In front or behind?


Several people have sent me this great picture – can you figure out which building is in front of the other?

Does it keep flipping? Any idea where it is?


28 comments on “In front or behind?

  1. Anonymous says:

    The building on the left is in front, as some of the protruding bits from the one on the right are hidden behind the one on the left!

  2. Gib says:

    Looks cool, but yeah, a close look at the consistency of the thickness of the bits that stick out shows the one on the left is at the front.

    It looks like it’s from El Gezîra, Cairo.

  3. Ian says:

    Thanks for another good one, Richard – that is a clever one! 🙂 It took a little while, but yes, I can see which is in front. It’s still confusing, though, even when knowing: one of those optical illusions that keeps sort of wanting to flip perspective. Thanks for another intriguing one 😀

  4. Ross says:

    i’d say somewhere in asia, and somewhere hot with all the air-cons. it does keep flipping, wait no i got it, no wait it flipped again…

  5. -M- says:

    It flipped a couple of times untill I found out the building on the left is in front. I can still make it flip, even though I know what’s correct.

  6. wnightshade says:

    My 9-year-old son took about a quarter of a second to choose the left building.

  7. At first sight the building on the right appears to be in front, probably due to reflected sunlight. On closer inspection the crisp edges of the building on the left shows it to be in front.

  8. The Masked Twit says:

    I’m not certain which is in front, but if you look carefully at the building on the left – sixth floor – you can just see Richard Dawkins washing his hair, unless it is his imaginary friend.

  9. curioushbar says:

    I think the question is ill-posed. If one is in front of the other, both will be in front of each other. However, it seems that the left building in the pic is closer to the camera since it blocks the edges of the right one, which can only be realized if we look at the uppermost floors.

  10. Steve Jones says:

    Assuming this isn’t faked, then it only works if the left hand building is the closer one as it clearly cuts across the concrete on the balconies of the right hand building.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The grey building is on the front. But it does look like two jigsaw puzzle pieces.

  12. Ron Murphy says:

    I’m guessing it’s a perception thing based on us being used to bright clear foreground and a misty background – think of near-by hills and distant mountains. Makes the left building a foreground favourite for our perception.

    curiousbar, I don’t think it is ill-posed. Both buildings may be next to each other on the street that the camera is on, but the camera is closer to the left building ans so is nearer to that, so from that perspective the left building is in front of the right building, looking diagonally down the street as the camera is.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The building on the left, in the shade, is in front because it’s the only one with completely visible windows.

  14. Andres says:

    It flips because the one on the right is brightly iluminated and the left one is in the shade so the brain thinks the one on the right is shading the one on the left. In reality the one in the left is in front. Am I right?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Grey building is in front. It’s obvious looking from the top.

  16. the correct answer is obvious.

    however it is an important lesson in photography, to remember the importance of light, to make things stand out.

  17. siskinbob says:

    The brown building is to the back.

  18. Emma says:

    The one on the left is in front.

  19. Mary - Canada says:

    It keeps switching for me but I think the grey building on the left is in front

  20. If you go to Google images and click on the camera at the search field, you will find similar images based on the url of the image. It’s Kairo without doubt.

  21. Steve Frushour says:

    Did you notice the that the building on the left is leaning slightly!

  22. Serban says:

    Very simple, almost in the middle of the picture, a balcony of the gray building covers an air conditioner unit of the other building.

  23. Sam says:

    The black building is in front trust me look closely wanna know y reply and Ill answer u

  24. khelkham says:

    Can you see the sunlight, ,,,, so they are in a line, ,,,,

  25. Angel says:

    The building are both side by side its jst the angle as to how the person took the picture

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