time.

Here are 23 completely amazing optical illusions that will have you questioning your own ability to process visual information.

1. Stare at the dot in this image for 10 seconds…

Optical Illusion Dot and colors

When the timer runs down the imprint of color you were just starting at should remain when the picture fades to black and white. If your mind things an image should have color, it will fill in the blanks for you, but only for a short period of time.

There’s a similar effect on these flowers.

2. The black and white dots appear to be turning clockwise, but stare at the red or yellow dot and you’ll see that everything is not as it appears.

The clockwise trick

3. Where does the space in this triangle come as it shifts?

Optical illusion triangle

The slope of each triangle is slightly different which creates a hole.

4. Watch this for a minute or two and then look away to get a burned image appear.

Fun optical illusions

5. Cross your eyes and you should be able to see a well-known singer.

Face in the dots optical illusion

6. You probably can’t tell here but the squares marked ‘A’ and ‘B’ are actually the exact same shade of grey.

Same shades of Grey

Here’s a replica to prove the graphic shown above.

Same shades of grey replica

Our brains will adjust color based on surrounding shadows. Since B is in the shade of the green cylinder, but is still the same color as A, the brain believes that it’s a lighter shade of grey.

7. Here’s proof that our depth perception can be easily manipulated.

Height Illusion

The “Ames Room” illusion is created by slanting the back wall of the room towards the camera and the ceiling downwards.

8. These blocks seem to move one after the other but it’s not true.

Blocks moving over stripes at the same time

When the black bars are removed, they travel at the same pace. That’s because the black bar distorts your brain’s perception of movement.

9. Is the middle dancer spinning clockwise or counterclockwise?

Spinning Dancer Optical Illusion

The answer is both. By staring at either the left or right dancer, you can change the direction the middle dancer spins.

10. If you’re checkout out this post on a mobile device, close one eye, tilt your phone and look at this image from the charger hole.

A mobile phone optical illusion

Now that’s a crazy mind binding optical illusion.

11. Are these horizontal lines sloping or parallel? Stare at them for a few minutes to become totally confused.

Slopping or Parallel Lines

They may appear to slope, but they’re parallel. It’s hard to see the grey line between white and black tiles, meaning that the brain fills in the grey as either black or white

12. These circles appear to be overlapping but are they?

Overlapping Circles

They actually don’t touch at all.

Overlapping circles do not touch

13. What shape is this roof?

14. If you look at this green cube it seems to be bouncing on the inside of the black and white cube, but if you look at the red one you see a convex black and white cube with the red cube bouncing on its outside surface.

15. Keep your eye on the cross and these celebrities will switch faces.

Celebrity faces morphing

They’re not actually switching faces. By aligning the faces at the eyes and presenting them quickly, it becomes much easier to compare them, so the differences between the faces are more extreme.

16. Adding crosses to this checkerboard warps the straight lines.

17. These squares are the exact same color.
The grey versus black trick

Hold your finger over the boundary between the two shapes and see them change. This is known as the Cornsweet illusion and it exploits the brain’s lateral inhibition, which creates more contrast between the two objects when they have different colored edges.

18. These cars are all the same size.

cars on a hill - sizes

cars on a hill trick revealed

The Ponzo illusion works because our brain judges an object’s size based its perceived distance.

19. These dots appear to change color and orbit the center. But focus on a single dot and they’re just bouncing on the spot.

colored dots illusion

20. Stare at the cross in the center and watch the blank spot. It will turn green.

Pink Dot Illusion

21. Which orange circle looks bigger?

Orange circle with grey circles

They are actually the same size. Here’s proof.

Circles are the same size

The Ebbinghaus illusion exploits our perception of relative size. When an object is surrounded by larger objects, it seems far smaller than it actually is.

22. Look at this swirling for 30 seconds and then look at the photo from the movie Inception below.

Like the photo from inception - Optical illusion

Inception photo

23. Cover the sides of the hallway with your hands and the animation speeds down, cover the middle and the animation speeds up.

Hallway speed illusions

Remember the next time you are looking at something that doesn’t make sense that optical illusions are really good at fooling our brains.