Which will you vote for?


Last week I staged a battle of the clever stuff, and put a good T-shirt logo against a nice illusion photograph.  The photograph won by a narrow margin.  So, it stays on, and this week is up against a great optical illusion.  Have  a look at them both….here is the photo….


and here is the illusion (thanks @JediMindTrickso from Twitter).  It simply consists of squares arranged in circles)…..


Which do you think is more impressive?  Vote now and explain your choice in the comments section.  The winner will stay on and fight again.  Feel free to send me stuff that you think could beat it in next week’s battle.


51 comments on “Which will you vote for?

  1. Emily says:

    It’s still the photo for me. It’s just unique and clever.

  2. Victor Meldrew says:

    The illusion. It took greater intellect to create it.

  3. NK says:

    I’m definitely more impressed by the photo – the illusion may have taken greater intellect to create, but I feel the photo required more imagination.

  4. Jaki says:

    Photo is cool, but most people can photoshop. I could never design an optical illusion like that. Besides, would look great on a t-shirt.

  5. Frank says:

    That optical illusion is awesome. Probably took a lot more time to create.

  6. ButMadNNW says:

    Illusion. Because it’s making me buggy and made two of my best friends say, “Oww…”

  7. VioletKiss says:

    The photo is great! But the ilusion makes remind a simetrical flower made with spirals

  8. Vern says:

    I love 2D optical illusions, but in this case I’m going to award points to those who go out and stage an elaborate illusion in the real world over those who sketch something on paper.

  9. Stephen N says:

    Once you’ve worked the photo out, it’s no longer a trick, it is clever though. The illusion is hard to look at and keep coherent even when you think you know what’s going on. It continues to decieve your brain.

  10. Dawn D says:

    Photo for sure. Did a double take. Didnt think photoshop, made me think.

  11. Jenny says:

    Surely photo is not photoshopped! They are bracing themselves in bizarre positions to achieve those angles. Is v. clever and so gets my vote.

  12. The photo makes me smile, and when I look at it longer it starts to suggest something about how we look at the world and our expectations, so it works on more than one level. The optical illusion is not something I can get any more out of the more I look at it. So I voted for the photo.

  13. thirdman says:

    The illusion by miles, the photo is just a bunch of people lying in the ground with their feet on a wall…

  14. The optical illusion can be appreciated at first glance. With the photograph, you have to look for a while before you notice what’s so strange about it (the “sideways” stuff isn’t exactly dominant).

    Also, the illusion is just more visually appealing, whereas the photograph is rather ugly with the graffiti and everything.

    I know I haven’t exactly answered the question “which is more impressive“, but the illusion is the one that I prefer.

  15. The photo for me, it made me do a double take where as I still don’t get the illusion.

  16. Hilary says:

    Definitely the illusion. The photo is clever, but even when you understand how and why you are being deceived by the illusion your mind still has trouble accepting what it knows to be the truth.

  17. Femke Hulsbergen says:

    the illusion. It is clever and your eyes are tricking you all the time. The photo is just a nice picture with a good idea, but you see through by the first look. The illusion not

  18. Andy says:

    illusion for sure. incredible. would it work with colour?

  19. picnic design says:

    They are both optical illusions. I prefer the black and white optical as I like the movement/confusion created by the squares arranged in circles. A simple concept.
    The photo is a classic photoshop montage. It’s well done but didn’t fool me 🙂

  20. sharon says:

    photo. takes a lot of effort to hold yourself up!

    i like the illusion but it just feels like it’s been done before many times. sorry!

  21. picnic design says:

    They are both optical illusions. I prefer the black and white optical as I like the movement/confusion created by the squares arranged in circles. A simple concept.
    The photo is staged to trick you. It’s a fun idea, the 3 men are propping themselves up to change our perspective. It’s not photoshopped.

  22. Sarah says:

    I am far more impressed with the clever photo.
    It may be simply because the squares in circles illusion is just too simple to stand against the thought that went into the photo.
    Not sure why… but the photo definitely gets my vote 🙂

  23. M says:

    I went for the photo in the end.

    Usually I’d go for the optical illusion[1] but the photo really stood out for me because I wasn’t really paying attention and didn’t spot the illusion for a few seconds… that’s great as it shows me more about my mind then something that just makes my eyes go a bit funny

    [1]: http://yourtrillionrobotteam.tumblr.com/tagged/illusion

  24. ScreamingGreenConure says:

    Photo! Illusion makes me feel a bit unwell.

  25. Rory says:

    The photo is the more impressive, because it’s managed to trick so many people into assuming it’s photoshopped. 😉

  26. Jason S. Clary says:

    Being a photographer myself, I have to go with the photo. It required not only a lot of creativity but also effort to stage it. For those who think it is photoshopped, you didn’t look close enough. There are telltale signs that the guy in the foreground is lying on his back (like the top of the newspaper falling “up”) and the other two are doing one-handed handstands. Note also that their feet are all right up against the curb, their coats and collars are leaning towards the wall and the guy sitting is at an odd crouch angle and not actually sitting on anything as you can see a shadow under his bum.

  27. Jason S. Clary says:

    er.. that should have been one-handed pushups.

  28. Kate says:

    I went for the photo as it took me a while to figure out what the optical illusion was supposed to be doing.

  29. loopysue_p says:

    the photo is clever but you can see how it’s done, the pattern is trickier to see and unsee and interpret

  30. jana says:

    definitely the optical illusion. i don’t quite get the fascination about the photo. it’s nice but it’s nothing that completely stuns me, and from my point of view it’s quite easy to figure out. the illusion is a lot trickier; it fascinates me how simple objects can confuse your brains just by the way they’re aligned.

  31. uksceptic says:

    All about the optical illusion. The photo is quirky but I was looking at that optical illusion for ages and it was still baffling me.

  32. Dave says:

    I like the photo better. I haven’t seen something like that as much as I have the fake spiral optical illusion.

  33. XiXiDu a says:

    The optical illusion. The photo is too easy to see through , too obvious. I suppose for people who do not play games or read science fiction, the photo might be something new or unique though.

  34. Trish says:

    It’s easy to work out how the photo was taken (no it’s not photoshopped, but I had the trick worked out in about 3 seconds) – like Hilary says, even when you understand how the optical illusion works, it keeps trying to fool your eyes.

  35. Gus Snarp says:

    I went for the graphic, the photo is interesting for about 3 seconds, then becomes boring. I really just want to replace it so I don’t have to look at it again. Also, I find that I cannot force myself to reconcile the graphic into concentric circles instead of interlocking spirals.

  36. elsie_em says:

    The photo is lovely, but I’m voting for the optical illusion because I could have come up with the photo myself but I’d never have imagined something as clever as the illusion.

  37. Austin says:

    Definitely the optical illusion. The photo was interesting when I first saw it, but after looking at it further, the small details bother me too much. The newspaper falling toward the seated man’s face. The other two in poses which are too similar. The illusion deceives the eye even after you know how it’s achieving the deception. You can’t help but be tricked. Plus, it kinda hurts to look at, and that makes me want to send it to my friends. 😉

  38. Sally says:

    The photograph is so clever in idea and execution. Though, once figured out, a certain level of mystery is no longer there.
    The amazing thing about optical illusions like the circles of boxes, is that even when we know what is going on, and how they are created (technically speaking) – the illusions continue to persist! They intrigue our scientific and artistic curiosities, and are wonderful examples of how the sum is greater than the parts.

  39. Anonymous says:

    The photo. Yes the illusion keeps on working after you’ve figured it out, but the photo has many more marks for effort!

  40. Skepdude says:


  41. The photo. It amuses me. The optical illusion just makes me cross-eyed

  42. Geoff Coupe says:

    The photo is clever, but the optical illusion raises questions about the workings of the brain.

  43. I like the swirly patterns of the circular illusion. The other is too obviously contrived.

  44. crecimientoconsciente says:

    For me the most impressive is the optical illusion because i,ve never known how it´s done and I have the impression that you must to think a lot to do it.
    The foto is nice and no too dificult to do, and I´ve seen some picts like that before.

  45. Difa- says:

    both is cool but i prefer the odd photo,,, the illusion makes me dizzy and i dont like it (the dizzy feel)

  46. ViolaMaths says:

    Illusion has much greater staying power – I could look at it for ever. Photo: it’s obvious what’s going on really quickly and it looks really wrong. The second person “leaning” against the “wall” was a mistake. Furthermore – the textures of the “floor” and “wall” and the graffiti are all wrong in the photo – it would irritate me very quickly, whereas I’d have hours of fascination studying the illusion.

  47. lucidlunatic says:

    The optical illusion is the clear winner in my mind because I don’t fully understand how it works. The mind hack will always win over a clever manipulation of perspective.

  48. veganini says:

    Definitely the optical illusion. I agree with ViolaMaths – the 2nd person leaning against the ‘wall’ in the photo was definitely a mistake and, although it has an initial quirkiness, the interest is lost in a few seconds and you just notice the anomalies (the coat flaring in towards the wall, the man not actually sitting down, the odd angles of shoulders etc).
    The optical illusion however is fascinating – you know what you SHOULD be able to see but your mind just won’t let you see it!! I spent ages trying to see circles instead of spirals. Clever – makes you wonder how and why your brain behaves the way it does… (yes, I know there are scientific answers but they don’t take detract from the mystery!)

  49. AB1 says:

    I admit that the photo is impressive. But as i have said before it has flaws, another one would be the man sitting (supposedly) his but is not even touching the cement.

  50. […] you see here is the square circle spiral optical illusion first made popular on the internets by a Dr. Richard Wiseman. What I’ve done is implemented the illusion using d3.js, a powerful […]

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