@gregorwright sent me another lovely rude illusion….

and the fab @jbrownridge brought my attention this great illusion….

So, which do you prefer?


  1. I like the Peanuts illusion, though I admit my mind is in the gutter and I would usually default to the first.

    Similar appliques have been used near the beginning of school zones to get people to slow down and pay attention to their driving. Their use is controversial, but I like them.

  2. Quite rude how they kept on driving over these kids on the crossing! They’re completely flattened out, like a dead hedgehog!

  3. I think you should remove the first one immediately. Posting it here only because probably it is not illegal or because you have stated that it is disgusting is not any excuse. I find much more disgusting the fact of posting it than the picture itself. Sorry, but when children are involved I cannot see the “fun” anywhre.

    1. I think you may have missed the fact that there’s nothing untoward going on in the picture. It’s an optical illusion, as stated in the post. The thing that looks like male genitals is actually the arm of someone obscured by the man in the red shorts.
      So the only way those children are ‘involved’ is in the viewer’s mind. When the picture was taken, all they saw was a man in red shorts. With nothing sticking out of them.

    2. I obviously know it is only an arm, but the children do not become only involved in the viewer’s mind. That would be true if the picture was viewed in its original place; even in that case I wouldn’t make any comment. The childhen are involved as soon as the picture is highlighted precisely because of the optical illusion. As to the question of another poster asking what’s wrong with a child’s arm, the answer is that nothing; that’s why the picture is legal. But imagine hundreds of pictures like that one put together, all of them legal. I still think that having that picture here is very wrong. The wrong part is indeed implicit in the “look what a LOVELY rude illusion!”: this is where the abusive use of children. As I said, probably there is no point in reporting these use of the picture to the authorities, but if anyone knows anyone who could be of help here, please try to find out the correct way to proceed. For those of you think that my reaction is a little bit over top, I sincerely wish you all the best (no irony intended).

    3. Hundreds of rude illusions? Oh, I think you will find there are websites dedicated to that. I don’t see the issue when there’s no harm done.
      It’s a lovely illusion because it’s funny. And it’s funny precisely because it IS an illusion — the fact that the situation could be interpreted so differently just because of an oddly placed arm is what makes it worth a giggle. You find that what looked scary or rude is in fact just in your own mind.
      This isn’t in any way the first rude illusion that Richard has posted. Why do you object only to this one?

    4. What is the actual danger you see with this?

      Children are ‘involved’ at some indirect level, but they’ve not been abused, at all, so what’s the problem? Are you suggesting otherwise regular folk are going to suddenly get the idea to start flashing at kids once they see this picture?

      ‘Imagine hundreds of pictures like this put together’. And? What of it? It’d make a very funny gallery. I’m sure genuine perverts have much more effective material to get off to elsewhere.

      No prizes for guessing which newspaper you read.

    5. There is nothing at all wrong with the picture so there is nothing that “authorities” can do. I think you need to relax and learn to laugh. If you do not like these sorts of pictures, do not look. He always clearly marks when there are “rude” illusions.

    6. I agree it’s in poor taste, but my biggest complaint is that it doesn’t even really qualify as an illusion. It’s a misplaced arm. It’s obvious. It’s quickly understood what it is.

      An illusion should play tricks with the mind. Force you to really look to see what is actually going on.

      None of that here. Low brow humor, but hardly an illusion.

      Weak sauce, Dr. Wiseman. Weak.

    7. I absolutely agree with Berber Anna, SHAME on you Anonymous for bringing the children into it!
      What a disgusting mind you have. Its people like you that put 2 & 2 together, come up with 53 and make this country the health a safety nightmare it is today!!
      Go home sit in the the corner and think about whether the people of the world really want to hear your opinions.

    1. …or if you’re in any other position than the one in which it actually works.

      Which is true for most optical illusions, of course.

  4. Mmmm, I wonder what people would be saying and thinking if those were your children? I agree with Anonymous. We know that rude illusions happen. No need to involve children.

  5. You seem to never tire of obscene ,puerile -you say “rude”- “illusions” Richard . I have to wonder why . I respect your work on the whole but I still wonder,maybe ’cause I’m a woman -what’s so amusing in such pictures. They’re almost always obviously what they really are except to the most dirty minded. The one with the children was distasteful.I do enjoy your site and want to think the best of you. Forgive my chastisement.But please do less of this so-called humor.

    1. Does it matter if the subjects in the background are children or adults? The illusion would be funny either way that the focus of the illusion is the man with “erect penis”, not the children.

      I think people get a bit too sensitive and paranoid that everyone on the internet is a perv.

  6. I like the Cleveland one because it is funny that the coincidence happened. It’s the sort of thing that you used to get back from the chemist when you had photos developed and wonder what the hell happened. All I can say about ‘Anonymous’ is that it is obvious why they wanted to stay anonymous. Get a life and lighten up!

  7. I’m pretty sick of all the “rude” ones. There’s nothing new about any of the last dozen or so that you’ve posted, and I’m tired of seeing even IMPLIED penis in my RSS feeds, especially when I’m at work.

  8. Sorry to be thick, but I don’t really get them, to be honest. I think the one of the footballers(?) looked like they’d filled their pockets or had their bits hanging out? Another looked like an erection. Then there seemed to be somebody’s kitchen. Was that rude?! And then you had Charlie Brown and Co. going across the road looking big and 3-D. Then there was a side view where they looked massive and one dimensional. Did I get it right?

  9. I like the 2nd for creativity and the 1st because it not only shows how weird stuff happens but that some people get all upset by it.

    And Oh shame it has kids in it!!! PPLlleaaasse!!!!
    They don’t see anything, silly person!!!
    And as an ex-kid I still remember what it was like. If we would have been lucky enough to have walked into the upper picture scene and seen it as shown we would have laughed and pointed and had a great time for a few seconds before the illusion broke apart.

    I love illusions, so keep them coming!

  10. I’d like it if ad artist painted the first one in anamorphic prokection on a pedestrian crossing.

    It might then be mitsakenly rude, but the road safety message would dominate.

  11. I am enjoying how everyone is getting upset about the first one, mainly because nobody’s pointed out yet that penises generally don’t have elbows.

  12. damn im glad i only encounter stupidity on the scale of Anonymous (nr1) when on the internet, reading posts by americans.

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