What is the Illusion and Impossible Objects


                  (upper image is used from vectorstock.com)


Everybody must have seen a mirage on a hot summer day while driving or sitting inside a car on a concrete highway road and just minutes after it,looking after that water on the same place you have seen some seconds ago.Fooled.You start questioning your eye power.I just saw water here,right?Well this happens when we first time see that thing, and we ask a lots of questions.Then we come to know that this thing is called a mirage and it’s just an optical illusion.Then we come to know that well,there is a whole physics behind it! It’s an example of total internal reflection. As you may know that it occurs due to the light being bent via refraction to produce a displaced image of the object.

Mirage By Brocken Inaglory, CC BY-SA 3.0


An illusion is something when we see,the pattern of the image is such that it gets deceptive or misleading for our brain.That means the information or image gathered by our visual system(Brain and Eyes) creates a perception that, in reality doesn’t match the true image at all.Here the visual perspective is twisted and your brain gets tricked to see something that isn’t there in the first place.For instance,there is an illusion called Zollner illusion where the picture has parallel lines drawn in it,but our eyes see as if the two ends of the straight lines receed from each other.Here the long lines with the hatches on them don’t appear to be parallel to each other.But in reality, they are parallel.

Zollner illusion By Fibonacci – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0


We may have heard a tons of times that nothing is impossible.Everything is possible and all those lectures.But there are some objects which are actually impossible in reality.These are called impossible objects.Also called impossible figure or undecidable figure, these are mere optical illusions represented as 2D objects which are interpreted by our brain instantaneously as 3D objects.

Penrose Triangle:

Penrose Triangle By Tomruen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Popularized by Physicist Roger Penrose and created by Swedish artist Oscar Reutersvard, a Penrose triangle appears to be a 2D representation of a 3D triangle built from square beams.But properties of this 2D representation can’t be realized through any 3D object.That means this type of 3D object can’t be created.Hence,it’s called an impossible object.This illusion tricks the human brains and eyes as the visual perspective is here twisted and used to create the deception of a 3D object that cannot possibly exist at all.Here the viewer sees that the sides of the triangle that are touching the 2D representation are at the same distance from the viewer.

Motion aftereffect


impossible cube By 4C – Own work, based on PNG versioon, CC BY-SA 3.0,

    (image of impossible cube)

There are also other impossible objects such as necker cube,waterfall which are examples of multistable perception(having two valid interpretations).The waterfall illusion is an illusion of movement in which when you see the waterfall image on the paper after looking at a moving object,the waterfall appears to be moving.Hence these impossible objects are really fascinating objects that make the viewer fooled as well as curious.


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Bhautik Kapadiya

Bhautik kapadiya is Scientific Blogger, Scientific Influencer, Web developer, Aspiring Engineer, and Scientific Vlogger. He is Founder of Physicsonly.com. He is Creator of Community of 300k+ Scientific Minds across the Social Media Platforms.