This optical illusion has been baffling people since the 1970s

The horse optical illusion on a gradient background
(Image credit: Bev Doolitte/National Institute of Enviromental Health Sciences)

A good illusion will often have a long life on the internet, turning up on social media feeds for many years, but here's one that's so good it's been baffling people since 1978. This obscure horse illusion was created by artist Bev Doolittle and begs the question, how many horses are there really?

At first glance, the horses blend in so well that you nearly miss them altogether, but after taking a second look you can see that there are many in the picture. People guess that there are as few as three horses and as many as seven in the illusion, but the artist herself has confirmed exactly how many of the creatures are in the painting, and it's not the answer any of us expected. Fancy yourself as a bit of an optical illusion guru? Then you'll love these other mind-bending optical illusions

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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.