TikTok is alarmed by this "creepy" optical illusion

Something strange seems to be happening if you believe what you see on social media. People are turning their backs on the 300 years of scientific progress since the Enlightenment, preferring to believe in a mix of magic, superstition and science fiction-inspired fantasy.

One of the latest examples is the current mirror optical illusion trend on TikTok, which has some people convinced they've found a 'glitch in the matrix'. People are filming their shock and consternation as they discover basic high school physics (see our round up of optical illusions for more mind benders).


♬ original sound - Kevin Winnik

Several TikTok videos went viral after they demonstrated that when an object is placed in front of a mirror but hidden by a piece of paper, the object can still be seen reflected when you look at the mirror from an angle. It's as if the mirror can "see" the object and "knows" it's there, some have suggest. Could it be proof of the existence of other dimensions? Others have held back on offering theories, but agree that the phenomenon is "creepy". Even Ritz Crackers is amazed.


♬ Blade Runner 2049 - Synthwave Goose

♬ Dynamic Fruit - DJ BAI

These kinds of trends have led to a whole counter phenomenon of other TikTokkers who have set about explaining and debunking the many apparent mysteries that are blowing users minds. They include Mitch CK, whose bio reads "I teach people stuff". 

In the video below, Average Joe sensibly explains that in the mirror optical illusions, the mirror doesn't know anything but merely reflects light that we then see at an angle. Although there’s a piece of paper between the object and the mirror,  the light reflecting off the object is still able to reach our eyes after being reflected by the mirror.


♬ original sound - Average Joe

Thank goodness, there's a perfectly rational explanation, as there is for our favourite optical illusions of the year so far. Want to create your own? Make sure you've got the best graphic design software

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.