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Amazing Illusion

True or false … in the picture below, squares A and B are the same color:

Checkerboard Illusion

Like me, you probably answered false, right? In fact, they’re actually the same! I didn’t believe it, and figured it was a joke or used some other trick … so I copied each square into Photoshop:

Checkerboard Illusion Comparison

Even now that I know they’re the same, I still can’t see it in the original picture no matter how hard I try. Thanks to Edward H. Adelson at MIT for creating this!

34 Responses to “Amazing Illusion”

  1. on 12 Feb 2007 at 8:02 am Linda

    This is awesome!!Cheers!!

  2. on 12 Feb 2007 at 9:03 am Robin

    I’m confused…

  3. on 12 Feb 2007 at 9:59 am Jess

    I think my brain just broke.

  4. on 12 Feb 2007 at 10:01 am Lady Banana

    That one is very hard to believe! Amazing!

  5. on 12 Feb 2007 at 12:36 pm Dawn (webmiztris)

    i’m definitely not understanding how it’s possible…lol

  6. on 12 Feb 2007 at 12:47 pm Cassie

    That’s amazing! I would have bet $100 that they weren’t the same.

    Now I have to go take some tylenol cause my head hurts.

  7. on 12 Feb 2007 at 2:33 pm kristy

    wooow. truly amazing.

  8. on 12 Feb 2007 at 5:03 pm Antilos

    i can’t find it higher-than-normal

  9. on 12 Feb 2007 at 8:43 pm BOSSY

    Wow, that’s almost as amazing as this illusion trick– Check out the following two words and try to determine if they are different:


    You probably think that one of the words describes an irascible control freak while the other describes a creative genius BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG. They are actually one and the same. Really, my Photoshop says so.

  10. on 12 Feb 2007 at 9:09 pm Al

    The squares are actually different colors; however, the shadow from the cylinder makes “B” appear darker when you fold the paper so “A” and “B” are together. Hence, the shaded “B” appears to be the same color as “A”. Cool!

  11. on 12 Feb 2007 at 10:04 pm johnsadowski

    yeah, that one is classic!

  12. on 12 Feb 2007 at 11:24 pm jen

    I put in photoshop too
    that was Amazing!!

  13. on 13 Feb 2007 at 12:29 am Sprague Dawley

    Cool stuff. More illusions (and other cool stuff) on this site:

    Found it via Dan Gilbert’s site at Harvard.

  14. on 13 Feb 2007 at 1:35 am Nirmal

    Confused….I still cant believe…

  15. on 13 Feb 2007 at 1:55 am Diesel

    Wow, that is crazy. I’ve noticed that phenomenon before, working in Paint Shop, but not to that degree. I’ll take your word for it, but it is hard to believe!

  16. on 13 Feb 2007 at 3:13 am wolfe

    Dunno, I think you and Diesel are wrong. I’m holding to my beliefs!

    Seriously, I’m still not seeing it. Remotely. (Though I do know of the phenomenon).


  17. on 13 Feb 2007 at 11:31 am l'infolie géniale


    A et B sont de la même couleur.

    Say No to Crack

  18. on 15 Feb 2007 at 8:01 am Anthony

    I can’t see it and unfortunately don’t have time to photoshop it right now… :(

    Journey Through Divorce

  19. on 15 Feb 2007 at 9:37 pm ilker

    Yeah.. I’ve seen this on the Wikipedia link I have on my post!

  20. on 15 Feb 2007 at 10:31 pm Jackyl

    Nice try. Actually they are different color. A is deffinitely darker than B. But they are closer than they appear. I like bossy’s comment.

  21. on 15 Feb 2007 at 10:50 pm Jackyl


  22. on 15 Feb 2007 at 11:06 pm Jackyl

    If you stare at it with your eyes squinted real good you can see they are the exact same color (for those who don’t photoshop).

  23. on 19 Feb 2007 at 4:45 pm Karen


  24. on 19 Feb 2007 at 7:24 pm James A.

    took a bit of concentrated effort, but I was able to finally see that they are the same color (briefly as it takes a certain amount of concentration to get the overriding factors to quit messing up the picture.. it faded in and out until I got enough concentration imposed to keep the square the original color)

  25. on 28 May 2007 at 10:36 am David

    This is gonsalez music site – best music site in da world.

  26. on 24 Jun 2007 at 4:19 pm Eric

    Sorry guyssss

    This is not true, photoshop for yourself

  27. on 04 Jul 2007 at 11:01 pm false

    Its false … even a blind guy can see it….XXX

  28. on 20 Jul 2007 at 12:12 pm VMC

    This is NOT REAL. Toss this jpeg into plain ol’ MS PAINT and zoom with the fancy 8x zoom tool, and it’s plain as day that it is NOT THE SAME COLOR.

    I’m sure if you stare hard enough and do enough crystal meth, it might eventually appear to be the same, but it’s not.


  29. on 23 Jul 2007 at 11:13 am VMC

    Jesus Christo! I have spoken too soon! Okay, so after a weekend of heavy boozing and small doses of crystal meth, I edited my paint picture down to just the two sqaures, and you know what? The mother @#$!ers are the same color!

    Let me just tell you how silly I feel! But hey, @#$@ off! He who hath no sin may cast the first stone!

    Also thanks to Anita, a fellow dope binger and constant “I told you so”er, for showing me the light! 😉


  30. on 29 Jul 2007 at 5:26 pm ronStevens

    just open MS paint, take the dotted square and cut a piece out of one or the other and drag it up towards the box and u will see they are the same..

  31. on 24 Aug 2007 at 7:42 am Online Anime

    LOL… I just don’t get it, now i’m feeling dizzy :)

  32. on 24 Oct 2007 at 9:29 am Noddegamra

    wow! That is so awesome!! amazing find! :)

  33. on 09 Mar 2008 at 4:57 pm Bert

    also fascinating :w hen reading the comments I noticed that some people refuse to believe that the truth is not always what you think it is. Even when confronted with this simple but brilliant example.

  34. on 20 Feb 2009 at 1:30 pm Billigflüge Bangkok

    awesome !
    really unbelievable, I have also immediately answered with false.My question is can u really see that they have the same color or it’s matter of same pixel values?

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