5 of the best ever Lego illusions….


New Humanist magazine have run a Paranormality article by my good self on the psychology of ghosts, goblins and god here.

I am a big fan of Lego and so was delighted to come across these wonderful illusions…..

1) Impossible bench

2)Man in impossible arch

3) Amazing recreation of Escher print….

4)Another great Escher-inspired idea….

5) The lines are all straight!

So, which is your favourite?

UPDATE: 3 and 4 are by Andrew Lipson – more about his work here.



41 comments on “5 of the best ever Lego illusions….

  1. Devan says:

    Wow! These are ALL fantastic – can’t pick a favourite here… 🙂

  2. theboywil says:

    5 is favourite, as it takes effort not to see what seems obvious…. But 4 is the one I would like to have built…

  3. Kelly says:

    # 5. But they’re all amazingly cool!

  4. Steve Ulven says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Lego illusion, they are all fantastic. I will certainly be looking up more.

  5. Rob J says:

    I agree with what theboywil said. However I’m still flummoxed as to how they did number 1. Will have to think on it some more.

  6. Ryan says:

    Going to have to get my son’s lego out to see if I can reproduce any of these!

  7. Michael says:

    At first, I was leaning towards 5 as well, for its simplicity, but it has two flaws: focus, and a perspective tilt. While perspective preserves straight lines, but not necessarily parallel ones, that’s a drawback for the intent here. So, 4 it is for me – iconic, best execution. The original is titled Relativity.

    1 – looks too fishy – obvious image smoothing in the red stripe.
    2 – is somewhat easy to spot (lintel, to our right).
    3 – points for effort, but focus is bad, and Escher’s original Balcony has smooth transitions around the bulge.
    4 – nice build.
    5 – out of focus, perspective tilt.

    • Tony says:

      Way to go, Mr Perfectionist!

      Care to share some of your brilliant creations?

    • Michael says:

      Does a movie critic have to make movies to be effective? Do you refrain from criticism after watching a movie or beholding a piece of art because you do not create one yourself? Does the restaurant critic also need to be a chef to have the right to ply his or her trade?

      Richard asked for a favourite, and I gave a itemized, skeptical, and yes, critical opinion. We are above the grade where everyone’s a winner, are we not?

      Sure, nice ideas and inspirations are behind all the efforts. Yet I stand by that only one is truly well executed.

  8. They’re all cool. I’d like to know who made them though – posting images on your blog without attribution seems a bit rude (unless you’ve been playing with lego yourself Richard?)

  9. .sfw says:

    Number 3 is my fave – can´t figure that one out. But all of them are wonderful.

  10. Bob says:

    Which is your favorite?

  11. […] see more at Ricahrd Wise personal site […]

  12. Wortman says:

    Thats great 🙂

  13. Thomas Weigel says:

    #5 is my favorite, because without a ruler, I can’t make myself see straight lines.

    I really like the sleight of hand in #1, however – the guy on the right is not just there to illustrate the illusion, but also to conceal the edge of the taller lego piece!

  14. Daniel says:

    Definitely five… because there are no optical tricks or special perspective shots involved.

  15. Tony says:

    Number 5 is amazing, even with a ruler on the screen, you can’t make the next line up look straight.

    Also, it works on a different scale too – zoom your browser view out (or sit across the room!), and further diagonal lines seem to appear.

  16. Vinz says:

    Speaking of famous illusions coming to life, II just came across ClarkeHopkinsClarke “Bias of thought” which is a seemingly impossible bookshelf inspired from a famous 2D illusion. You can check it out on their blog : http://melbournearchitects.blogspot.com/2011/03/bias-of-thoughts-bookshelf-design.html

  17. Flavio says:

    Wow #5 always drives me crazy! Best one.

  18. Paula says:

    I love number two, especially his face. Definitely more Lego posts, please!

  19. M says:

    Like them all!
    #5: I can’t tell my mind that this really are straight lines!

  20. hypno genius says:

    Has to be the last ,black n white Hypno style
    very cleverɹǝʌǝlɔ ʎɹǝʌ very clever ɹǝʌǝlɔ ʎɹǝʌ

  21. The first one is awesome for its simplicity.

  22. For fans of #5 who are also web geeks, I did a version using only square HTML div elements almost exactly a year ago:


    • Michael says:

      Now that’s nice! I thought I try a minimal version in postscipt, but your HTML/CSS is much easier to view.

  23. […] 5 of the best ever Lego illusions…. New Humanist magazine have run a Paranormality article by my good self on the psychology of ghosts, goblins and god […] […]

  24. Freda the says:

    No. 5, as I was comparing the straight lines to a notepad window thinking, ‘they’re not straight’, before realising the picture isn’t parallel to begin with.

  25. PreysQuall says:

    Love no 5 ! its cool.

  26. Marion says:

    I think they’re all really good and would like to know when lego are releasing them as kits- Number 4 would keep my son quiet for hours!!!

  27. Does anyone else think that #2 looks like Garrison Keillor?

  28. These writings to me are really hard to be able to decipher. This is really fun you might say because one has figure out what is being reported. I really have to appear into this.

  29. […] 5 der besten mit Lego gebauten optischen Täuschungen […]

  30. Sally says:

    The fifth image – even though I have verified that the lines are straight, I still cannot see it that way. (squinting reveals a very definitive chevron design)

  31. Dave says:

    4’s definitely my favourite what with me being a big fan of the original M. C. Escher ‘Relativity’ lith and Lego.

  32. […] Richard Wiseman, a great source for entertaining and quirky offerings, has posted a number of Lego illusions on his site. Show students these illusions as an introduction to Perception (see earlier post on […]

  33. Kimberlee says:

    Do you accept “applications” for official letter writers?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s