Science & Technology

The 2018 Best Illusion of the Year Contest Finalists Have Been Announced

If there's one thing we love, it's optical illusions. They're a fantastic reminder of how the way you perceive the world isn't objective — it's influenced by everything from the biology of your eyes to the way your brain processes images. The Best Illusion of the Year Contest celebrates the world's greatest visual deceptions, and they've just announced the top 10 finalists for 2018. Check out our favorites below, then click the link at the bottom of this article to vote for the winner!

The Worm's Eye View Illusion – Michael Pickard and Gurpreet Singh, U.K.

The only thing changing in this image is the colors of the worm's stripes. You automatically see the bolder color as the foreground and the lighter color as the background, which creates the illusion of movement.

Triply Ambiguous Object – Kokichi Sugihara, Japan

This two-dimensional image placed on a horizontal surface appears as three different three-dimensional structures.

Danswing Papers – Takahiro Kawabe, Japan

Simply by changing the background color, you can make static shapes appear to shift position slightly.

Movement Illusion With a Twist – David Phillips, Priscilla Heard, and Christopher Tyler, U.K.

This demonstrates two different movement illusions. In the first, adding a background makes a simple diagonally flowing ribbon appear to move to the right. In the second, two opposing expanding and contracting ribbons make the shape appear to twist.

The Squish Squash Illusion – Stuart Anstis and Patrick Cavanagh, U.S.A. and Canada

When you flash an object on or near a moving texture, it appears to change position or shape.

Check out all 10 finalists for the 2018 Best Illusion of the Year Contest and vote for your favorites! You only have one day: Winners will be announced on Thursday, October 18.

Get stories like this one in your inbox each morning. Sign up for our daily email here.

See more illusions from the minds behind the Best Illusion of the Year Contest in "Champions of Illusion: The Science Behind Mind-Boggling Images and Mystifying Brain Puzzles" by Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen Macknik. We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

Written by Ashley Hamer October 16, 2018

Curiosity uses cookies to improve site performance, for analytics and for advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.