This is so simple, but so lovely…..

If you are having trouble seeing how it was created, simply cover up the shadow with your fingers and have another look at the picture.

What do you think? Like?


  1. This is an interesting one – I saw the illusion immediately, and had to concentrate to see what was really going on, while at least a couple of people I know couldn’t see anything unusual at all…

  2. Didn’t work for me.
    Still doesn’t.
    Doesn’t matter how I look at it.

    It looks like some guy who has peed his pants and then shuffled away from it a bit out of embarrassment.
    I’m guessing that it ‘supposed’ to appear as a levitation of some sort.

    1. Well Michael!

      I guess your big focus on peed pants might have freudian origin in your youth. Now look at it again but this time properly! 😉

      BTW Great simple illusion. I love it.


    1. It’s most likely an overcast day with no point source to cast a shadow. Notice there’s no pronounced shadows visible anywhere else either.

      My apologies if you were being sar-caustic.

  3. I have to concentrate and look very carefully to see the illusion, it took me about a minute to see it in the first place. It is brilliant though.

  4. I find the illusion more pronounced if I scroll to the bottom then slowly scroll up the picture. When I look at it in full, non-scrolling, I can flip easily between seeing it both ways.

  5. It took me reading the comments to realize what I was supposed to be seeing. I’m not sure why, but I still have difficulty seeing the illusion I’m supposed to be seeing…

  6. There’s a dark spot on the ground (water or oil mark perhaps) and the man’s real shadow does not appear because it’s overcast and the daylight is diffuse through the clouds giving the impression that he is levitating.

  7. Hmmm…got it straight away, but in my opinion it does look like a guy standing next to an oil/wet spot in the road!

  8. Two things:
    1) He appears to be floating about two feet off the street. I wonder how high this would work?
    2) How did he ever figure this out in the first place?

    1. 1. CybrgnX is right we all can if we think hard enough….just go stand outside and keep trying……evil giggle….
      2. Had way too much free time….. :}

  9. As everyone knows anyone can float 2ft off the ground with intensive practice of the mystic arts so there is no illusion here ;-}.

    These types of illusions are my favorite because it, like the moving checker board, cannot be stopped even when you see what is going on. the only way to stop the illusion is to cover or distort a section of the picture-cover the spot. It is amazing to ‘watch’ your brain fool you when you know it is doing it and cant stop it.
    Good illusion! and simple too.

  10. it just looks like he’s standing next to a damp patch? really had to force myself to get the illusion to work but it’s just too obvious..

  11. As far as figuring this out in the first place, this “trick” is often used in games to give the illusion of floating. In early days when dynamic shadows were too complex to do, small shadow blobs under the feet were drawn, much like the one shown in the picture.

  12. Cool, the floating guy .. Too bad we don’t see it like that in reality .. the world would look pretty freaky at times. It is already pretty freaky at times (though amusing as well at the same time quite often .)

  13. Very clever! I wonder what it is about the eye/brain that causes you to view it that way. Does the brain interpret the dark spot as the shadow of the persons body?

  14. For those of us who live at temperate latitudes, where the sun is never that close to overhead to make a shadow that short, it doesn’t really work. It seems to be an overcast day.

    From what I can make out of the website address on the poster on the side of the building, which looks like, I’m guessing the location is Romania.

  15. Is really cool how your brain works and calculate things like this.
    1.First you see a guy standing next to a stain.
    2.Then you cover the stain with your finger.
    3.And last when you uncover the stain your brain calculates that the stains is a shadow of him levitating.
    4. Now is when you see that he appears to be floating.
    (But is not)

    Mind trick 😛

  16. Sadly I don’t think it’s that convincing – you’d only get a shadow that small at the equator. Nice idea though.

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