Illusion Chasers

Illusion Chasers

Illusions, Delusions, and Everyday Deceptions

Illusion of the Week: The Coffer Illusion


The Coffer Illusion, by vision scientist Anthony Norcia of the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, was a Top 10 finalist in the 2006 edition of the Best Illusion of the Year Contest.

The pattern contains 16 circles, but if you’re like most first-time viewers, you’re thinking, Circles? What on earth are you talking about? I can only see a bunch of rectangles!

Okay, just trust us on this one. Look again, and 16 beautifully round circles, lodged in between the “door panels”, will pop into view in no time.

How long did it take for you to see the circles? Let us know in the Comments!


The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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