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Mind-bending infinite staircase optical illusion goes viral

The statue called 'Staircase to Heaven.'
(Image credit: Public Delivery)

There's nothing quite like a good statue, but when it doubles up as an optical illusion, we love it even more. This statue is not only a beautiful piece of art, but it's totally bending our minds – and it seems the internet agrees. 

A video has surfaced on Twitter of a stunning optical illusion in which it looks as though a staircase continues up, up and up into the sky. The reality is that you're looking at a well-designed statue that has been made to look as though stairs are ascending into the sky from a certain angle. The statue, titled 'Staircase to Heaven', is located in South Africa, and it's proving to be boggling the minds of the internet, as well as our own. If you love this trippy statue, then make sure you check out our roundup of our favourite mind-bending optical illusions.

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The Staircase to Heaven statue was erected as part of the Hermanus Fine Arts Festival. The statue is designed by artist Strijdom van der Merwe, who creates land art that compliments the areas by creating "sculptural forms" that "take shape in relation to the landscape". Merwe says that his land art "encompasses everything – wind, birds, smell, touch. And my work doesn’t exist until I find it."

Merwe has work all over the world, and some of his other sculptures are just as stunning and cleverly-designed as Staircase to Heaven. And according to his website, the artist has also won a number of awards for his work. 

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A sculpture designed by Strijdom van der Merwe

"Installation of ‘pots’ to emphasize the beautiful trees that form part of the entrance to the wine farm." (Image credit: Strijdom van der Merwe)
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A sculpture designed by Strijdom van der Merwe

This was designed for the National Museum of English Literature (Image credit: Strijdom van der Merwe)
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A sculpture designed by Strijdom van der Merwe.

We love this cross-legged statue (Image credit: Strijdom van der Merwe)

This beautiful sculpture has gathered some attention online, with users taking to both Twitter and Reddit to comment on this optical illusion. One user replied to the video on Twitter with 'he should've named it stairway to heaven' as a reference to the Led Zeppelin song, and we totally agree.

staircase_to_heaven_by_artist_strijdom_van_der from r/Damnthatsinteresting
staircase_to_heaven_by_artist_strijdom_van_der from r/Damnthatsinteresting
staircase_to_heaven_by_artist_strijdom_van_der from r/Damnthatsinteresting

Our minds might've been bamboozled, but we look forward to seeing what Merwe might come up with next. In the meantime, why not have a go at making your own illusions with this step-by-step guide on how to create 3D optical illusions. Or if you fancy more optical illusions to sink your teeth into, check out the optical illusion that makes black and white photos look coloured. 

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Amelia Bamsey

Amelia Bamsey is Creative Bloq’s Staff Writer. After accomplishing a first class honours 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 many design topics on Creative Bloq, including posters, 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.