The brain is a truly fascinating organ. Many people have dedicated their entire lives to its study, and they still haven’t cracked even a fraction of the mysteries it holds.

Of course, there’s no cooler way to challenge our incredible minds than with an optical illusion. When we’re presented with a puzzle that defies all logic and perspective, that’s when we realize just how unique and mysterious our brains really are.

Most of these brain teasers are designed to baffle the eye and fool the mind. Some of them are so tough that even the brightest people have a hard time not getting fooled. Can you figure these optical illusions out below?

1. For years artists have employed optical illusions to enrich their art and better share their ideas. Here, you might first spot a painting of an elderly couple gazing into each other’s eyes, but do you notice something else? Look closely and you’ll identify a guitarist serenading his love. Which image did you notice first?

2. In this optical illusion, it looks like the rows are cut up by uneven lines, doesn’t it? But if you steady your eyes a bit, you might realize they are exactly the same. It’s actually the spacing of the black and white boxes that changes!


3. In this image, the challenge is to figure out whether the ovals are static or dynamic. In layman’s terms: do the circles appear to be moving or are they stationary? The truth is that the placement of the red ovals and the contrasting colors give the illusion of movement without actually moving at all.

4. Optical illusions like this one often rely on color to help them play their trick. In this example, it may look like the right side of the bar is a darker color, but that’s only because it is being offset by the lighter gray background!


5. Here’s one that might take awhile. While playing with his child’s toy train tracks, BC Academy trainer Marc Blank-Settle noticed a very strange optical illusion. Which one of the tracks is longer? It may seem obvious at first glance, yet upon closer inspection, it’s anything but…

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Marc concluded that this was an example of the Jastrow Illusion, named after Joseph Jastrow, an American psychologist who discovered this illusion in the 19th century. University Medical Center Freiburg professor Michael Bach called it a classical “geometric illusion.”

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“In this particular version there is, on top of the visual illusion, a ‘trick’ involved,” said Bach about the image that is so hard to process by the human eye. “The camera is rather close and angled, but there are no clear indicators of the angle.”

“Consequently,” he continued, “the lower part is (in the above image) already markedly larger than the top one. Normally, our ‘size constancy’ corrects for distance-depending on image size (in the eye), but here we don’t have enough distance clues, so we conclude that the lower one is larger.”

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6. Optical illusions are pretty wild, right? Another example is this elephant. It might look completely ordinary at first glance, but look a little bit closer and you’ll be in for a surprise. The artist is playing a trick with its legs! How many legs does this elephant actually have?

7. Color also plays an important role in these optical illusions. This is simply a print of evenly divided black squares on a white background. However, as the eye struggles to process the entire image, it creates “gray dots” at the intersections of the white lines. Isn’t crazy what your mind can trick you into seeing?

Aren’t illusions like these totally bizarre? You could stare at these for hours and try to figure out how they are so effective and still not really believe it.

Share these mind-shattering illusions with your friends below!