Wonderful Engineering

This Object Won The Best Illusion Of The Year Contest In Japan

Illusions are fun to watch and discuss, but Japan also celebrates them. Best Illusion of the Year Contest in Japan is a self-proclaimed “celebration of the ingenuity and creativity of the world’s premier illusion research community.” Each year contestants from all over the world gather to submit their most impressive and original illusions and an international expert panel of judges rate them. This year the winner is Kokichi Sugihara for their submission called the “Triply Ambiguous Object.”

The submission’s description explains the object truly well. It states, “The object generates three different interpretations when it is seen from three special viewpoints. Most of existing ambiguous pictures/objects, such as Necker cube and Schroeder staircase, generate only two interpretations. The present object consists of a 2D picture of a rectangular structure and a pole with a flag. The picture is placed on a horizontal surface, and it is seen in slanted directions so that one group of parallel lines appears to be vertical. Then we perceive three different structures because they are compressed in different directions. The pole with a flag represents the direction of the gravity, which strengthens the illusion.” Watch the video of the illusion and be mesmerized with it.