The 2017 Illusion Of The Year Finalists Will Blow Your Mind


Jonathan O'Callaghan

Senior Staff Writer

The Sky Blue Café Wall Illusion. Victoria Skye

Everyone loves a good illusion, right? Well, we’ve got not just one for you here, but a whole 10 competing in the Illusion of the Year contest.

These were selected from numerous submissions, and you can now vote for your favorites up until 4pm EDT (9pm BST) today. The top three illusions will win awards of $3,000, with $2,000 for second place, and $1,000 for third.


The competition is being run by the Neural Correlate Society (NCS), a non-profit society, which runs the annual contest to highlight the best and most unique illusions of the past year.

Judges picked the 10 finalists based on their significance to our understanding of the human mind and brain, the simplicity of their description, and their “sheer beauty”. Now the public is being asked to choose its favorites, with the illusions described in a series of one-minute videos.

All of these are below, ranging from the Sky Blue Café Wall Illusion by Victoria Skye, which we featured back in August, to Tilla At The Beach, where an arrangement of sticks spells out the photographer’s daughter’s name.

Anyway, less chat, more illusions. Check out the finalists below, and don’t forget to vote for your favorite by selecting a star rating under each illusion on this page. Scientific American has a good piece about the science behind them all too if you want to find out how they work.



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