Skip to main content

Is this floating crosswalk optical illusion genius (or just dangerous)?

Someone walking across the floating zebra crossing.
(Image credit: Vegamálun GÍH)

We're suckers for an amazing optical illusion here at Creative Bloq, and oh boy have we found a good one today. Sitting proudly at the top of the 'DesignPorn' Reddit page is this amazing street art that looks like a simple zebra crossing is floating. 

At first glance, it looks as though this street has a futuristic makeover with a crosswalk hovering above the road. In reality, this is just an incredibly well-designed piece of street art in Iceland. While we are totally in awe of the amazing design that's totally transformed this zebra crossing, the internet thinks it might be a major safety hazard. Fancy designing your own optical illusion? Check out our guide on how to create 3D optical illusions.

The floating zebra crossing illusion was designed as part of a scheme to create alternative ways of slowing drivers down, with speed bumps having been shown to cause discomfort in certain drivers and add to air pollution as cars have to slow down and speed up. According to ArtFido (opens in new tab), as you approach the 3D crosswalk it looks as though the crossing pops up and creates what looks like an actual barrier that your car can't cross. We don't know about you, but a magical-looking barrier would give us the fright of our lives, even if it did look as cool as this illusion.  

A gif of the optical illusion road.

This nifty gif shows the design from all angles (Image credit: Gusti)

Over on Reddit (opens in new tab), users were quick to point out the dangers of this illusion, with one user calling it, "distracting" and "confusing". Others pointed out how heavily drivers would slam on the break if they thought they were about to drive into an actual barrier, which could cause a lot of damage. Some even went as far as to say that the crossing would only slow drivers down the first time because afterwards, they would know it was a painting.

3d_zebra_stripe_crosswalk_in_iceland_slows from r/DesignPorn
3d_zebra_stripe_crosswalk_in_iceland_slows from r/DesignPorn
3d_zebra_stripe_crosswalk_in_iceland_slows from r/DesignPorn

We think this design is pretty incredible and we can't believe how realistic it is. We would definitely like to take a stroll across this mesmerising floating crosswalk as it's a wonderful example of a trompe l'oeil illusion. It's not the first time we have seen some pretty baffling optical illusions designed by street artists, just a few months ago we were totally stumped by an artist's illusion based on the viral TikTok milk crate challenge

Despite the criticisms, we think that this is a really interesting idea and would love to see how other artists would interpret the floating design. If you enjoyed this mind-bending illusion, then why not check out our roundup of the best optical illusions?

Read More:

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

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.