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

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

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

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