Amazing face morph illusion


@jbrownridge brought my attention to this wonderful face-morphing illusion (you might need to click on the gif image to get it to play)…..


Does it work for you?


28 comments on “Amazing face morph illusion

  1. Mike Eslea says:

    My first thought was it had to be something to do with the contrast between the two faces in each pair, but it also works if you cover one side of the screen! Remarkable…

  2. Jethro Stevenson says:

    I was shown this by someone yesterday. I’ve noticed that it isn’t a case of the images on the left and right morphing as I’d assumed, it still works if you cover one side.

  3. Matthew Willey says:

    So, I have to ask why?
    I am assuming it is something to do with our brain’s ability to ‘fill in’ where the visual information fall short. And if we keep the visual sweet spot on the cross the faces are in the less detailed and approximate areas of our vision. And instead of filling in with known familiar faces the approximation software is playing catchup. With questionable effectiveness.
    Sound plausible?

    • I’m not sure the brain needs to be involved that much. Like how you stare at a swirling black and white pattern and then look away and it seems like everything is swirling (Richard may have posted that one before, too; not sure). Here we have a bunch of different face “patterns” that our eyes “swirl” together.

  4. nickdossett says:

    I was so expecting to see contorted images either side when I looked at the whole thing for a second time. So, yes, it worked on me. Very cool.

  5. Paul Durrant says:

    This seems to be something weird happening in our facial recognition system.

    Perhaps this is how we’re so good at recognising individual faces? Perhaps our face recognition system amplifies the small differences between faces, and this is just a way of bringing that amplification into our conscious awareness.

  6. Martha says:

    I don’t get it…

    • Anonymous says:

      look at the cross in the middle/ black part between two pictures. when the pictures start changing, you will see that the the all celebrity pairs will look WEIRD and ugly

  7. Mike Eslea says:

    I think Matthew Willey is on the right track. The important factor must be the speed of change: any faster and the catch-up wouldn’t have time to start, any slower and it would work properly. In the goldilocks zone it tries to catch up but uses info from more than one face. Anybody got time to edit the file and try it at different speeds?

  8. Woah, weird! Definitely not what I was expecting, but it worked on me!

  9. Lazy T says:

    what a trip, it’s like rushing through an oncoming crowd whilst under the influence of lsd

  10. You know, if you look directly at the faces, or even take a screen shot so you can concentrate on one for a while, they still look distorted.

    I suspect that showing people distorted pictures, and not letting them actually focus on them and saying “see! They look distorted!” doesn’t count as an illusion.

    • Dave Serfming says:


    • Mark_D says:

      Completely untrue. If I stare at the center spot, I see distorted faces. If I let my eyes wander, the faces aren’t distorted. I took a bunch of screenshots and none of them show distorted faces either. Maybe you should lay off the hallucinogens.

    • Martha says:

      ROFL! Try covering up one side and watching the whole video through. Both sides are a mixture of distorted and real faces. Amazing that every commenter (apart from wintermute115 and me) got suckered by this!

  11. Karen says:

    There is also the fact that our peripheral vision pays more attention to light, or black and white, than to details and color so bright lips and eyes come out more and beige details are lessened.

  12. Greg23 says:

    Seen it before. It worked then. It works now.

    The horror. The horror.

  13. Ken says:

    I did not see anything unusual after having viewed it 4 or 5 times. However, I am with only 5% vision approx 400/20 in one eye and near normal in the other. What did others see?

    • Mark_D says:

      My vision sounds similar to yours… one eye is very poor and one eye is just about fine… and it works with one eye closed.

      Did you click on the image so that it started flipping through pictures and stared closely at the center spot? Anyway, I saw grossly distorted faces… somehow the sequential images are mixed and they appear monstrous.

  14. Oldie Again says:

    Effect is old…

  15. Dharmaruci says:

    all of them except Huge Grant have their eye pupils in exactly the same position in every Photo. could that “fixed stare” effect be causing our minds to think we are faced (pun) with an army of Psychopths and then our mind demonizes the image?

  16. Lydia says:

    There was a Gerber ad a couple years ago that showed a series of cute babies, and if you stare just to one side of the image, you can totally get this effect.

    Here it is:

    Can anyone else see it?

  17. Helen York says:

    saw nothing.

  18. photon says:

    I suspect this may be related to the fact that our peripheral vision is poor at detecting detail, but very good at detecting changes. We pick up the changes in the faces, but don’t detect enough detail to assemble a complete face, so we see a distorted image.

  19. brandy says:

    interesting! what is the reason we see distorted faces?

  20. […] Brought to you by Richard Wiseman […]

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