The eyes can be deceiving. We all know that. Just think about the last time you did a double-take at something you saw, only to realize a moment later that what you were looking at wasn’t at all what you had first thought it was. Or what you even expected it to be. I know that sort of thing happens to me all the time. Fortunately, so far what I thought I saw and what something really was hasn’t been much of a problem. I mean, confusing one person for another from across the street isn’t quite the same thing as thinking you see demons lurking behind you in your mirror, am I right?
Anyway, enough about me… The mind is a wonderful thing but it’s also a curious thing- it plays tricks on the eyes and sometimes it takes the eyes awhile to process just what exactly is going on. I’m not talking about refusing to believe what you see because it’s just so damn crazy, although there is some of that in this list. I’m talking about simply not processing the information right before your very eyes because things don’t seem to be what they are.
Obviously this has been happening to people since they were first able to tell other people about what they thought they saw. Like the caveman telling his buddy right before the sabretooth jumped: “Sorry George, I thought it was just a bush.” But with the advent of pictures all of this became even crazier. Pictures aren’t supposed to lie but guess what? They do. Whether the following pictures deal in optical illusions, a little bit of trickery (Photoshop anyone?), or are just plain too odd for the human eye to understand immediately, all 15 of the ones on our list are not at all what they seem.
15. Pass The Blunt!
It really, really seems like this chick is doing something she’s not supposed to do out in public- well, unless she’s in Amsterdam. Or Denver. In fact, given everything that’s going on around her, it seems perfectly appropriate that she might want to have a drag off her one-hitter. I mean, there’s clearly a party of some sort going on in the background. A party that seems to be populated by Hell’s Angels, a group not known for turning down a little bit of illicit fun. But, dang it, it’s just an illusion brought on by the perspective of the shot. Oh well, at least we can hope she’s sipping on a Long Island iced tea and not just a regular one…
14. Geriatric B-Ball
So this is what Kevin Durant’s gonna look like when he’s old, huh? Or maybe he was just taking a page from Dennis Rodman’s book and wanted to change up his look a little bit- you know, to something a touch more sensational. Anyway, what I like most about this pic is how slick (literally) that hair looks! Pat Riley (and Kurt Russell in Tequila Sunrise for that matter) has got nothing on Durant’s stylish locks. Oh wait, never mind. It’s just some old dude sitting above him bending down at the same time he is. Bummer.
13. Cross-Dressing Male Bride
OK, so we’ll start off with a funny one. This photo is obviously focused on the lady sitting on the edge of the fountain. What a nice, fun photo of a sunny afternoon spent out and about in the big city, right? But, as always when you go to the big city, be prepared for a little bit of weirdness as well. I mean, just look at that cross-dresser in the background, in the fountain, just walking along as if it was the most normal thing in the world (which, let me be clear, it is as far as I’m concerned; cross-dressing is not high on my list of society’s problems). He’s even wearing a wedding gown- that should be one heck of a reception! Oh wait, that’s not actually what’s going on at all…
12. Enter The Matrix
Ever wanted to see what The Matrix was really like from the inside? Or maybe this is a still shot from Tron? I keep expecting to see one of those light bikes from that movie zoom by. Or Agent Smith to jump out from the side of the photo. With that creepy cloud mass in the background it is kind of unsettling. Or maybe this is just a close-up of the motherboard of some NASA supercomputer? Well…take a closer look, why don’t you? In fact, try lying on your back and staring up at the image. That, my friends, is a photo of apartment complexes in Hong Kong, taken by famed photographer Romain Jaquet-Lagraze. You can tell by the window-box air conditioners, if nothing else.
11. Whoa There Big Fella!
Well here’s a rather startling example of an optical illusion I must say. At first look, this is definitely NSFW- in a big way, if you catch my meaning. But, as with all of the images on this list, the real story tends to be a bit more mundane. I mean, c’mon now people, it’s just a guy working out, for Pete’s sake! That’s his weight belt- what did you think it was? Really? Get your minds out of the gutter! After all, I think we all would be a lot more unsettled if what we thought we saw here was actually happening.
10. It Was A Time Of Ancient Myths…
We all remember at least some of our grade school mythology lessons, right? All that stuff about Greek gods and legendary monsters that everybody liked to draw pictures of and then forget their names like 30 seconds later. Well, except for the D & D geeks- those dudes never forget the name of an ancient monster. Never. But anyway…who knew that the mighty centaur of myth and legend would come back to life in a suburban kitchen? Making itself a salad, no less. I thought centaurs were supposed to be randy, flesh-eating beasts who liked to kidnap vestal virgins. But I think I could take this one, even if it does have a knife.
9. Watch Out For Footy Hand Lady
If I could have a superpower I would attach my hand to my foot in a really awkward, unnatural position. Well, on second thought, maybe not- it might be hard to move around all hunched over like that… This poor lady, however, has to live with her horrible handicap all day, every day. How would you feel if you had to walk around on one hand and a stump of a leg? That’s right, not very good at all. Fortunately for all of us this woman is perfectly fine- it’s just a strange angle, yet again. I gotta say, I love these ones where somebody’s random body part causes all sorts of misunderstandings.
8. Baby Daddy
Overhead at the park from the world’s oldest preschooler (apart from Benjamin Button, of course): “Hey man, c’mon, stop squeezing me so tight! I know I’m the size of toddler but look at my face! Does this look like a freakin’ baby’s face to you??? I mean, I appreciate you carrying me around and all- I sure as sh*t don’t want to have to walk through this whole park on these tiny legs, but show some respect! And please, whatever you do, don’t even start in on my double-chin. Ya’ll remember what happened last time you started that, don’t you? I will beat you, son. I will beat you.”
7. Just Like Jacko
“Oh my gosh, that poor baby!” I can’t believe this dad would do something so dangerous and crazy to his little one. It’s just like that time Michael Jackson held his infant son Blanket over a balcony in Berlin. Yeah, yeah, I know, he named his kid “Blanket;” the dude was a weird guy, in case you never noticed. But if you look just a bit more closely, you’ll see that those tiny toy-sized buildings and cars really are toy-sized for real. And grandma on the right doesn’t seem to concerned that her son is gonna launch her grandson 10 stories down. In fact, those toy cars should be the first clue here that all is not as it seems- they’re straight out of the 40s. It just goes to show perspective is everything.
6. Jesus Wept
Well, maybe not, if what looks like was going on here actually were. Maybe Jesus is having as grand old time being “serviced” as they say. If I remember my CCD classes correctly, at least the statue isn’t depicting actual incest. That shouldn’t be Mary, Mother of God kneeling in front of him but Mary Magdalene, washing his feet. And maybe a few other parts as well, if you know what I mean, heh heh. Sorry, sorry- I know I’m going to Hell for that one. Obviously the sculptor didn’t think all the angles through on this one. The best part, though, has to be the security camera in the upper right pointing right at the occupied couple. Like, if this were real people they would be so busted. But it’s just a statue, seen from the wrong angle.
5. Revelations, Chapter 1
And here we have a dude ascending into the heavens after the Rapture. He sure doesn’t look like one of the chosen people being brought home to God while the rest of us sinners are left here during the Apocalypse with Trump, er, I mean the Antichrist. Then again, Nic Cage was left behind in that awful movie based on the equally awful books and if heaven isn’t good enough for Nic Cage then it isn’t good enough for me! Anyway, I digress. This guy may seem like he’s hovering a few feet above the ground but once again, it’s just your mind and your eyes playing tricks on you.
4. Hitchcock’s Worst Nightmare
If you’ve ever seen that old Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds then you know how frightening this particular image could seem. I wonder if this seagull is an escapee from some secret Scott’s Lawn Care lab where they’re testing Miracle-Gro on the subjects. Or the pickings in the local grocery store parking lots are way better than they are around my neck of the woods. Maybe it grew up in Chernobyl. “Grew Up.” You all saw what I did there, right??? I definitely wouldn’t want to have huge, monster seagulls like this wheeling around overhead. Can you imagine what would happen to you if one of them unloaded on you? Ewww, I’m so sorry I even went there.
3. A Giant Among Dwarves
The best part about this famously misunderstood pic (apart from the United Colors of Benetton vibe we’ve got going on here, of course) is the fact that the huge, monster-armed girl in the back is positioned so perfectly. You couldn’t have asked for a better shot, posed or accidental, if you wanted to make someone look like Mr. Fantastic. Not just one, but both of her arms are placed in such a way as to make her seem like she’s about to grab the skulls of the kids on either end and just crush the whole group between her freakishly long arms. Although it’s pretty easy to see how the illusion was generated in the first place, if you spend a second and look more closely, this is still an awesome pic.
2. Sasquatch In The House
Wow! I guess that’s pretty much all I can say about this one. It even actually took me a moment to figure out what exactly I was looking at, as I was so grossed out by what I thought I saw. I mean, here’s two pretty good looking blondes hanging out, having fun, posing for the camera and bam! One of them has a giant, hairy arm. Like, really hairy. Bigfoot hairy. I have to say, this pic puts that whole Seinfeld “man-hands” episode to shame. Forget man-hands, this chick has a monstrously outsized beast arm. Then you realize it’s just the leg of some dude sleeping off his hangover. I have to say, I’m very disappointed by the boring reality of this pic.
1. The Sky Is Falling
“Hey Dad, remember that time we found that trash can out behind the Smiths’ house and it had all of those half-eaten shrimp cocktails in it? That was aweso…BAM!” Alright, so I’m not actually a proponent of violence against raccoons and our other furry friends. But it sure does look like a big-ass rock is about to fall on the poor little guy’s head, doesn’t it? In fact, this one is quite the puzzler, which is why it’s at the top of the list. In order to understand what’s really happening here you need to know that the boulder is not falling from the sky, it’s half-submerged in the pond. To make it more confusing, the water is clear enough to reflect the clouds above. But even knowing all that, it still sure as sh*t looks like that little rascal is about to meet his maker in a decidedly unpleasant way.
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