Viral Barbie optical illusion will have you haunted by Ken

We see all manner of optical illusions here at Creative Bloq, but most of them don't tend to haunt us when we close our eyes. Here's one that does exactly that, and it's either awesome or terrifying – depending on your feelings towards Ryan Gosling's Ken.

Rishi Draws is known for sharing optical illusions created on iPad, plenty of which of the close-your-eyes-and-the-image-is-still-there variety. But perhaps because of the feverish popularity of the movie itself, this Barbie-themed example seems to be going particularly viral. (Looking for more mind-benders? Check out the best optical illusions of all time.)

For the illusion to work, the viewer is instructed to stare at a small white dot in the centre of an abstract portrait of everyone's favourite himbo, Ken (the Ryan Gosling version, naturally) for 30 seconds. Then, when you close your eyes and look towards a light source, a full-colour version of the image should appear after around 8 seconds.

With over 1M likes on both Instagram and TikTok, it's fair to say the illusion is a hit. And like last year's Stranger Things version of the same illusion, it's leaving some viewers somewhat haunted. "He's on my ceiling, please help," one user comments, while another simply adds, "Make him go away." Another user was more sanguine about the whole thing, summing up, "As he slowly fades from my vision, I realise I was Kenough all along."

From rotating horses to three-headed deer, we've seen all manner of weird and wonderful illusions over the past few years. We've even seen one in space. If you're inspired to design an illusion of your own, take a look at our guide on how to download Photoshop.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.