45 Photos That Prove Seeing Isn’t Always Believing

By Doreen R

The article is all about how our eyes and brains can play tricks on us. We’re living in an era where we are constantly bombarded with images, news, and other forms of media that make us nearly oblivious to what’s right in front of our eyes. This piece will make you look at images and then relook at them and see if what you looked at is really what you thought it was.  Some of the illusions you’re about to see are intentional, while others were caught on film simply by chance. If nothing more comes of it, we’re hoping that you’ll start looking at things with a more open mind. We’ve compiled a collection of snaps that we hope will amaze you and make you see things just a little differently than before. We hope you enjoy what we’ve gathered and that it sparks a moment of joy, bewilderment, or curiosity.

Looks Like This Groom Had Cold Feet

It’s completely natural to feel fear before taking the plunge into marriage. It’s okay to have a mini or major freakout before saying, “I do.” This groom seems to have a sense of humor and isn’t afraid to let others in on his worries about the institution of marriage.

Image courtesy of mildlyinfuriating/reddit

It’s hard to spot it at first, but check out the groom’s shoes. His cry for help must’ve surely lightened the mood during the ceremony. Here’s hoping the bride has a healthy sense of humor and wasn’t too irritated from her spouse’s joke.

This Can Lead to a Meltdown

Puzzle sales went through the roof during the global pandemic. Many found themselves at home for long periods of time while socially distancing. There was a spike in board games and puzzles as families looked to pass the long hours together.

Image courtesy of mildlyinfuriating/reddit

Only those that labored for hours to put together a 500 or 1000 piece puzzle can sympathize with this image. Some fear losing a piece to finish the puzzle, but to find an identical piece, that’s a disaster as well. It appears to be an edge piece, making it a bit less confusing, but still.

This is Not an Artist’s Rendering

At first glance, this appears to be an artist’s rendering of a housing development, or perhaps even a computer-generated image. However, it’s not. It’s a real place, and it’s a photograph. All we can say is, wow! One has to wonder how easy it would be to find their own abode in this sea of identical homes.

Image courtesy of AccidentalWesAnderson/reddit

You can find this neighborhood in Mexico City, and it even has a name. It’s the San Buenaventura Housing Complex and can be found in the heart of Mexico. While it looks more like a would-be architect’s final project, it’s a real place that many people call home.

This Party Trick Never Gets Old

Before we even delve into this, go ahead and look at your thumb. That’s right, bend it, move it, really focus on it. Okay, now check this out. This is an extremely rare genetic anomaly. Pay attention to the right picture and notice that there are no creases or lines in the thumb.

Image courtesy of beach raider

As the owner of this thumb can’t fully bend his own thumb, there are no lines or marks to make it similar to what we’re accustomed to. The fact that we can see lines and creases in our own thumb results from years of bending and normal movement.

Someone’s Always Watching

It takes a keen eye to have noticed this eery-looking face peeking out. Check out how the red t-shirts are innocently hanging from the rack. Nothing appears out of place until you look a little closer. Check out the sleeves and what’s formed from them.

Image courtesy of spaly

Now that you’ve looked more closely at the image, we’re sure you’ve seen it. The creepy face looking down at the ground. The facial features meshed together from the sleeves have an ominous vibe emanating from the rack of shirts. Maybe it’s a look of disapproval telling the shopper they’ve spent enough money.

Man’s Best Friend Wants To Learn Too

Check out this image and see how long it takes you to spot the special student. This fella has to lighten the mood when it comes to even the most boring of lectures. He does seem to be focusing hard on what the teacher is saying.

Image courtesy of dailyarmy

If it is a service dog, he’s getting an A for behaving so well. He appears to be attentive and calm and really into whatever this class is about. We are curious to know how he does on the midterms and finals.

What She Doesn’t See Won’t Hurt Her

Selfies are a thing and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. To get the perfect pic, one must check and re-check the final product before posting. How happy we were when this image saw the light of day. We love how this gal was more focused on her look than what her pooch was up to.

Image courtesy of mildlyinfuriating/reddit

Hint: next time, shut the bathroom door. Had she done that, though, we would have ever seen this great image of the doggy partaking in a water break. This is all too common for many dog owners, so we can relate.

Intentional or Not, We’ll Leave That to the Viewer

This art installation, at first glance, seems nothing more than vases. Now, look closer. Do you see it yet? Check out the spaces between the ‘vases.’ You see it, right? If you’re still not seeing it, consider clearing your mind and try again.

Image courtesy of elitereaderscom/FB

The spaces between the black vases show a woman’s form. Ahhh…yes, now you see it. It’s genius to see how it is now so clear and obvious. We give credit to the artist who was originally inspired by the acclaimed Psychologist Edgar Rubin and his vase image.

Extra Points Awarded for Originality

Had this not been pointed out to us, we’d never have noticed, and that’s we’re writing this. This entire item is about images being initially perceived one way when there’s something totally different to be observed as well. This brick wall is a great example of how our brain works.

Image courtesy of spaly

At first glance, there’s nothing awry with this wall, but look closer and see if you can see something else. One of the bricks isn’t even a brick. Either the builder ran out of bricks or needed to repair the structure quickly, but a wooden ‘brick’ was used instead.

Wait, What?

The internet is chock full of images that look a bit wrong. We’re talking images that were snapped and give off the illusion that’s something is amiss. Check out this photo of the girl with three legs. Only by looking closer do we see how it was really meant to appear.

image courtesy of mildlyinfuriating/reddit

Check out this illusion that most likely wasn’t intentional. The vase’s color and shape totally mimic the girl’s leg. This definitely makes the viewer go, “huh.” Only by inspecting closer do we see that the 3rd leg is actually a vase.

It’s a Bear, It’s a Frog, We’re Not Sure

We’ve all seen funky and cute keychains, and it’s nothing out of the ordinary unless you take a closer look. This green keychain that we’re calling Kermit wasn’t originally a frog. Nope, this adorable frog started his life as a bear.

Image courtesy of luxandlush.com

If you’re able to see it, you’re also able to see that this amphibian first started as a teddy bear. Sadly with time, his facial features faded, but the owner refused to toss it. We are really digging how this bear was given a second chance as a frog by adding the eyes and smile.

When the Recipe Calls For One Clove of Garlic

The average head of garlic comes with 10-12 segmented cloves. We’ve all seen how it’s supposed to look. Imagine this cook’s shock when peeling the garlic and finding only one clove. We’re not sure if this owner was aware that he purchased what is known as ‘Solo Garlic.’

Image courtesy of incrivel

This type of garlic is seven times more pungent than the regular garlic we’re used to. Solo garlic is native to India and isn’t all that common in your neighborhood market. It goes without saying that garlic is not only tasty and adds flavor to most dishes, but it’s also healthy.

Oh, That Waldo. He’s Everywhere!

In 1987, the world was introduced to Waldo, and even before the internet, it went viral. UK author Martin Handford is responsible for getting the world to search for the guy in the hat and striped shirt. The goal was to find him in any setting, no matter how much he tried to hide.

Image courtesy of incrivel

This wedding pic shows Waldo peeking out and photobombing the couple’s special day. We’re not sure if he was invited, but we’re loving how he’s peaking out from behind the tree. Thankfully, over 30 years later, he’s still wildly popular and showing up when we least expect him.

This One is Tricky

This optical illusion is beyond fascinating. Go ahead, count the glass chimes. How many purple hanging chimes are there in this image? If you guessed six, like most probably would, you’d be mistaken. There are only three chimes in this image.

Image courtesy of brightside

Shadows, in fact, are causing this mind-bending illusion. There are only three hanging glass chimes, yet the light and shadows make your eyes play tricks. This illusion is hard to internalize, no matter how much we stare at it.

Would Ya Look At That

Many of us remember our childhoods that included long road trips. We would stare at clouds to pass the time, imagining we saw animals or faces. This snap was caught by someone who was just looking up and was sure his eyes were deceiving him.

Image courtesy of adme.ru

Imagine the viewer’s shock and bewilderment when glancing up and seeing what looks like a UFO. The entire sky view is a bit odd. How lucky we are that this was caught and posted. It makes us question whether little green men are watching from above.

Not Sure We’re Vibing With This Disco Inspired Sink

This retro-inspired sink and faucet is definitely a statement piece. We’re not sure it fits most decor, but it’s still something worth examining a little further. Check out the colors and shadows that are a result of the LED light installed in the faucet.

Image courtesy of trippy/pinterest

We’re not sure who owns this strange setup, but we imagine someone who enjoyed a ‘trip’ to Woodstock back in the day. Perhaps it’s in a club or other establishment where it might make more sense. If this is a home sink, safe to assume there’s a VW van parked outside, painted with flowers and peace signs.

This Tree Isn’t Kitty Friendly

We’re wondering where this amazing tree is located. We’re also wondering if this results from a lack of care or if this cactus tree grew this big on purpose. Let’s hope Fluffy the Cat isn’t eager to climb it because it’s full of prickly needles that aren’t pet-friendly.

Image courtesy of adme.ru

This tree is definitely worthy of being in our lineup. This succulent looks like it might be a variant of the Saguaro variety. The branches indicate that it is, and if so, it can have over 50 branches and can reach 16 meters.

Dumbo Would Approve

This takes us back to what we said about seeing images in clouds. Check out this elephant’s ear. Wow. That’s all that really comes to mind when viewing this. The image of a human’s face in the ear is definitely mesmerizing. However, this cutie’s ear is also a controversial pic.

Image courtesy of incrivel

We don’t just post images. We do our research. We found this image has been commented on a lot. Some claim it’s a fake. Others state it’s real. We’ll leave that to you to decide. If it’s real, it proves that the universe is just amazing.

Stay Away From Her!

Oh man, this wasn’t intended as an optical illusion, but it is, and we’re getting the creeps. Sure, this image looks like an ordinary day at a park. The girl looks like she messed up her hair, or she forgot her brush at home. Now, look closer and see if a brush would sort this issue out.

Image courtesy of mildlyinfuriating/reddit

Once we realize what we’re looking at, the majority of us would be grossed out. Some think it’s cool, but others would be running for the hills. This young woman has a tarantula on her head. We get it. Most are harmless, as this one seems.

Reminder: Bigger Isn’t Always Better!

Check out these lemons. Yep, both are lemons. The one on the left is what we’re used to seeing. It’s round, yellow, and tart. The one on the right seems like an alien fruit and not all that enticing.

Image courtesy of mildlyinfuriating/reddit

This is a serious plea to the produce growers to stop modifying our fruits and vegetables. Bigger doesn’t always mean better. Just look at this mess of a lemon. There’s nothing in this malformed citrus fruit that makes us want to reach for it.

Aloha, Stop Right There

We found out a new little fact while writing this piece. Let’s always remember the saying, “You learn something new every day.” We were surprised to find out that according to the law in Hawaii, stop signs on private property are not red.

Image courtesy of mildlyinfuriating/reddit

Google it. You’ll see we’re not messing with you. Blue stop signs are the only way to go when it comes to private property. There’s something really calming and zen about blue stop signs. Although they do look less serious than the red, so make sure to still follow the rules.

She’s a Total Risk Taker

Wearing high heels is rough enough. Why this gal’s risking her gams and attempting to walk on a metal grate is beyond us. She might walk in heels as others walk in flats, but we’re cringing at the thought of her heel getting stuck.

Image courtesy of AccidentalWesAnderson/reddit

This image here is proof that her shoes were made for walking. Why she didn’t change places with her fella is making us question their relationship goals. If we were in her place, we’d have been on the sidewalk, and the gentleman in sneakers would be on the metal grate.

Hoot’s There?

Owls are majestic and fascinating birds. If we’re lucky to view them up close, we’re in for a treat. Their heads can turn 270 degrees, and their gazes are captivating. Check out this owl and how he’s posing for the picture. Wait, hold on there. We see something else in this pic.

image courtesy of mildlyinfuriating/reddit

Look closer, and you’ll definitely see this bird is not alone. Nope, there’s another owl in the background. We love the look on the 2nd owl’s face. He’s enthralled by something, and now we’re wondering what he’s seeing. Maybe he’s just looking at the photographer and not in the mood to be snapped.

Men Have Rights, Too

This image is for those who are sick and tired of stereotypes. In an era where the view of a family is no longer mom, dad and child, this ad is inspiring. This company is out to prove that not only women take care of babies. No sir or mam, men also are parents and need to be spotlighted.

Image courtesy of laroche posay

This company gets it that the family of the 1950s is long gone. It’s not uncommon for same-sex parents to raise kids. We now know that men are deeply involved in child-rearing, and it’s about time to showcase dads holding and cuddling with their offspring.

OMG, So That’s What That is!

We’ve all heard the saying that an image is worth a thousand words. It takes something like this to understand those wise words fully. By looking at this picture, we see some structure that a talented architect most likely designed.

Image courtesy of the_inside_of_this_guitar_looks_like_an_apartment/Reddit

We were floored when we figured out what this was. This, ladies and gentlemen is the inside view of a wooden guitar. Once you know what it is, you can see it, but otherwise, there’s no way you’d imagine that is what your eyes were taking in.

First Finish Your Food, Then Dessert

This looks like an ordinary run-of-the-mill grilled cheese sandwich. We already know it’s not because if it were, it wouldn’t be here. Let’s try to figure out what we’re looking at before we scroll down. Hint, it’s edible. If you think you know, go check.

Image courtesy of incrivel

This artistic baker created this incredible cake. Yes, it’s a cake made to look like a grilled cheese sandwich. Imagine the unsuspecting diner who first bites into this. We can’t get over the attention to detail, right down to the oozing cheese and grill marks.

ID Requried to Purchase Alcohol

This innocent-looking cash register is geared for kids. Its goal is to get kids to use their imagination and explore the real world. We’re not sure introducing them to beer, and other spirits should happen before they hit the legal drinking age.

Image courtesy of mildlyinfuriating/Reddit

We’re not sure who approved this kid-friendly register to include beer. We’re not prudes, honestly, but let’s agree that kids should be kids for as long as possible. The creators of this toy may be all about real-life situations and not sugar coating the facts of life.

At One With Nature

Many designers are all about bringing the outdoors inside. But looking at this bathroom, one can’t help but think the designer went too far. One must wonder how easy it would be to relieve themselves while staring at live snakes behind glass.

Image courtesy of mildlyinfuriating/reddit

We totally get that if you came across this in the wild, you could easily wet yourself unintentionally. Between that and placing it above some urinals, it might have the opposite effect. Snakes are pretty much at the top of our biggest fears list, so we think this might be a miss for most.

Go Ahead, Slice Away

Two hikers came across this innocent loaf of bread on their walk. They were upset at the individual who didn’t bother to dispose of it properly. They decided to do the right thing and toss it in the trash. They were in for a surprise when they picked it up.

image courtesy of mildlyinfuriating/reddit

This somewhat stale-looking loaf of bread is a rock. They were wowed at the shape and color, and of course, had to capture their mistake on film. We gotta hand it to nature and the universe for throwing us for a loop.

They Look Kinda Real

This image was taken in Hawaii in front of a mini-market. Why they felt the need to create a hologram of the poles isn’t understood. They don’t even look all that real. The poles don’t even look like they’re really embedded in the cement.

Image courtesy of incrivel

This image was taken when the sun was shining directly on the poles, and no shadow was evident. This image made the cut because, at first glance, it appears that the poles are not even there, but they really are. Photography, when done right, has the power to capture reality in ways that seem unreal.

We’ve Been Framed!

This work of art seems to be hanging on a stone wall. The view of the wild frontier is clear and well detailed, and the artist is both gifted and talented. Hold on a second. This picture is a little too perfect and life-like. Maybe it’s not a picture at all.

Image courtesy of mildlyinfuriating/reddit

This image is, in fact, the Outback in Australia, and that’s not a picture at all. It’s an opening in a wall, with a frame for photo ops for visitors in the area. This again reiterates that what we see isn’t necessarily what we’re looking at.

Paw Print on the Desert?

Pet owners can relate to this – when Fluffy or Fido gets their paws into that perfect dessert and ruins it. If that were the case, then this image wouldn’t have made the list here. Nope, it might look like a perfect dessert gone wrong, but look closer.

Image courtesy of art.me

Folks, believe it or not, this is a desert scene. Someone took this in a desert in Algeria. This image shows snow that has remained on the solid sand. We can’t get over how the snow and sand remind us of a mocha-flavored dessert that’s been poked by either pet or a human. Amazing.

Almost Picture Perfect

This image required a lot of searching. It appears to be a lovely couple posing for a pic at a tennis game. For the most part, that’s exactly what it is. Remember, we’re not here to show you an ordinary picture, so keep looking. Warning: this one stumped us as well.

Image courtesy of eternallysunny

This couple appears to be standing alone, smiling for the camera. Check out the space between the couple, just under their arms. See the image of the youngster who decided to be part of the photo? This was hard to find, but now that we can see it, we can’t unsee it.

Talk About a Handsy Kind of Guy

At first glance, this ad shows the all-American family grinning happily. But when looking closer, one has to wonder what planet this bunch lives on. Keep looking. It’s sure to hit you soon enough. That’s right. This is a photoshop fail that even the Kardashians would comment about.

Image courtesy of imgur

If you still don’t get it, we’ll help you out. Count how many hands dad has. Did you come up with more than two? This happens sadly more than we’d like, but it’s still fun to catch it. This is where editors and assistants need to prove their worth.

John’s Quite the Chameleon

We’re not judging the fabric on this couch. Yes, we are. But that’s only because it’s really outdated and needs to be either tossed or reupholstered. Okay, now that we’ve settled that, take a closer gander and notice the stray shoes to the left on the couch?

Image courtesy of military humor

Those army issue boots are still attached to their owner. While we love our men and women in service, we can’t get on board with his uniform rendering him invisible. We’ll blame that on the less than attractive couch pattern. Now that we know someone’s on the couch, it’s easier to see.

Nature’s Wonders Never Cease to Amaze

What comes to mind when you first lay eyes on this image? Most see a colorful yet somewhat creepy, crawly caterpillar. Now take a closer look. We bet you’re seeing something totally different. Now let’s scroll down and see if your eyes are playing tricks.

Image courtesy of pixohub

Pat yourself on the back if you spotted a flock of vibrantly colored songbirds. One can’t help but marvel at the wonders of nature, especially when confronted by something as magical as these birds—props to the photographer who caught these birds enjoying the day’s sunshine.

Space, Not Necessarily the Final Frontier

For the elders among us, some of us can recall when man first walked on the Moon. For the younger generation, Elon Musk is planning trips to space, no big deal. But, beyond Mars and the Moon, there’s an endless universe that still needs to be discovered.

Image courtesy of art.me

The image above wasn’t taken in space but here on earth. This talented photographer shows how creatively presenting an image can trick us into thinking we see something totally different. This image is just a beach shore, with waves layered on the sand.

Cats Are Always Welcome

This is for the pet lovers out there. So many of us can’t bear a moment without our furry forever pets. Many of us don’t think twice about taking them with us wherever we go. There’s an entire industry catering to the needs of pet owners and their best friends, whether they’re cats or dogs.

Image courtesy of our_two_cats_look_like_they_were_crossstitched/Reddit

Those adorable kitties aren’t real. We have to admire the talented artist that came up with this. The hues and accents are insanely realistic, and it’s hard even to notice the fluffy kitties aren’t the real deal. Needlepoint is an old art form, but thanks to social distancing and spending more time at home, it’s becoming a popular hobby once again.

Art or Reality?

Just remember, today, we’re looking at things differently. At first sight, this looks like a painting. We can either like it or not. That’s not the point. It’s not a painting or any other work of art. It’s an actual photo taken at a national park.

Image courtesy of Frank Krahmer

It’s a real picture taken in Namibia, at the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The credit goes to the talented photographer, Frank Krahmer. Now that you’ve picked up your jaw off the floor take another look and marvel at nature’s wonders.

Awww, How Cute

We first saw crisp, cold snow. Others might even view a yummy-looking s’mores treat. Concentrating a couple of extra seconds makes it clearer, and then even the coldest heart just melts. If you’re sure you got it, scroll down and check.

Image courtesy of theviralfeed.com

Yep, you’re looking at white, furry, and adorable bunnies. If you didn’t see it before, now you see the cute nose and black beady eyes. Even if you’re not a fan of bunnies as pets, there’s still something about seeing bunnies in nature that turns even the hardest hearts into a warm mushy puddle.

Now That’s Thin!

For Seinfeld fans, this image flashes to Kramer and the meat slicer. For everyone else, take a look at what appears to be a ham steak. Now look a little closer and see if you can notice that it’s actually sliced ham. The image is somewhat blurry, but maybe it’s not blurry at all.

Image courtesy of ham/Reddit

If you see a blurry image, relax. Your eyesight is just fine. This ham is sliced so thin that’s it’s nearly see-through. This is for fans of thinly sliced cold cuts who always think the employer behind the counter is lazy. This image of a nearly see-through ham shows just how thin, thin can really be.

Watch Your Step!

Imagine hiking through the woods on a weekend or a day off and coming up to this trail. It looks like a fun walking path on a lovely fall day. Now, remember what we’re looking at today. That’s right. Nothing is as it appears. So, before stepping on this trail, proceed with utmost caution.

Image courtesy of mildlyinfuriating/Reddit

It’s hard to see in the picture, but it’s actually a river. This body of water is covered with fallen leaves giving it the illusion that it’s a walkable piece of land. We have to hand it to Mother Nature, who never ceases to amaze us. While we’re not advocating it, we also think it’s a great place for a practical joke.

A Final Resting Spot

It’s understandable why this image won an award in 2019. But only after reading this will you agree that the photographer took an amazing snap. Let’s first focus on the detail in the image and try to figure out where this city might be located.

Image courtesy of quora

This is the view from a hotel window that’s just above a local cemetery. The design that went into this place is just mind-boggling. To think that it was created to emulate a city but is, in fact, one’s final resting spot took our breath away.

If Chocolate Mushrooms Were A Thing…

Imagine walking up to this when wandering through the backyard one Sunday morning. It sort of looks like someone dropped their moon-pie. The image does show an enticing dropped chocolate pastry. Only it’s not. Not even close, but still, it’s mouth-watering, sort of.

Image courtesy of cheezburger

This gooey-looking creation is a mushroom. We can’t get over the wonders of nature when seeing images such as these. While we’re not sure of the flavor of this mushroom, we warn you not to try eating it. We repeat, do not ingest until it’s deemed safe to consume.

Try This At Home

So, we see an image of a hot, flaky pastry, right? It makes one’s mouth water, and we think all we need is a steaming cup of hot coffee. Slow down there, and pay attention. This image is not what it appears to be. In fact, we couldn’t believe it.

Image courtesy of eternallysunny

Nope, it’s not a warm fresh roll or pastry. It’s a bar of soap. That’s right, a bar of soap that was microwaved. Consider trying this out with the kids, but make sure there’s adult supervision. When microwaved soap expands, and the trapped air gets hot, this is the result. It’s very similar to microwave popcorn.