These obviously irregular rings are actually perfectly round circles

Look at these grey circles. They look bent, right? Like somebody put a ring in a vice and squeezed it? Actually, it's just an incredible optical illusion courtesy of @SciencePorn. Both circles are perfectly round. Really. No really. » 1/03/14 4:11pm 1/03/14 4:11pm

Keyfleas Don't Actually Bite While You Type

A lot of things can bother you while you're trying to work, but what about things that you only perceive as nagging? In Keyfleas, little lights follow your fingers around a keyboard like a swarm of fleas, and can create the sensation that something is nipping at your fingers. » 11/10/13 8:19pm 11/10/13 8:19pm

You'll Come Out Of This Illusion Exhibit Questioning Everything

It's disorienting to walk into a room where nothing is as it seems. Your doctor might be grimacing even though your test results are fine. Or everything might look normal in your house until you realize that there's a cable outage and your internet is down. But if everything were an optical illusion you would probably… » 9/08/13 2:00pm 9/08/13 2:00pm

A Magical Puff of Smoke Could Outshine Any Costume Tonight

You know that amazing Halloween costume you've been crafting for the past month? I'm sorry you wasted all that time because this Pure Smoke illusion—that magically conjures up puffs of vapor from your bare hands—has easily got you beat. » 10/31/11 1:20pm 10/31/11 1:20pm

This Optical Illusion Is Melting My Brain

Two tiles, seemingly different colors from one angle are actually the same color in different lighting. I don't get it at all. What's the trickery here? Is it the shadowplay? The lights? The tiles? I don't know. » 8/17/11 8:33am 8/17/11 8:33am

This Is (Officially) the Best Illusion of the Year

It's no David Copperfield, but in this day and age surely that's a good thing? Winner of the Best Illusion of the Year contest, this moving circle of dots tricks the eye into seeing changing color even when they're not. » 5/11/11 4:40am 5/11/11 4:40am

MC Escher's Impossible Waterfall Is Not Impossible

Watching a real life version of Escher's Impossible Waterfall melts my brain. The more I look at, the more confused I get! Thankfully, the secret on how the whole illusion works is out. There's clear DIY instructions on how to make your own impossible waterfall on Instructables and that video above shows what's … » 4/28/11 9:20pm 4/28/11 9:20pm

This App Turns the iPad into a 3D Display That Doesn't Need Glasses

Two university software developers have cooked up a pretty clever use of the iPad 2's new front-facing camera: tracking your face to create the illusion of depth. The effect is so wicked that it actually tricks the brain into thinking there's a real threedimensional world behind a glass. » 4/11/11 5:42pm 4/11/11 5:42pm

An Optical Illusion Bookshelf: Are There Three or Four Shelves?

Using inspiration from the impossible fork, ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects built this optical illusion bookshelf. The shelf looks cartoony and almost invisible but that's not even the real illusion, the real mind bender is that there are what seems like 4 shelves on the left side but only 3 shelves on the right side.… » 3/02/11 3:40pm 3/02/11 3:40pm

Understanding the Devious Progress Bar Illusion

Click to viewDid you know that simple optical illusions can make it seem like the progress bars on your file downloads are moving faster than they actually are? Here's how it works. » 12/28/10 9:20pm 12/28/10 9:20pm

How Visual Illusions Make Your Brain Flip

It's a big skull. No, wait, it's two people under an arch. Hold on, it's a skull again. Two very different images can be perceived in this trick picture and now we are one step closer to working out how the brain spontaneously flips between such views, with the discovery of what may be the relevant brain region. » 9/06/10 3:00pm 9/06/10 3:00pm

Watch Out for That 3D Optical Illusion on the Road!

You're cruising down the road, nearing a school zone, when BAM! Out of nowhere, a little girl chasing her ball across the street appears. Your heart races, you slam on the brakes, and then her image dissolves. What? » 9/03/10 1:20am 9/03/10 1:20am

Our World Is Being Invaded By Cartoons

As a kid, I thought the cartoon world could mix with the real one—like in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I don't think I was entirely wrong. Just look at this odd metal sculpture. » 2/16/10 9:20pm 2/16/10 9:20pm

Toshiba Cell TVs Claim Real-Time 2D to 3D Conversion

The Cell processor that runs the show on Toshiba's new Cell TV is usually found in high-end PCs (and most notably the PS3). Now it's invading your living room, bringing real-time 2D to 3D conversion hype with it. » 1/06/10 2:03pm 1/06/10 2:03pm

Clear Acrylic Grand Illusion Is a Designer Table Without the Table

Like some kind of ethereal jelly fish table, this design by artist John Brauer is a ghostly reminder of a simple table that once was. Good luck keeping this thing clean. [Essey via Neatorama via MAKE] » 9/13/09 1:30pm 9/13/09 1:30pm

James Dyson's 'Wrong Garden' Optical Illusion Makes Water Flow Uphill

This fountain, created by inventor James Dyson and inspired by MC Escher, has water flowing up a series of ramps. Or so it appears to. » 8/24/09 10:40am 8/24/09 10:40am

Goldvish Illusion Gold Cellphones

Slightly less gaudy than the million dollar diamond encrusted phone, this Illusion line of phones from Goldvish is made of at least 140 grams of gold. Add to that, the handful of diamonds on the front, including what looks like the numbers on the phone spelled out in diamonds, we're going to say this will be quite… » 7/17/06 9:50pm 7/17/06 9:50pm