The Zebra Crossing Illusion!

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There’s nothing quite like an optical illusion to spark the imagination… or a debate online.

In previous years, we have engaged in fierce debates regarding viral illusions that read like the back catalog of a Nancy Drew-inspired puzzle mystery series: The Colorful Conundrum of That Dress, The Jacket That Baffled The Internet, The Mystery of How Many Girls?, and The Curious Case of the Shiny Legs.

And now, there’s a zebra photograph that’s playing tricks on viewers.

1_Sarosh-Lodhi

This photo, taken in Kenya at the Maasai Mara national game reserve by wildlife photographer Sarosh Lodhi, was shared on Twitter, and he asked a supposedly simple question:

Which zebra is the one facing the camera?

And yes, those with good memories may recall that this isn’t the first zebra-related optical illusion we’ve posted on the blog, but I do think it’s the most challenging.

Some solvers focused on the folds in the left one’s neck, or the position of its ears, to determine which was the zebra in question.

Others found ample evidence to believe it’s the zebra on the right.

A few even posited that they thought it was a trick, and there was a third one in the middle facing the camera.

So, which do you think it is, fellow puzzlers and PuzzleNationers?

Here’s the photo again, with some space to think, before we share the answer:

1_Sarosh-Lodhi

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Ready?

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…….

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Are you sure?

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Last chance to turn back!

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.

Okay, here we go! Did you guess left or right?

The correct answer, according to the photographer himself…

Is the zebra on the left.

How did you do? Did you get it right? Or are you still convinced there’s trickery afoot? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.


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Answers to the Morphy_me Puzzly Challenge!

A few weeks ago, we challenged our fellow puzzlers and PuzzleNationers to puzzle out an artistic challenge created by an Instagram account called morphy_me.

The account, credited only as Benji, features images that merge elements of both celebrities, somehow creating an image that is reminiscent of both, and yet feels strangely new.

Did you puzzle out which pairs of celebrities formed these images? Let’s find out!


#1

benji 1

Answer: Emily Blunt and Katy Perry

#2

benji 2

Answer: Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro

#3

benji 3

Answer: Jessica Alba and Ariana Grande

#4

benji 4

Answer: David Bowie and Kurt Cobain

#5

benji 5

Answer: Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift

#6

benji 6

Answer: Robert Pattinson and Christian Bale
(a future and former Batman)

#7

benji 7

Answer: Margot Robbie and Sharon Tate

#8

benji 8

Answer: Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix
(an all-Joker edition)

#9

benji 9

Answer: Tom Welling and Henry Cavill
(an all-Superman edition)

#10

benji 10

Answer: Winona Ryder and Jennifer Connelly

#11

benji 11

Answer: Billie Eilish and Scarlett Johansson

#12

benji 12

Answer: Rihanna and Cara Delevingne

#13

benji 13

Answer: Bill Nye and Bill Nighy
(that’s just delightful wordplay)

#14

benji 14

Answer: Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal
(hero AND villain from the latest Spider-Man film)

#15

benji 15

Answer: Zendaya and Vanessa Hudgens


How many did you get? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you!

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A Two-For-One Visual Puzzle

Given the technology available to us — be it Photoshop or other visual manipulation software — there is truly no end to what we can create.

An Instagram account called morphy_me is doing something interesting with celebrity photos. The artist, credited only as Benji, merges elements of both celebrities, somehow creating an image that is reminiscent of both, and yet feels strangely new.

For example, this is a combination of Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt:

benji 0

It’s an intriguing approach that has garnered the account over 100,000 followers. It’s also something of a puzzly challenge sometimes to figure out who the two celebrities are that have been merged.

Can you puzzle out the 15 pairs of celebrities that have been combined in these images by Benji?


#1

benji 1

#2

benji 2

#3

benji 3

#4

benji 4

#5

benji 5

#6

benji 6

#7

benji 7

#8

benji 8

#9

benji 9

#10

benji 10

#11

benji 11

#12

benji 12

#13

benji 13

#14

benji 14

#15

benji 15


How many did you get, fellow puzzlers and PuzzleNationers? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on everything PuzzleNation!

You can also share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and explore the always-expanding library of PuzzleNation apps and games on our website!

Overwhelmed by Optical Illusions Underfoot

A good optical illusion is a puzzle for the eyes, a visual treat that tricks you into seeing things that aren’t there. The most convincing optical illusions can even affect your sense of balance and make you question every footstep you take.

For instance, imagine walking into a room and seeing this:

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This is a rug called “Black Hole,” designed by Daniel Malik, and it’ll make you doubt the ground beneath your feet.

Don’t believe me? Check this out:

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And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to optical illusions that can leave you dizzy and spinning.

Austrian artist Peter Kogler specializes in making empty spaces look larger, more twisted, and vertigo-inducingly unsettled.

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Employing the walls, the floor, and the ceiling (along with any structural beams or other objects in the area), Kogler challenges your spacial awareness with lines and imagery that offset your natural depth perception.

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Astonishingly, the few recognizable items in this works — like a hanging lightbulb or even a fellow spectator — enhance the effect, making everything around those steady, relatable objects into an eye in the storm of chaotic imagery.

You no longer trust your ability to gauge height, distance, or even the angle of the room itself, even though you know in your heart that you’re walking on a flat surface.

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We’ve featured some clever floor designs in the past — including one in a school that was designed to keep kids from running in the halls — but nothing on the scale of Kogler’s work.

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It almost makes you nostalgic for the simple trickery of a circular area rug that looks like a tunnel to the center of the Earth, doesn’t it?


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Your One-Stop Optical Illusion Coffee Shop

coffeeshop2

Optical illusions are puzzles for the eye, inspired bits of visual trickery that can fool you into thinking near is far, big is small, or two dimensions are really three.

We’ve explored various optical illusions in the past, but never something quite as curious, or as immersive, as this.

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Welcome to Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20, a coffee shop in Seoul, South Korea, that is like a drawing come to life.

Designed to look like it’s composed of flat line sketches — essentially, comic strip-style art that you can interact with — the illusion is thoroughly impressive. Everything from chairs and tables to wall art, mugs, and serving containers help bolster the illusion that you’ve transcended space in a very peculiar way.

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Like slipping into the black-and-white world from the famous “Take on Me” music video by A-Ha, a visit to Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20 is a mind-blowing experience.

And it’s a terrific place to snap some unforgettable pictures. When customers enter the scene, every photo feels like they’ve become part of the illusion, as if they’ve been Photoshopped into a drawing, rather than simply walking in or sitting down for coffee.

coffeeshop5

The curiously named cafe — which takes its moniker from its street address — has become an international destination for people seeking a unique coffee-fueled tourist experience. This is particularly impressive, given that the cafe supposedly never advertised its opening! The owner claims it’s strictly a word-of-mouth success story.

Whether that’s true or not, you might just get a better chance of experiencing the pleasures of Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20 sooner than you think. You see, the owner hopes to franchise the business and open new shops across South Korea, and then expand outward into the world at large.

So, the next time you glance at a bit of trompe l’oeil art on the street, maybe give it a second glance. It might just turn out to be your new favorite coffee spot.

coffeeshop6

[All images are courtesy of Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20.]


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The Curvature Blindness Illusion Strikes!

Optical illusions are puzzles for the eye. They reveal how different combinations of images — light and shadow, shape and density, foreground and background — can trick viewers into seeing something unexpected.

And we are still discovering new illusions that deceive and delight us.

In the above image, pairs of wavy lines run horizontally across the screen. In the white and black corners, they’re fine. But in the gray area, half of those wavy lines suddenly look like zigzags.

The only difference? The alternating pattern of light and dark patches on each line. In lines where the peaks of the waves are dark and the valleys are light, the wavy pattern remains.

But when the dark and light patches are the ascending and descending parts of the wave, our eyes interpret them as lines forming corners instead of wavy lines.

This is known as the curvature blindness illusion.

As with many optical illusions, this is all about contrast. The white and black backgrounds allow you to view the alternating pieces as one continuous wavy line, whereas the gray background forces you to regard those alternating pieces as individual segments.

Those individual segments are granted the illusion of three-dimensions, and our minds process the lighter ascending line and the darker descending line as “walls” forming a corner, rather than the rising and falling of a sine wave.

It’s amazing how distinctly different the pairs of lines look with just those small variations. Even knowing how I’m being manipulated, it’s still hard to convince myself that I’m not actually seeing what I’m seeing.

Very cool stuff.


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You can also share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and explore the always-expanding library of PuzzleNation apps and games on our website!