Wait, how many bars are in this optical illusion?

If you're familiar with Creative Bloq, then you probably already know that we're partial to a good old optical illusion. The weird, wonderful and wacky world of mind-bogglers has been keeping our brains spinning, and today's perplexing find is no exception. 

The challenge? To count how many bars are in the picture below. It sounds easy, right? Well, think again. This bizarre optical illusion shared on IndiaTimes may look like a bunch of cuboids all lined up, but the more you look, the more you see – making it very difficult to answer the solve the illusion. It's one of those famous designs we've seen circling around the internet before, so perhaps it deserves a spot on the roundup of the best optical illusions

The bar optical illusion

How many bars do you see? (Image credit: Array)

If you count the bars from the bottom where the squares are, it looks like there are eight. However, if you count them from the top, there seems to only be seven. But if you're convinced the answer has to be seven or eight, then sorry to let you down, you're incorrect. 

Unbelievably, there are apparently only six bars in the illusion. It looks as though the gaps between each of the bars are getting larger with every step, so by the fifth bar, it is hard to define what is a bar and what is just the gap between them. The more I stare at this illusion, the more gaps and squares and bars appear – it's a real head-spinner. 


♬ SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY - Remix - Amaarae & Kali Uchis

The design reminds me of the confusing 3D optical illusion font that only 1% of the public can read (see above). Those cuboids also remind me of Iceland's slightly terrifying floating crosswalk design

I think that is enough cuboids and illusions for me today. If you haven't had enough of these mind-bogglers yet though, then make sure you check out our roundup of the best trompe l'oeil illusions. Or to have a go at creating your own, download Illustrator and get creating!

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Amelia Bamsey
Staff Writer

Amelia is Creative Bloq’s Staff Writer. After completing a degree in Popular Music and a Master’s in Song Writing, Amelia began designing posters, logos, album covers and websites for musicians. She now enjoys covering a range of topics on Creative Bloq, including posters, optical illusions, logos (she's a particular fan of logo Easter eggs), gaming and illustration. In her free time, she relishes in the likes of art (especially the Pre-Raphaelites), photography and literature. Amelia prides herself on her unorthodox creative methods, her Animal Crossing island and her extensive music library.