This epic optical illusion is making waves on Instagram

Photograph of a wave crashing into a lighthouse
(Image credit: Ian Sproat via Instagram)

Let's be honest, optical illusions don't tend to look particularly dramatic. Usually they involve staring at static geometric shapes which appear to move. But here's one that's about as epic as it gets.

A photographer has captured an awesome shot of a wave crashing into a lighthouse in Sunderland – but look a little closer and you might just make out a ghostly face in the water. We'll be adding this one to our list of the best optical illusions.  

A post shared by Ian Sproat (@mje_photography_ne) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

"Could it be the Goddess of water, Amphitrite?" Asks photographer Ian Sproat on Instagram. And followers are loving the shot, with many also comparing the regal profile to that of Queen Elizabeth II.

Sproat, an electrician, told BBC News (opens in new tab) he took up photography as a hobby after lockdown affected his business. "I needed something where I could get my peace and I found that with photography because you are just in the moment and it takes your mind off of everything else."

Like the mind-boggler recently spotted by the Hubble Space Telescope, this is definitely one of the most dramatic optical illusions we've seen. If you're inspired to take up photography, take a look at our guide to the best cameras.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).