@jonmsutton brought this to my attention ….. the top and bottom parts of the shape are the same shade and colour…. if you don’t believe me, cover up the line between them….


    1. Me neither. I covered up the middle as instructed, along with the ground + sky, and the lower half is a distinctly lighter colour.

    2. This was shared by Richard on Facebook last week and it did work there but I agree that the lower half is slightly lighter. Certainly a lot closer than they first appear but not the same.

    3. Just had a thunk! I cut two holes out of a piece of card so that I could only view the middle of both the lower and upper sections with no interference from any of the background whatsoever.
      It certainly makes a difference and it is hard to tell the two shades apart. They may actually be exactly the same! ๐Ÿ™‚

    4. An image editing package will tell you they’re the same. E.g. to view the image in Windows Paint, right click on the image in the web browser, choose Copy, open Paint, choose Paste. You can then find a dropper tool (in Paint this looks like an eye dropper) to sample the colour in the centre of the top piece. Pressing Edit Colors will then show you the Red, Green and Blue values for the sampled colour. Repeat this for the top piece any you’ll see that both pieces have the same R,G,B values of 123, 124, 126, so they are the same shade and colour.



  1. This illusion is a bit of a cheat.

    Although the two larger surfaces are the same shade, the two objects are not 100% the same. The smaller edges that touch are shaded differently to create the illusion. If they were shaded as if they were truly illuminated from above, the the forward edge of the top square would be the same as the large face of the lower square. Since we have established that the two large faces of both objects are the same and we see that the edges are different shades than the faces, we can show that the two areas in shadow are not the same.

  2. Several commenters are claiming that the lower object really is a slightly lighter shade of brown than the upper one. That just goes to show how effective this illusion is, because they are, in fact, the exact same shade: 123R, 124G, 126B. Examine the image in any photo-editing program to confirm it for yourself!

  3. Isn’t this how we make decisions about important matters in life thoughโ€ฆ.based on the contrasts and the surrounding noise, story, colours?? The same being perceived differently is a natural part of human unconsciousness!! A ringing bell in the dead of night vs in the midst of rush hour?? 12degrees in winter(or north pole) = warm, in summer( or equator = cold!

  4. I didn’t believe it either, even after covering. But I downloaded the PNG and opened it in Paint Shop and the color values were all the same.

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