Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
June 30, 2024 ·  4 min read

Only Those With High IQs Will Spot The Second Horse in This Head Scratching Optical Illusion

An optical illusion is a fun way to exercise your brain. However, some believe they’re also an indication of one’s level of intelligence. For example, a new brain teaser featuring a horse can only be solved by “highly intelligent people.”

Solving an Optical Illusion

A brown and white horse standing the grass.
Image Credit: Daily Mail

The optical illusion is an image of a full-grown brown and white horse. Viewers are challenged to find the second horse in the image. There’s a twist, though, as most people are searching for “a second horse” when trying to solve the optical illusion. However, this optical illusion is thought to indicate intelligence because the viewer has to think out of the ordinary to locate the second horse.

Although a second horse isn’t pictured, the word “horse” is seemingly hidden in the brown and white horse’s glossy coat.

Read More: There Are Two Women Hidden In This Optical Illusion! Do You See Them?

A Different Perspective

A brown and white horse standing the grass with a red box highlighting the optical illusion.
Image Credit: Daily Mail

This brain teaser has stumped most people because they’re so focused on finding another horse, that it doesn’t occur to them they could be looking for a word instead. Optical illusions range in how they trick your brain. Some optical illusions test mathematical skills or logic. On the other hand, this horse optical illusion tests observational skills.

Animal Hidden in an Optical Illusion

Whether or not solving this optical illusion was easy for you, many people enjoy puzzles like this and know they’re good for maintaining healthy brain function. Here are a few other fun optical illusions shared on the internet, stumping people and causing them to question their intelligence.

Black and white vertical lines with a hidden cat optical illusion.
Image Credit: medickinson| Twitter

In 2019, a nanotech engineer named Dr. Michelle Dickinson posted this optical illusion, asking users if they could spot the hidden animal. Although it does appear faint, and some people may have no trouble pointing it out, there’s a helpful hint for others. Shaking your head back and forth a few times should help make the animal clearer and in focus.

Colorful Optical Illusion

A rectangle with colorful lines. Circles in the background.
Image Credit: novickprof |Twitter

Meanwhile, Dr. David Novick, a professor at the University of Texas, shared a colorful optical illusion in 2018. He challenged viewers to decipher how many colors can be found in the circles. Although the illusion is colorful, closer inspection shows that all the circles are the same color. They only appear to be different colors because of the colorful lines going through them. “The differences are subtle, though, and depend on the size of the image when it’s viewed,” Dr. Novick wrote.

Read More: Optical Illusion Divides The Internet With Some Seeing Beach And Others Seeing Car Door

Hidden Dots

A black and white optical illusion with lines, squares and triangles and hidden dots.
Image Credit: J Ninio, K A Stevens

Lastly, this cool optical illusion features 12 dots. However, “when the white disks in a scintillating grid are reduced in size, and outlined in black, they tend to disappear.” According to the NLM. As such, it’s seemingly impossible to see all 12 dots altogether.

Advantageous for Healthy Brain Function

Contemporary art collage. Man with optical illusion design circle instead head isolated over light mint background. Concept of psychology, artwork, emotions, human rexpression of feelings
Source: Shutterstock

Several studies have been conducted regarding optical illusions and how our brains function while trying to solve them. A puzzle like this strengthens the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for things like problem-solving, decision-making, and concentration. Furthermore, when you’ve solved an optical illusion, your brain produces more dopamine. While most people know that dopamine plays a crucial role in maintaining one’s mood, some may be surprised to learn the release of dopamine has also been shown to improve memory and concentration.

Varying Types of Intelligence

Optical illusion created by refracting light with a glass of water and colored diagonal lines
Source: Shutterstock

Moreover, it’s worth noting that an inability to solve the horse optical illusion may not indicate a low IQ. Rather, it could reflect the type of intelligence you possess. According to a Harvard psychologist, intelligence falls into eight categories. Some examples include spatial intelligence, linguistic, logical-mathematical, or intrapersonal intelligence. Either way, a 2021 study published in the NLM found that “logic stress and limit stress generated during playing brain teaser games are positive stress, with a desirable effect on the players’ attention.”

Read More: Are You a Leader or a Listener? Take This Optical Illusion ‘Test’ and Find Out


  1. The Effect of Brain Teaser Games on the Attention of Players Based on Hormonal and Brain Signals Changes.” NLM. Hamed Aliyari, Hedayat Sahraei, Sahar Golabi, Masoomeh Kazemi, Mohammad Reza Daliri, and Behrouz Minaei-Bigdoli. September 1, 2021.
  2. Can YOU spot the second horse? Only people with high IQs can solve the brainteaser in 10 seconds.Daily Mail. Nikki Main. June 21, 2024.
  3. A Harvard psychologist says humans have 8 types of intelligence. Which ones do you score the highest in?CNBC. Kumar Mehta. March 10, 2021.
  4. 40 mind-boggling optical illusions that have stumped the internet.BI. Lucy Yang. February 27, 2019.