3 mind-boggling animal optical illusions in 2022

Optical illusions have become quite a feature on Creative Bloq this year, so much so that we've had to create a post summing up our favourites of just one type of illusion. This post celebrates the three animal-based optical illusions that melted our minds this year.

While all of these were popular on the site, one of them was so loved it broke our internet for a little while – we just couldn't rein it in (get it? No? Okay, it was the horse). So, get ready to have your eyes deceive you as we sum up the top animal-themed optical illusions. Want even more? Here are our favourite optical illusions of all time.

01. Rotating Horse

@trippyhub (opens in new tab)

♬ original sound - luvandrew (opens in new tab)

This illusion was shared on TikTok by TrippyHub (opens in new tab) (see above), and has been flummoxing us ever since. The question is, which way is the horse spinning? We honestly don't know. And at this point, we're pretty sure we'll never know. But that's the (black) beauty of the spinning horse. With unhelpful commenters on Twitter ranging from plain flabbergasted to thinking they're actually controlling the horse, it seems others are in the same (horse) shoes as we are.

Need to know more? WhatPsychologyIs (opens in new tab) explains that "due to the image’s lack of visual cues for depth, the ambiguous 2-dimensional figure can be seen from two different perspectives. This alternation between two perceptual states is referred to as bistable perception." So there you go. 

02. Hidden Tiger

The hidden tiger optical illusion

(Image credit: Rusty Rust)

Apparently only one per cent of people can actually see the hidden tiger in this jungle-themed image by artists Rusty Rust (opens in new tab). And we were pretty chuffed when we were among them. Yes, we know you can see one tiger – that's pretty clear. But there's a second 'hidden tiger' lurking there, right in front of your face. 

Can't see it? Here's a clue: it isn't a picture of a tiger, and it's hiding in the first tiger's stripes. 

03. Cat

A photo of a cat walking on some stairs

(Image credit: 9Gag)

Onto a slightly smaller feline friend, who has divided the internet in another direction-related conundrum, posted on 9Gag. This cat is just minding its own business walking up some stairs.. no, wait, down. No. Up. Argh. Anyway, it's walking on some stairs. And apparently, the direction you see it walking in says a lot about your personality. 

According to The Minds Journal (opens in new tab), if you see the cat walking upstairs then you're more optimistic, and if you see it walking downstairs you're more pessimistic. Since no scientific reasoning is provided, we'll just have to take their word for it.

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Georgia Coggan

Georgia started her freelance career working for CB in 2018, and since then has worked across the site on news, ecom, SEO content... basically anything and everything. Georgia is a slave to the style guide, a logo geek and loves all things London Underground (its branding history, and not at rush hour).