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Description Presented here is a vast gallery of many different forms of Optical Illusions. Whether these optical illusions are conveyed through fractals, photographs, architecture, art, or old fashioned pen and ink, they are bound to remind you that "seeing is not believing."

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Flooded Home Optical Illusion

Here is another spontaneous optical illusion. Julie from Muscoda, Wisconsin posted this on Webcanvas back in March of 2002.

Before we get to the optical illusion let's look at the below picture. From the ground to the top of the lattice doors below the decks is about 4' 6" and the lot is level.

Before Flood optical illusions image

Julie experienced some flooding and took multiple pictures on this day but the one below was the only picture that exhibited an optical illusion. This picture was not manipulated beyond the addition of the letters and arrows.

Flood Mystery optical illusions image

Arrows "A" point to the actual level of the water. Let's say about one foot deep. The question that Julie had was why does the level of the water appear to be about three feet higher on the lattice at the bottom "C" than on the lattice on the top "B"?

Can anyone here explain why this optical illusion causes this distortion.

You can go to the Webcanvas post to see the answers that were given to her to explain this effect. I was able to wade through what they said and I can explain it a little simpler, but the right answer is in these posts.

I might add my interpretation in the comments section in about a week.

So, what do you think caused this effect?


sr_gimp@hotmail.com said...

This would be a great illusion if the picture hadn't obviously been doctored.

I mean really, if you look at this for any length of time the incosistencies jump out of the picture. As was mentioned in one of the forum posts, the railing is not the same as the original picture. After it makes the 90 degree turn at the corner that "C" is pointing to, it should go about a foot, then turn 90 degrees the opposite way, and be parallel to it's original direction, which it does. However, at that time it should also slope down, following the 6 steps down, like the opposite side. Instead it continues horizontally, and a quick glance obviously reveals that it is not the mirror of the other side that it should be.

All of that looks wrong, however it does nothing to prove that the picture was doctored to create the 'illusion', it merely appears to be a by-product of the doctoring. Note that these pictures are low resolution and dificult to compare; being low resolution, they also more easily hide manipulation.

The discrepancy which proves the alteration of the picture, is the reflection of the lattice doors where they meet the water at point "C". As was noted in the message board, the reflection is clear. You can see almost the entire height of the doors (the entire height minus the level of the water) including the latch, which is mysteriously (or rather not) missing above the water. This is clearly a reflection, not the door under the water. The lattice goes opposite directions, that is, the lattice is comprised of wood slats angled in opposite directions, one direction is on the outside, the other on the inside, relative to the depth of the plane. The direction of the outside slats is backwards in the relfection. Furthermore, the stone pavers shown in the first picture can be seen under the shallow water.

If the reflection of the doors is there, then they were undoubtably present in the original picture. Take another good look, and realize that you've been had.

Walt said...

Since I changed from Haloscan my original comments and those of others that clearly explained the illusion were lost.

First there is no manipulation of this photo other than to add the arrows.

The inconsistancy mentioned above is due to the fact that you are seeing part of the deck in the flood view that you don't see in the dry view.

If you read this thread which I didn't mention in the post you should understand the reality of the illusion.

Perry31415 on this thread explains it as follows:

"The image seems to show inches of lattice above the water line, but actually the image of the the lattice above the water is in your photo, and it is almost the full length of the lattice.

In the reflection in the water you can see that there is a large portion that extends from the water line to the top (bottom in the reflection) of the lattice.

The latch is not underwater, it is the reflection of the latch out of water.

If we look to the other lattice, the overhang is quite large (look neat the B in your diagram). Since the overhang in the near lattice wall is nearly the same, the near view must be near the actual water line.

[ /

A remarkable optical illusion."

I hope this helps explain that this isn't manipulated and how this illusion works.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Walt - I have t agree with the previous post - the photo looks like a fake. Sadly the English in the explanations which you quote is rather garbled, and makes no sense to me. There is one overriding problem with the image - reflections or not, the water line is crystal clear on the near lattice, and it is only inches down from the top (of a mysteriously physically-changed gable). Can you explain the clearly demarcated water line?

Walt said...

Again this is not a doctored photo in anyway. There is no change in the deck. You just see more in the wet photo then you do in the dry photo. The picture was alao taken from part of the deck you don't see in the dry photo does that mean it doesn't exist?

What you see in the water is the reflection of the lattice that is actually above the water and hidden by the overhang of the new part of the deck that you don't see in the dry photo.

Check the link I gave in the comment above and in the original post.

Anonymous said...

Walt is correct, this has not been altered in anyway and is really great. It's even better when you know the answer as you feel like you ar in part of a secret club LOL

Anonymous said...

If you look in the area marked "C" and reailze that every thing you see in the water is a reflection it all makes sense. If you follow the middle of the storage unit down you will see a object witch is the reflection of the handle. which would prove the water lever is not as high as it 'seems' on that side. The deck where the pic was takin from obsures and blends in with the storage unit blocking most of the unit as weel as the handle to open the unit.

Anonymous said...

If you look in the area marked "C" and reailze that every thing you see in the water is a reflection it all makes sense. If you follow the middle of the storage unit down you will see a object witch is the reflection of the handle. which would prove the water lever is not as high as it 'seems' on that side. The deck where the pic was takin from obsures and blends in with the storage unit blocking most of the unit as weel as the handle to open the unit. -Shawn

Walt said...

Shawn, well said!

Anonymous said...

(I cant get to the board so I shall post here ^_^) The picture looks real, and you can see all but a few inches of lattice in the reflection.. but what seems to be throwing people off and makeing them think that it has been altered is the fact about the plants near the stairs in the wet picture they are both kind of dead looking so you cant measure much from them from picture to picture. But the plant near B looks as if its at where it should be while the plant next to C looks to be two inches from being the same height as the brown railing right above the lattice. It also looks as if some of the railing close to the steps on that side had been raised but it is the angle. So it can be mistaken for a fake photo but it is not. One more key thing I did notice that makes it seem altered, is in the dry picture there is white strips of stuff that looks like tape, and in the picture with the water it looks like the water line is right at the straight line of tape and someone too off the upside down L shaped part of the tape. Things in illusions that make them seem fake and you find out that they are not, kind of make you question if alot of things you thought were fake might actually be real - Alice T...

Anonymous said...

Close examination leads me to beleive this is definitely real, but this Illusion did have me stumped for a while. I could instantly see that the must be another part of deck but I assumed it also had a storage bin like the other parts, this was due to it blending together so well, but if you look closely as the end of the bottom of the closest part of the deck you can see that the lattice is actually behind it, not under it, and once you see that and ignore the reflection the trick is quite evident.

Anonymous said...

The picture isn't manipulated as many would like to believe. The glare of the light on the water and the reflections on the water create the illusions. Plus it's a different angel than the first, that has a lot to do with it. Common people it's not that hard to see. Illusions like this happen every day.

Roger said...

The woodwork at the bottom of the deck threw me off for a bit. It appeared that the rail along the top of the storage door was just a few inches above the water line when, in fact, the lower portion of the deck almost seamlessy creates that illusion. The only hint otherwise being that the deck marginally misses the farthest corner of the lattice. Great use of angles regardless of how accidental.

Roger said...

Hey, wait a minute. If you look at the farthest corner of the closest set of doors it doesn't appear to line up with the corner of the deck correctly. The corner of the doors seems to extend beyond the corner of the deck when, in fact, it should be slightly recessed since there is an overhang and the side of the storage area facing away from the viewer is flush with the edge of the deck if it mirrors the other side, right? Am I Right??? Oh, my GOD, what is HAPPENING?!?!? No, really...doesn't look right.

Roger said...

All right, the second picture is not the same shot as the first or it is, in fact, doctored. Could be another side of a fourplex. I doubt it, though. In addition to my previous argument (the corner I was referring to is marked "C"), the railing continues parallel to the ground where it should slope down following the closest stairs. If it is part of a balcony somewhere else, the railing is incomplete since it is open at the farthest end. This then brings me to the mysterious floating flower pots where there shouldn't be a balcony (left center). FINALLY, what's up with the extra pole work where there was a deck set (right center)?

Walt said...

Roger here is the the original . She has another photo not replicated on my site.

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