I recently re-filmed lots of my Quirkology illusions for a new History Channel show called Your Bleeped Up Brain.  Here’s one about the mysterious mirror…..

And you can see the full episode, for free, here.

21 comments

  1. I remember this illusion being used in a television program. May be as early as the 1960’s.
    A man (John Steed, Simon Templar, James Bond?) walks into a room where there is a mirror over the fireplace. He looks around the room, but when he comes to the mirror everything has a reflection, except him. Then his friend steps in and waves at him from inside the mirror. You then understand what trick has been played on you.
    Anybody else remember this? Please tell.

    1. @ Fotoplex. I’m 90% sure this is the answer to your question:-

      Roger Moore. “The Man Who Haunted Himself.” A low budget 1970 British psychological thriller movie. Based on the novel “The Strange Case of Mr Pelham” by Anthony Armstrong. Moore is playing Mr Pelham & not Bond [or The Saint] in this movie, but his character mentions James Bond in the story.

  2. Wait, actual science on the History Channel? But you put it all off to ancient aliens in the end, right?

    I like the way you did the mirror trick for this one, and I’m looking forward to seeing more.

  3. the marx brothers and Lucille Ball could do this without being psychologists. I did not care for this one, it was about as clever as David Copperfield using camera tricks and going “and that’s magic”

    I’m just waiting for the one where he finishes with “but that’s because you assumed the camera was running the whole time. As a psychologist I understand that people make this assumption and could exploit it.

  4. This is extremely well done, but I’m afraid I rumbled it immediately, perhaps because I’ve seen so many of Richard’s videos now! If you watch closely, you can see the movements don’t quite match up. It’s a very, very small difference but it is there.

    I’m used to working with video so I’m good at spotting differences in movement, and watching for small delays between video and video, or video and audio. I’m intrigued to learn whether this kind of ability has been studied – is it something I learned through making video? I feel that it is, but I could be fooling myself…

  5. I could vaguely see it and better when head shaking. It reminds me of looking through a fence. If you run past a fence you can see almost everything as if the fence wasn’t there. Similarly if you sway your body from side to side near the fence you can see quite a lot too. The faster the sway or run the more you see. I suppose the brain takes all the virtical slices and puts them together in to a ‘complete’ image.

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