What is the Flashed Face Distortion Effect? from The University of Queensland on Vimeo.

Now you know where monsters come from.

  1. Caleb Mixosn says:

    I don’t understand what the illusion is.

  2. daniel fraire says:

    that’s some crazy stuff, i thought i was going crazy for a moment there.

  3. Knusper says:

    @Caleb: Stare at the cross… and don’t at the faces, just keep your eyes on the cross all the time….

  4. birddog says:

    I am confused as the little boy that dropped his bubble gum in the chicken yard.

  5. ChuckM says:

    Keep your eyes on the cross… the faces that flash turn into deformed monsters. If you take your eyes off the cross and look at the faces… they are normal.

  6. The DON says:

    Even if you look directly at one of the headshots (and even covering the other), some of them look pretty horific.

    In order to not offend I will say “as an aftereffect of seeing another face where the eyes are in the same place”

  7. John Mayson says:

    I’m not getting it either. I’m not seeing any deform monsters. I see the two faces just as they are.

  8. scandihoovian says:

    This is a wonderful take on those fuzzy puzzles we used to stare at in childhood. Unfocus your eyes and it becomes horrific as your vision starts to blend images together.

  9. deowll says:

    I’m not exactly sure if peripheral vision caused the illusion or image retention by the brain or a bit of both but I clearly got it.

    I was already aware that seeing is not perceiving but this is taking it to an extreme. Taking a long walk alone on a quite, isolated, tree shrouded, one lane country lane late at night a person is apt to perceive most anything.

  10. DickMnixon, I'm Tan Rested and Ready for 2012 says:

    Creepiest Optical Illusion EVER?
    the new blog layout,
    sorry guys it’s been fun but I am done, this page hurts my brain.

    Bobbo I will miss your musings, i didn’t always see eye to eye with you but always looked forward to see what your take on things where. Keep em honest.

  11. Steve Who? says:

    Out of respect for the disembodied faces, comments should be turned off.

  12. jpfitz says:

    Drug free instant hallucination.
    Face tripping.
    Brought to you by Faceb**k.

  13. UncDon says:

    I blame Global Warming.

  14. Mr. Evil says:

    I hope you all wore your turtlenecks at half mast today.

  15. Really UN-censored? says:

    From Natural News:

    “By any honest account, Apple operates today with a mindset of total monopolistic domination, requiring apps to be sold through its iTunes, where Apple takes an unfair cut of every sale. In fact, Apple has come to very much resemble the Orwellian Big Brother image that once made it famous in its January 22, 1984 Superbowl ad, which positioned Apple’s Macintosh computer as freeing people from tyranny”


    • msbpodcast says:

      You don’t like it? Don’t buy Apple products.

      They’re not a monopolistic outfit in the least… In fact, I would argue otherwise.

      There’s Microsoft and the dozens, (hmm… HPs now out if the game so let’s arrive at a more realistic dozen or so,) companies who build boring boxes with it.

      Same thing with laptops. Lenovo ans Sony make acceptable units.

      There are other MP3 players out there.

      There’s Android and the phone ecosystem that flourishing out there.

      There are lots of alternatives to Apple.

      There are even other tablets out there.

      I wish you people would do your research and shut the hell up.

  16. BigBoyBC says:

    Leo Laporte described Steve Jobs as a modern day Thomas Edison. I agree, Jobs, like Edison, was given credit for the work of others. Jobs did inspire, encourage and/or bully others into re-designing technology in unique ways.

    Jobs didn’t sell hardware, he sold the idea of a lifestyle with his products at the core. He did change the world, in someways for the good and someways not so good. But, he did give the competition something to strive for. Can Apple survive without him, we will see, but only if they can keep innovating.

    • LibertyLover says:

      > I agree, Jobs, like Edison, was given credit for the work of others.

      Genius Group.

      Morse didn’t invent (or discover) electricity or the batteries to store it or the copper wires or keys or any of that. He tied all of those together and developed a code that would be utilized over it.

  17. President Amabo (Single Thread, Oldest First Comments Please, Dammit!) says:

    The illusion is that John wants participation on his blog. He has become the anti-Jobs by taking a well fuinctioning blog and making it obfuscated and unusable.

    It’s now impossible to have a conversation in the comments. I’ve been a regular participant here for years under many different handles but it looks like it’s time to move on. At least from commenting. Bummer.

  18. Everybody's Ugly says:

    Try this by pausing it on each pair and you will see it has nothing to do with the timing of the pics. One set of two faces become monsters.

  19. foobar says:

    OK, I’m going for a beer now.

  20. gear says:

    I don’t get the illusion, the cross never changed the entire time I looked at it.

    • Wisdom says:


      Perhaps your eyes are not working quite right? What happens to me is that I focus entirely on the cross, but I still perceive the faces out of the corners of my eyes, but those faces now look like grotesque monsters. The moment I focus on face they are back to normal humans, the moment i focus on the cross its evilness lurking in the shadows 🙂

  21. Elgog Partynipple says:

    Why can’t I see previous day’s posts? I only get today’s post then have to select by topic? What kind of sense does that make. You don’t post by topic. You post chronologically. You add a topic then sort. But I only get to look at this every few days. Now I can only see one day’s worth then pick a single topic. It’s crazy!!! Boing Boing did the same thing almost a year ago. I emailed them and they changed it the same day then emailed me back and told me that they changed it.

  22. sammyBoy says:


    How many times does everyone else see JCD’s face?

    I counted 3 🙂

  23. Nathan says:

    Interestingly, the effect still works even if viewing the crosshair with only one eye open, so it’s not a stereoscopic trick.


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