Real Life Optical Illusions That Will Make You Doubt Your Eyes

2 years ago 1977

Real Life Optical Illusions That Will Make You Doubt Your Eyes

Often times, you will come across things that will make you wonder if your eyes are playing tricks on you. Even after looking a few more times, your mind is absolutely puzzled in terms of how what you are seeing is even real! We have collected over 30 photos of real life things that will make you feel this way. Prepare yourself because your eyes will be seeing something totally different from what your mind is thinking.

Watch out! Big Foot is coming to town.

In this picture, Big Foot is about to step on the roof of the parked car with his huge pair of sneakers which will surely damage the car and will cause more than just a dent. Clever photography and careful positioning conjured this image of a giant sneaker about to flatten the car. What was your perspective?

Flight Inspection

In this picture of the airplane flying past the giraffe and its baby, the plane seems small in comparison to the huge giraffe which is about to touch the airplane with its nose while the young one looks on. To the naked eye, it seems as if the giraffe is inspecting the plane and its passengers from close quarters. Maybe, they forgot to stamp their passports or the pilot didn’t hand his flight plan in. Anyway, they won’t get pas our vigilant giraffe mother and her baby.

Elastic Arm

Take your hand off my shoulder, or I will call security!

Caption: In this picture, we see the man with his arm extending all the way to reach the girl’s shoulder. This must be the guy we were told to be careful about, who enjoys giving people a fright when he reaches out with that arm and they suddenly feel the hand on their shoulder. Maybe, this is what they meant when we were told about the long arm of the law, an extraordinary arm that can stretch like an elastic band.

Giant Man Eater


That’s going to be a tasty morsel. The giant boy ready to swallow that irritating little man that kept on bothering him while he was trying to take a nap in the garden. This photograph used perspective and depth, to carefully create this optical illusion of a boy getting ready to swallow a man live. Bet it fooled you as well.


Little Bigfoot

That new baby food really does the trick, it helps babies grow larger feet, to keep them firmly grounded. This picture shows what perspective and light can do to our perception of this baby with the huge feet. At first, you don’t recognize it as adult feet, everything looks fine until you take a closer look. Now, you can see why it fooled you and me.

Moving the Eiffel Tower

Moving the Eiffel Tower to a new spot, creating more space for development. Surely, that must be crazy. The huge crane gets ready to lift the Eiffel Tower in one-piece to move it over the buildings to a new spot, can it really be true, why would they want to do that for? The crane was photographed in just the right position to create the illusion of it getting ready to lift the Eiffel Tower. The iconic landmark is going nowhere it is just the perfect picture of an optical illusion of an everyday object.

Man on the Moon

Proof that you don’t need a spaceship to land on the moon, some people do it with a parachute. This picture taken of a parachute jumper gliding in with the moon perfectly in the background creates the illusion of getting ready to touch down on the moon. Amazing illusion!

Ferris wheel Bicycle


Can this be the latest development in cycling, a Ferris wheel bicycle? We have seen many strange contraptions but it is the first bicycle with a Ferris wheel. The cyclist was busy repairing the bicycle’s front wheel when the innovative photographer took the photograph, with the Ferris perfectly positioned to resemble the front wheel. It fooled me.


Floating on water

Look, everyone, I am floating! This little girl seems to contradict the forces of nature with her being able to sit on the surface without any flotation device. This perfectly timed photograph of the girl jumping into the pool created the illusion that she is sitting on top of the water while everybody else is in the water. The girl as a focal point fools the eye into believing that she can float on water.

King Kong Returns.

King Kong is back, turn around. This towering giant baboon is perfectly positioned to flatten the car in front, who seemingly tries in vain to avoid it. The huge arm resting on the car’s roof and the red brake lights help to highlight the possible danger that the occupants might face, while the baboons in the background strengthen the illusion of the gigantic size of the baboon. The great picture was taken through the windscreen of a baboon in a safari park who jumps onto the car’s bonnet, looking for a titbit.

Crying, Madonna

The photograph shows the glacier crying about the condition of our planet and everything that is happening. If you look carefully you can see the Madonna captured in the ice with tears streaming over her cheeks. This picture shows the ice melting with water that started to flow down the glacier’s face and in the process eroded the surface to resemble a Madonna with tears cascading down to end up falling into the sea. Looks surreal.

Invisible Ice Hockey Player


Tempers can flare in ice hockey and punch ups are fairly common but being invisible to protect yourself from it seems a bit far fetched. This picture shows the invisible player with only his headgear and clothes visible becoming embroiled in a punch up with an opposing player. This perfectly timed photo with the player’s headgear in the air after it became dislodged in the punch up creates the illusion of being invisible with only his clothes visible to the naked eye. I had to look more than once before I could figure out what happened, you should also give it a try.


Walking on Clouds

People can walk on clouds and this picture proves it. It appears that this hiker walks on the clouds because of a perfect reflection of the sky with clouds on the wet surface of the beach. It fooled us into believing that he is walking on the surface of clouds with the earth not visible below the clouds. A perfect example of how light and reflection can trick us into believing that we see something that doesn’t really exist.

Floating boats

This picture of a sports field and boats in the bay taken from a higher vantage point creates the impression of the sky filled with dozens of boats which can drop down at any moment from the sky. This is a perfect example of an optical illusion created by the height and the angle with which the photograph was taken. The light reflecting off the water in the bay creates the illusion of the sky with the boats floating in it.

Island on a Plate

This family photo shows two girls carrying an island on a plate with their smiling dad ready to present it to somebody, possibly their mother. Their position on the rocks with the sea and the island in the background creates the perfect illusion. There is some staging involved but it fooled a lot of us. This must be the perfect gift, your own island.

Landing on the Rotor Blade.


Could this be a photograph of the latest top-secret supersonic drone, small enough to land or take off on a chopper’s rotor blade? This picture taken at an airbase shows a static chopper with a jet parked on the rotor blade, or so it seems. Actually, this is a picture of a chopper on the runway with a jet fighter taking to the sky in the background, shows what can happen with familiar objects in the perfect position to create the illusion of something different.


Holding a Pseudo-photograph Cliffs of Moher

This picture shows a little girl holding a photograph of the Cliffs of Moher in her two hands, or so it seems. The hands, on the balustrade and the stone pillars at the vantage point, creates the perfect illusion of a photograph being held, the focus is shifted and the eyes are drawn to the sea and the cliffs. Magnificent!

Women without Legs

Can it be true, a woman without legs hovering in the air? Once again our eyes are playing tricks on us, with everybody watching the event standing behind the railing except one lady with a jacket sitting on it. To the naked eye, it seems that she doesn’t have legs, her jacket hangs over the railing covering her bottom. The jacket and her shadow falling down behind her create the illusion that she hovers legless in the air watching sport.

Over the Cliff

This hiker walks so close to the cliff’s edge that his shadow is falling straight down it, how crazy can a person be. This great illusion shows a hiker walking in Utah next to a pool of water which reflects his shadow and the cliff face behind him to create the picture. Great photography which fooled us all.

Disappearing into the Void


They just disappeared through the void and we couldn’t see them anymore. Is this really what happened or is it just your imagination? This picture shows the amazing detail in the sand, the rocks and then the man and little girl disappearing into the void. This picture taken from inside the tunnel underneath the rocks plays with our senses because of the light and the focal length used, everything close- up is sharply in focus with the rest hazy. Amazing optical illusion creating a sense of mystery.


UFO Landing

The Aliens are coming to earth, the first UFO was sighted when it prepared to land in our suburb. This picture looks like science-fiction straight from the movies but relax it is not a UFO but only a cloud. The photograph shows a cloud formation that occurs naturally, moving air and the setting sun created the most wonderful sight that looks like a flying saucer. Sometimes reality creates an optical illusion.

Island in the Sky

First sighting of a hovering island or can it be falling from the sky after a tornado. This well visible island seems to be suspended in the sky above the surface of the sea with two boats anchored in close proximity. In the background, we can see a boat and other islands in the distant haze. All the elements combine to create this illusion of the hovering island, the different colors of the sea with the difference in distance combine to fool the eye. Look carefully and you will see it.

Run Away the Rock is Flying.

The picture shows two raccoons scurrying down the hill with a falling rock on its way to possibly hit the smallest raccoon. That is what I am seeing but in fact, the raccoons are moving up the path away from the water’s edge, there is no falling rock but the reflection of the clouds in the water creates the illusion. The rock is in the river surrounded by water. This just shows how an ordinary picture taken at the perfect time can trick you.

Green Concrete


This picture shows the latest trend in greening your environment, green concrete. The huge slab of green concrete surrounding the historic building won’t fall in everybody’s taste but relax it is only algae that grows on the water in the moat surrounding the building. At first glance, it looks like concrete but closer inspection reveals the true identity of the contents of the moat.


Did he wet his pants?

Wow, imagine a smiling public speaker standing unashamedly behind a transparent podium with pants that is clearly wet. How did it happen? Relax, it is just an optical illusion created by the tables and chairs reflecting on the podium’s transparent surface. The reflection looks like wet streaks on the speaker’s pants for which there can only be one explanation, he must have urinated in his pants. An optical illusion, no wonder he is so full of smiles.

See-through Coin

The latest trend in coin design, the see-through coin which allows you to see what is on the other side of the coin. Impossible, take a close look at this coin balanced inside a silver ring, you can see the ring clearly on the other side of the coin. The shining surface of the coin acts as a mirror to reflect the ring and create the optical illusion of a see-through silver coin with the total ring visible in the picture. It had me fooled.

Sipping or Smoking My Joint

Am I sipping or smoking my joint? This picture succeeds in deceiving the brain to believe that at first glance the young women are busy smoking a joint while she is indeed busy sipping her drink with a straw. In the background, there is an object lying on the deck which the brain recognizes as a joint, it is only after carefully studying that you notice the straw in her hand. Great optical illusion.

Alien Monster Invasion


This giant monster insect must be part of an alien invasion in our area, towering above cars this insect must be extremely dangerous, the worst sci-fi nightmare has arrived. You can wipe the sweat of your brow this is just an illusion. The picture shows an out of focus insect on the windscreen of a car which creates the impression of a huge insect towering above the vehicles in the distance. This is what the focus setting on a camera can create. No reason to sweat


Falling into the abyss

This picture creates the feeling of falling into the abyss on the floor of this building. The picture taken from above shows the astonishing optical illusion that can be created when tiles are laid in certain patterns. The center tiles look like if it is at the bottom of an abyss formed by the pattern and perspective when viewed from above. Many people find it difficult to comprehend the fact that this picture is a flat surface.

Honey, I shrunk the kid

This picture reminds one of the movie with the title of “Honey, I shrunk the kid” The picture of the huge seagull and the tiny person is a perfect example of what happens when two objects on different levels and distances are photographed. The seagull sitting on a third storey windowsill is closer to the camera than the man walking on the pier. Being in the same picture without clear references to indicate the difference in height creates the illusion.

I told you not to play with fire.

You have been warned, don’t play with fire. Every person can remember that at some time in their lives their parents would warn them around the barbeque fire not to play with the fire. In this picture, we see a man seemingly on fire from the barbeque. On closer inspection we notice that we were fooled, he is walking past the flaming fire, this created the impression of him being on fire.

Brexit Liftoff.


This picture shows David Cameron, former British prime minister hovering in the air with both feet of the ground outside Downing Street 10, clearly, he was over the moon after the Brexit referendum result. Looking at the photo trying to understand how it is possible, you notice that the light and shadow combined to create the illusion. Only one leg is his the other one belongs to someone else wearing the same color suit and shoes. Every time I look at the picture, my brain wants to convince me that he is indeed hovering in the air.


Chopped Dog

This picture taken in the woods shows a dog that was chopped in two pieces and survived it. At a second glance, you find that once again you can’t believe what you are seeing. The position of the dog and the wooden log combine to create the illusion, fantastic photograph. This is not a case of animal cruelty.

Cigarette Lying Around

This photograph shows how we easily interpret everyday objects wrongly when we don’t have enough reference matter to aid our perspective. This white tube removed from where it was planted into the soil looks just like a filter cigarette that lies on the ground. At first glance, you would think it is a cigarette until you study the photograph carefully. It fooled me and I am not even a smoker craving a cigarette.

Floating Castle in My Coffee

The latest craze, float a gold castle on your coffee. They must really appreciate their customers to serve their coffee with a golden floating castle. Once again, the perfect angle and the chandelier on the ceiling reflects as a gold castle floating on your coffee. No, you didn’t strike real gold, it is only fool’s gold in your cup.

Two heads are better than one


“Wow! Mother two heads are definitely better than one.” This photograph proves that two heads, particularly on goats, are better than one, it allows for better observation. Sorry, once again your brain misled you, this is an optical illusion. The two goats lying close to each other creates the impression of one goat with two heads. This isn’t a rare breed that you stumbled on, just ordinary one-headed goats.


Outdoor art or hole in the wall?

The peaceful setting with a bench and a tree close to a garden wall draws your eye to the focal point, outdoor art, a landscape perfectly framed against the wall. Closer inspection reveals that it is a hole in the wall which perfectly framed the outdoor landscape to create the optical illusion of artwork against the wall. Great view.

Brides groom with hooves

What happened? His feet turned into hooves! This happened when the bridegroom opened the dance floor with his lovely bride. The angle of the photograph and the flowing dress of the bride helped to create the illusion. There wasn’t a spell cast on the bridegroom by a jealous contender, it is just an illusion.

Modern Day Gulliver

This photograph taken on the beach shows Gulliver walking on the beach during one of his travels, with the little people as onlookers. Unfortunately, it is not the storybook legend but a guy doing a tightrope walk in the foreground with the beachgoers and volleyball players looking on. The almost invisible tightrope blends in to create the illusion of a giant walking on the beach. Shows how everyday objects can create an optical illusion.

Brothers in Arms


Amazing photograph of two boys sharing an arm with which they are joined at the sockets. This incredible picture creates the perception that the boys share an arm while in reality, the boys have two normal arms. The body position obscures the two separate arms and tends to fuse them together to create the illusion. Can’t always believe what you see!


Aladdin’s floating carpet

A new version of Aladdin’s magic floating carpet was recently observed on a test flight in the neighborhood according to a photograph recently taken. After much speculation, it was indeed found to be an optical illusion that can easily be explained. A flat piece of cardboard was lying in front of a drain cover which combined to create the flying carpet and its shadow on the ground. Looking again, I still wonder if it isn’t real.

Tree Fusion or Confusion

Ever wondered why trees would grow a branch, from its main trunk, straight into a secondary trunk. Would this be to support the trunk or is it just occurring naturally? This picture shows a lateral branch growing from the main trunk into the secondary trunk. Look again it is an optical illusion, the branch passes behind the trunk but the lack of depth and different textures makes it happen.

Cat Stand or Handstand

Wow! Amazing photograph of a man performing a handstand on a cat’s back. Don’t think cat lovers would approve of it. Fortunately, the rotation of the picture made this look like a handstand while it is a photograph of a cat being raised with its feet touching the ceiling. Look at the cat’s shadow on the ceiling it gives the illusion away. The photograph was staged to make the optical illusion seem like reality.

Leave My Soda Alone!


In this picture, you can see what happens when a lama refuses to listen. Its head was ripped from its body when the man grabbed the head to prevent it from drinking his soda. The photograph in which the man’s body obscures the lama with only its head visible creates the illusion of a lama who lost his head or body when persisting with attempts to get hold of the soda. Great photograph.


One-Arm Bandit or Cat

Wow, the first one-legged cat that I have ever seen. This clever photograph of a cat lying with only one leg and part of the chest visible fools you into believing that it is a one-legged cat while it is a perfectly normal cat. Amazing how body position created the optical illusion of the One-Arm Bandit, sorry cat.

Dog-Woman, New Superhero

The newly released photographs show Dog –Woman visiting her pregnant friend to check on her. Dog-Woman with the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a dog is a regular visitor and can be seen after you have emptied a bottle of wine. The perfect illusion was created when the family dog stood behind the women and perfectly blended in with the black pants to form the image of Dog-Woman. I will drink a toast on them.

Black Hole

What happened to my bedding? The picture shows a black hole created when the dark matter of some star entered my bedroom and started swallowing the bedding. This might work for stars in the constellations but definitely not in bedrooms. The black hole is the “dark matter” of a cat perfectly curled up on my bedding. A beautiful picture that helps to explain strange black holes.

Dog Drone


The latest development in drone technology led to the release of the “Dog Drone”. This drone which is camouflaged as a Yorkshire terrier can be used in many different applications and comes complete with retractable legs to facilitate low flying when inspecting drainage grids. Excellent timing when it jumped across the grid, produced this stunning photograph of a legless, low-flying dog. The angle at which it was taken made the legs to disappear and created the illusion of a flying dog.


House on fire

Where is the fire brigade? The house is on fire! This would be the first response to this photograph with the flames already reaching to the ceiling. If someone sends you this photograph of your house while on vacation, you would immediately want to return home to assess the damage. Fortunately, it is just an optical illusion created by the reflection of the setting sun on the windows. What an unbelievable optical illusion creating the licking flames.

Sky Lighting

Wow, and I always thought it was the moon! This picture proves that moonlight is in fact caused by ceiling lights connected to clouds, getting their energy from static electricity produced by clouds. The lights can also be individually switched to produce brighter light when needed. This picture created by an optical illusion of the reflection of the apartments ceiling light on the window glass shows the beautifully crafted light floating in the sky shining its light on the earth below.

Catch the Bride

The great picture shows the bride who excitedly jumped to sit with her legs draped over the bridegroom’s shoulders. Must have been a spectacular jump to achieve that and her smile clearly shows that she enjoyed it. Look again and you will see that it is the white back lining of the groom’s waistcoat and his shirt that creates the illusion of the bride sitting on his shoulders. It is still a great moment despite this optic illusion.

Fresh from the Boot


This is a real innovation, selling fresh pastries and pies from the boot of your vehicle just outside the door of the deli and bistro. Best place to park and sell during lunchtime, beautiful display of tempting delicacies, order your coffee inside, eat outside. Bet the deli owner loves your presence outside. Excellent optical illusion with the loaded shelf inside the deli reflecting on the backdoor of the pick-up parked outside. It fooled me I wanted to go outside to buy fresh croissants to have with my coffee.


Frozen Tornado

This picture shows a tornado that was frozen solid from where it touched down right up to the clouds. This dramatic picture shows what happens when a tornado occurs during wintertime, the frozen spiral presents great danger when the snow will start melting. This photograph taken from the porch shows the snow that has started melting on the roof with an ice stalactite that has formed. The snow and stalactite perfectly resembles a tornado touching down in the distance, one of the best optical illusions ever.

The Conjoined Dogs

This photograph shows the world’s first conjoined dogs, two heads but one body. This very rare picture must be a first-ever recorded image of such an unheard phenomenon, to see two dogs of this age conjoined with one body is only reserved for the privileged. This perfect optical illusion must rate as one of the greatest pictures ever taken. The image formed when the one dog pushed in front of the other one which is behind the half-opened door that hides the body and the legs.

Harvest Concert

This picture shows the huge crowd attending the Harvest concert in the Cotton Fields arena. Did you also attend it? The photograph of the huge cotton harvesting operation with more than one combine during night time conjures up the image of a packed stadium with floodlights and a stage. The ripe cotton catches the light to create shadows resembling people. This picture fooled me, shows what light and shadow can do. Enjoy the concert.

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