I promise this wild optical illusion is a real photo

Picture of a bird appearing to be in front of two backgrounds
(Image credit: Kenichi Ohno/Future)

We've seen plenty of weird and wonderful optical illusions here at Creative Bloq, most often involving things that look like they're moving, but definitely aren't moving. But photography-based illusions are perhaps the most fascinating, since they're often the ones that look tangibly like something they're not.

Here's an example of one of the most mind-bending photo illusions we've seen for a while, which is currently going wild on Reddit with over 72k upvotes. At first glance, it looks like a photo of a bird overlaid on two different backgrounds – but this is one single image. (Looking for more inspiration? Check out the best optical illusions of all time.) 

This is a real picture taken by photographer Keinichi Ohno. It's a single photo of a bird standing at the edge of some water with a wall and its reflection creating a fascinating optical illusion. from r/interestingasfuck

The photo has gone viral on Reddit, with users unable to comprehend that they're looking at real image. Instead of two backgrounds, we're looking at a wall – and on the right-hand side of the image, said wall is reflecting onto the water, changing its colour to orange.

Titled 'Gap', the photo, as shared by PetaPixel, was snapped by Japanese photographer Kenichi Ohno, who entered the photo in the 39th “Japanese Nature” photo contest

Optical illusion wall

(Image credit: goug_ via Reddit)

"Took me a while for my brain to process this, really cool," one Redditor comments, while another adds, "Okay whoah, this took me a while. This is good!". Some have even shared images of the actual location, (above) which certainly helps when it comes to understanding the illusion.

This is by no means the first photographic brain-teaser we've seen lately. From three-headed deer to kissing galaxies, all manner of strange phenomena have been doing the rounds lately. Still, this one's going straight to the top of our list of the best animal optical illusions.

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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.