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Can You Actually See As Well As You Think You Can?

How good is your vision? Can you master these illusions? Optical illusions occur when your brain simply doesn’t believe your eyes, or perhaps it can’t decode the information coming from the optical nerve. In simpler terms, the eyes use color, light, and patterns to fool the brain, leading it to make quick and unconscious inferences [1]. You could see two lines that look obviously unequal in length, but upon closer inspection or measurement, you’d find that they are both 5 cm in length.


Optical illusions serve tons of purposes. Some are just brain teasers for fun and brain development. Others may help to identify certain eye defects such as myopia, color blindness, presbyopia, and astigmatism. Medical conclusions obtained using these illusions must be confirmed by an ophthalmologist.


I personally love to try them out as unofficial IQ tests. Optical illusions are used to screen brain power and a person’s critical thinking ability. Images that create the illusion of movement in the eyes could be used in medical hypnotherapy (please do not hypnotize a person without their full consent) [2].


Below is an interesting list of eight tricks that can serve as an unofficial test for your vision and critical reasoning ability. Take time to play the game and receive your score and evaluation. You may then read up on the rest of the article for explanations on the correct answers.



optical illusion. 2 yellow lines on what looks like a railroad track. The lines seem to be different sizes but are actually the same size

At first sight, line 2 appears to be longer. This is because the lines have been slightly angled to form the illusion of an infinite railroad. Of course, the gaps closer to the eye should be wider than the ones farther away. They seem to swallow line 1 up, while line two completely swallows its own gaps.


The brain has been immediately tricked to assume that line two is longer. This trick gauges your critical thinking ability. You must take notice of the inclination of the rails before you can conclude that the lines actually HAVE THE SAME LENGTH.



optical illusion. checker pattern of grey white and pink squares. Lines appear diagonal but are actually straight.

They do not seem straight at first sight. You could develop a headache trying to decipher which line is straight and which one isn’t. The pink and gray boxes and positioned in a haphazard and disorderly manner between the lines, and since they dominate the picture fully, they’ll create the illusion of curved winding lines to accommodate their positions.


Look close at both edges of the picture and trace the lines from these points. There are all PERFECT STRAIGHT LINES.



8 squares. 7 red and 1 pink

Trick 3 has eight boxes matrixed together and only one has a lighter shade than the others. A color-blind person may experience difficulty in identifying a different color. Eye conditions such as refractive errors and cataracts may cloud the eye and blur the colors, making a person unable to identify a different color. Check with an eye doctor if your eyes were too cloudy or blurry to notice the tinted one. On the other hand, we could be wrong because we were too quick to scan the boxes and our brains missed the difference.


Counting from left to right, the SEVENTH ONE is different.


Read: Can You Solve This Tricky Math Riddle? Only Super Smart People Can


circle made up of circles with the number 2 depicted within

It’s easy to let your eyes initially track the wrong pattern and discover a different number. The red, pink, and brown circles form an outline of the NUMBER TWO, but a color blind person wouldn’t be able to decipher this. The red circles would appear in a dull green shade. This trick is perfect for diagnosing red-green color blindness. Technically termed color vision deficiency, this X-chromosome-linked condition is much more common in males than females. 8% of men 0.5% of women of Northern European background have the common red-green color blindness.


circle made up of circles with the number 8 depicted within

Trick 6 is similar to trick 5. The background colors are much lighter on this one, and it makes it easier to decipher the outline of the NUMBER 8.


the number 571 is hardly visible within a rectangle that looks like red static

This one is actually pretty tricky. You’d have to squint very slightly to see the number engraved in the background. A person with a refractive error such as astigmatism may not be able to identify this. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is irregularly shaped and is struck abnormally by light, resulting in blurry vision. Check with your doctor if you think you have this issue. The number is 571.


a real dog hidden within several visually similar stuffed toy dogs

I had to look about five times before I discovered that there’s actually a DOG in the center of the picture and not just a fuzzy-haired stuffed animal. The dog looks so much like the toys that it’s hard to actually imagine it’s a real creature and not a stuffed animal.


the ocean at sunset with a purple hue. 6 swatches of colour overlayed with what looked like a red target in the top left corner

This one wants you to identify the shade of purple that is highlighted in the red crosshair. The first 4 shades are obviously not a match, but The last two shades are harder to decipher. It’s a tricky one as well, but try to block out all the other elements of the picture and compare each shade to the desired section. Which shade it the best match?

The Second last shade on the right is the match.

If you have ultra-laser vision, it means you answered them all correctly. Give yourself a pat on the back. If you experienced great difficulty with this test and you haven’t been diagnosed with an eye condition, we’re not doctors, but it may be a good idea to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Be sure to try the game when you are well-rested and not suffering from any headaches or migraines. Have fun!

Keep Reading: Is Your Vision Sharp Enough To Spot The Odd One?


  1. How Optical Illusions Work.” How Stuff Works. Salaita, Meisha. 
  2. The Power of mind: Blocking visual perception by hypnosis.” Nature. Schmidt, et al. 
  3. Refractive errors and refraction: How the eye sees.” All about Vision. Heiting, Gary. OD.
  4. Color blindness: Causes, symptoms and how to adapt.” All about Vision. Bailey, Gretchyn.
  5. What is astigmatism?”  All About Vision. Gary Heiting.OD.
Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years of experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13-year-old boy.