Stunning illusion

112

Just come across this combination of two great illusions to create a stunning new effect. Believe it or not, the two horizontal lines in the picture below are the same length…

Do you know which psychological principles are at work here? Have a good day!

112 comments on “Stunning illusion

  1. Mark H says:

    Err, no … they’re just not.

  2. April says:

    I just measured them and they are not the same length. I’m referring to and >–<

  3. Noadi says:

    Yes, yes I do. I believe it’s called gullibility.

  4. B says:

    Ah yes, the principle of unquestioning gullibility. We are told something is an illusion, and we say, “Huh. Interesting, that’s amazing”.

    Those lines aren’t even close to the same length! It’s easy to meaure them on the screen.

    April Fools?

  5. BoffleB says:

    I would note that it is April 1 (nearly) making it clear which psychological principles are at work here. (Gotcha! for one.)

  6. PeaceLove says:

    Psychological principle: Er..Bullshit?

    On my computer, the upper line is 42 cm, the lower is about 60 cm.

    Perhaps you are trying to teach us not to trust authority figures?

  7. Tonok says:

    I don’t think that the lines have the same lenght

  8. MNH says:

    Prove it to me and i still wont believe it

  9. Josh says:

    the psychological principle of April Fools?

  10. thegiantsnail says:

    Nice one.

  11. critter42 says:

    which psychological principle? How ’bout “there’s a sucker born every minute”?

  12. PaperSpock says:

    No dice.

  13. Sofia says:

    Oh, v good.

  14. lilabyrd says:

    Wow why can’t any of you see it??? I mean just turn it up side down…then right one half turn and poof they are the same!!!

    • lilabyrd says:

      Oh and I also have some ocean front property in Idaho…..USA that is…..don’t look at a map either………hehehe

    • lilabyrd says:

      And if you want I’ll even sell ya that prime location…..you can see the beach from your front door too! Location, location, location…….

  15. grenangle says:

    Nice try.

  16. Catch10110 says:

    Perspective? Maybe? otherwise, not even close.

    • Engywuck says:

      Good point! Perspective view could be a way of seeing two lines with equal length. Otherwise its just April fools day ;-)

  17. Marquoso says:

    It got me I stood there with a tape measure, measuring and measuring. lol.

  18. Yvonne says:

    April fool games.

    ”Believe it or not, the two horizontal lines in the picture below are the same length…”

    “Not” is my answer.
    This is new.

    Which psychological principles are at work here?

    The concept of experience.

  19. Paula says:

    Damn you wiseman. You got me.

  20. chriso says:

    awesome

  21. Hoof says:

    *chuckle* I love to see people who are unbelievingly holding a measuring tool to their monitors. Nice one!

  22. Malinari says:

    The lines are the same length, though measuring them with a ruler on your monitor will not give you an accurate reading, due to the variable width of pixels used by different monitor manufacturers.

    This just highlights the need for a standard pixel length to be implemented……… :-)

  23. jon says:

    the whole is larger than it’s parts. whole patterns are perceived before detail. results in preconceived proportions.
    ‘ow’s that for a theory ?

  24. Marijke says:

    wow I almost forgot about the april fools forces

    they are such strong forces!

  25. jon says:

    enlarge picture, leftklick upper line,drag it down to lower, then up again. that experience amazes me. am i pixillated ?

  26. lawrens says:

    fool day !!
    lol !!!

  27. Zyaama says:

    Hehe, nice one. :)

  28. beranger says:

    Yeah, 160 == 220 == April 1st.

  29. sardonicchemist says:

    I love when people spot a falsehood and are indignent in pointing out the flaw……on April 1st.

  30. Dale Malanga says:

    Perspective.

  31. pawel says:

    Actually – I think the craziest illusion is that triangle width is same as the lines!!!

    Have great April 1st everyone!

    Pawel

  32. Anonymous says:

    Uuuuhhhh? I just measured em, and theyre not the same size

  33. dee says:

    i guess the diagonal lines have the same length..but not the horizontal ones..

  34. Viajante says:

    They definitely have the same height :-)

  35. Anonymous says:

    haha:)

  36. Jf says:

    Great illusion!

    But will it work tomorrow?

  37. Lluis says:

    April fool’s !!!

  38. Carmen says:

    The principle of authority!

  39. momoppos says:

    4/1…
    You gou me:)

  40. Joan says:

    Principal of Gullibility?

  41. nikhilsharma90 says:

    Perhaps the only way to deliberately see them equal is to assume that the red triangle be a path of fixed width (like a red carpet or something )and viewed at such an angle and these horizontal lines were marked on it…..

    otherwise …………….. no chance

  42. Joao Pedro Afonso says:

    Nice Illusion, Richard. I had to use a rule to confirm what you said. Having said that both traces are identical, my inner visual correction mechanisms should have used the triangle behind to correct the perceived lengths of the lines… No way, although I confirmed that the lines has the same vanishing point as the triangle, I still see their “vanishing point” considerably below the right one. The illusion messed considerably with my perspective sense, although I don’t know how to describe the psychological principles responsible for that, as you challenged.

    PS.: Nice fool’s day joke too… not may perceived you were talking seriously. :-D

  43. Damn the first April Fool that actually got me… you’re good… and I on the other hand looked like a plonker measuring my computer screen!!!

  44. Warren says:

    The lines are, in fact, exactly the same length. It’s an optical illusion. You have to stare at the screen, try not to focus your eyes on anything, just keep them relaxed. Then you’ll see it.

    If it doesn’t work, just stare longer. You’ll get there!

  45. crazyflower says:

    April Fool

  46. FrankN.Stein says:

    The psychological principle of not believing anything you hear on certain dates….

  47. Gib says:

    Did you see he wrote “the same length…”

    Notice the elipsis, indicating there were more words to come. Possibly “…whether you view as a .jpg or .png”

  48. Sgt Skepper says:

    Was confused for a minute before I realised it’s April 1st.

  49. yochi says:

    hahah happy april fool’s!

  50. Benjamin says:

    Ahh yes. I was puzzled when I got a pen cap to compare the two lengths, and found something rather different than what you said, before I realized the date.

  51. […] every friday.  He also searches out optical illusions – some better than others.  The one he had today however, was probably the most persistant illusion I have ever seen!  I mean normally, I can […]

  52. ranger says:

    Happy April 1st! Did you know gullible isn’t in the dictionary?

    • Tessa says:

      I know for certain it is. I also know a bunch of people are gullible enough to go look it up. Nice try though. Seriously.

  53. Sander says:

    Brilliant. I had to actually measure them on my screen with a pen to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind :D

  54. Will says:

    *gets ruler* hang on….ohhhh!

    Happy April Fools Day

  55. Oase says:

    Great! measured it too with my fingers.

    Funny, i didn’t aspect an April Fools day joke from Richard. Maybe because he is a scientist. But he is always misleading with illusions and such. This is a logical consequence.

  56. namowal says:

    Was the “have a good day” comment a hint as to which day (April Fools) it was?

  57. rcmoore says:

    Given: The “red road” is defined by 2 parallel lines stretching off into the distance.

    Observe: The distance from the end points of each line to the road edge is equivalent.

    Conclude: The lines must be the same length.

    Principle at work: All space/time constructs are relative. Given the right perspective, all things are equivalent. Somewhere, everyday is April 1st.

  58. Berber Anna says:

    The principles of gullibility and April Fool’s?

  59. Jordan says:

    Actually, they’re exactly the same length. It is the very act of measuring that makes them unequal. If you don’t measure, everything is working perfectly.

    Great illustration of the “homeopathy principle” at work here.

  60. Duxall Inarow says:

    I LOVE THIS! So far I’ve caught two children and a husband using this bait. Thanks, and keep on tricking!

  61. Rob says:

    What a weaselly comma-splice! Replace the comma with a colon and the wind-up is starkly illumined.

    Good one, Richard. Happy April 1.

  62. Jerry Yurow says:

    Maybe I’m missing something here. I measured the two lines separately on my screen and the bottom line is longer.

  63. Jerry Yurow says:

    Perhaps the psychological principal at work here is the power of suggestion. The lines do not measure as the same length but a check on today’s date shows that it is All Fools Day once again!

  64. Matt says:

    good one! Snagged me with intended effect. As I was familiar with the classic version of this illusion I assumed this was an enhancement.

  65. Rob Teszka says:

    Bonus illusion: if you turn sideways, it looks like a duck!

  66. Jewel says:

    Nope. Not falling for it. They’re not the same length. Oh, look at the date!

  67. TY says:

    WOOOW… this is the best illusion ever!! they in fact look so different! one of my favorites!

  68. samuel says:

    I’ve solved it (if it wasn’t an april fools day joke)

  69. Isabelle says:

    Poissons d’avril!

  70. Katie says:

    Ah yes, Feinmark’s Principle of You’re Gonna Have to Do Way Better Than That to Fool the Kind of People Who Read Your Blog, Mr. Wiseman!

    Happy April Fool’s!

  71. Svlad Cjelli says:

    The effect would be called “lying”, or “April Fools”.

  72. safc4ever says:

    If the red is treated as a simple triangle face-on, then the lines are obviously different.

    This would be an ‘April Fool’ (Poisson d’Avril in France).

    However, if the red triangle is, for example, a red carpet of infinite length disappearing into the distance (Perspective), then the two lines (I’m imagining Stair rods) would be of the same length, laid on the carpet.

    If you don’t believe me, place a straight edge at the vanishing point and run it to one end of the ‘longer’ line – it will touch the end of the ‘shorter’ line, thus showing, in perspective, the lines are indeed the same length!

    I waited until today to comment, in case anyone thought my ‘Perspective’ answer was an attempt at an April Fool.

    Is it an April Fool joke? Yes OR no! (It depends on how you think!)

    • Joao Pedro Afonso says:

      You waited too long. See my comment in the morning of the day before. And yes, I think is was an April’s fool: Richard convinced a lot a of people he was playing an April’s fool with the illusion when he was not… :-)

  73. Alex says:

    Nice April Fools

  74. Douglas W. Kinney, D.M.D. says:

    Good one. You continue to be evil.

  75. wisp says:

    I didn’t buy it for a second. I said “No way!”. I realized that my eyes didn’t just move vertically to jump from the left end of one line to the left end of the other (the same with the right).
    .
    .
    .
    I measured with a paper clip, but only to see the actual difference.

    That’s my story and i’ll stick to it. ¬_¬

  76. Alessandro I. says:

    Ahah but they really have the same length, it’s not an April Fool.

    Just a perspective view. Think in 3D view, not as a 2D image. It’s not a triangle, it’s a long red road ending at horizon.

    So, the line have same length!

  77. nuray says:

    The psychological principle which works here is…er… we tend to exggerate the ones close to us! No? Then perspective. :))

  78. dataduchess says:

    Brilliant! Had me fooled twice… first, I thought, “no way are the lines the same length, oh it’s a clever April Fool’s Illusion.” Then I read some comments, and realized the Perspective angle, in which case they are indeed the same length. I love it!

  79. pquin1 says:

    2 min.

  80. […] Stunning illusion Just come across this combination of two great illusions to create a stunning new effect. Believe it or not, the two […] […]

  81. Wow…O.O^…this certainly hurts. Amazing! Thanks for posting!

  82. Humza says:

    Yes i finally understand!! the lines are indeed of same length!!!!!!!!! :)

  83. bigjohn756 says:

    I agree. In reality the lines are quite different in length. As seen in the perspective of the triangle they look to be the same length. Perspective is an illusion used by artists to make things look as they might look as they recede into the distance.

    • bigjohn756 says:

      The illusion would be stronger if the short line faded in proportion to the triangle.

  84. The lines are the same length. It’s just that Ariel perspective fools the brain. If you were travelling (walking) along a road, and measured the first line length, you would find that as you approached the second line its length would seem to increase up to the same as the one now behind you. If you look back, you will see that that one now looks shorter!

    • Claudia says:

      The lines are indeed the same length. And I agree with Anthony.. The line in the distance looks shorter but it’s actually the same length if you approach it. If you look behind your back then the first line is shorter. The triangles on both sides of the lines are fooling the brains as the first line seems to be shorter but reality it isn’t!

  85. […] Stunning illusion « Richard Wiseman's Blog […]

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  89. DamonLyon says:

    Funny as it may seem, the anwers thus far are not only incorrect but indicative of the psychological factor involved in the puzzle. They are all exhibiting something not unlike the “ladder of inference”, where the observer believes they previously solved this puzzle, but, in fact, it is not the puzzle they have seen.

    The puzzle is that it is NOT the puzzle they knew so well, but something that looks quite like it. They strive to explain the answer they have for the other puzzle (an optical illusion), yet the answer is wrong.

    Unfortunately, I can not remember the psychological term for this. XD

    Damon Lyon

  90. Diana says:

    The not-even-close principle

  91. […] Don’ tell your fishing friends but both of those lines are the same length.  Don’t believe me?  Click here to find out. […]

  92. ehioflash says:

    Very good. This is confusing yet simple. The are very equal. Perspective, imagin that this is a long road…..heheheheh

  93. yelan says:

    Well, they are not…

  94. Stephen says:

    Well nominaly there effectively not same length. But if you use THALES’s geometrical tool box (can’t find the name in english sorry) you can see that if you devide the length of the shorter black line by the legth of the longer one it’ll give you roughly the same result as if you do the same but extend it to the border of the triangle.

    So just as with the man eaters we can say that this statement is true AND false. If you mesure it it’s false but if you try to represent something in 3D (perspective) it’s true.

  95. Dete says:

    They are the same length if you look at the picture as if it were a road which goes towards the horizon.

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