Mirror artist Nicky Alice created this captivating and hypnotic sculpture which looks like a series of infinitely-floating cubes. The trick to the illusion is the precisely-cut mirrors and the built-in LED illumination. His mirrored pyramid design is also really awesome.
This pair of stiff wires have each been bent into a spiral shape, then coiled together. You would think that pulling on their ends would pull them apart, but they don’t. Vsauce’s Jake Roper shows off this curious illusion and explains how it works. The Mephisto Spiral and other fun items can be found in The Curiosity Box.
Artist PEJAC created this outdoor work, which looks like a giant crack has formed in the concrete, but upon closer inspection is actually an ant-like colony of thousands of tiny people. The work, titled Social Distancing appears outside Valdecilla Hospital in Santander, Spain. Be sure to visit the artist’s website and Instagram.
Artist Ricardo Churchill brings the illusory magic of M.C. Escher to life with these impossible-looking desktop sculptures. Each one is handmade from mitered, welded, and finished steel. They come in three sizes: 6cm, 9cm, and 22cm, and in raw steel, silver, antique metallic, or powdercoat finishes.
Artist Visoth Kakvei is known for their intricate floral and ornamental illustrations. Among their incredible works are their “Floral Hole” images that appear to have a deep, dark hole in the middle of them. Another artist even animated one image to make it look like a bee was crawling out of the hole.
This slimline spinner toy is designed so its middle seems to vanish once it’s up to speed. Despite having an asymmetrical design, it’s been engineered to balance perfectly on its tungsten carbide pivot point. Available in stainless steel, brass, and copper wrapped around an aluminum core, or a special titanium edition.
Zach King is known for his fun illusion videos. Most of what he does involves in-camera tricks and editing and often incorporates props to help drive the tricks home. In this clip from Vanity Fair, King takes us on a tour of his office, where he stores a variety of his props along with numerous cool toys and other collectibles.
Russian art collective TUNDRA teamed up with display company HOLO ONE to create this hypnotic artwork. It features a series of modular, scalable persistence of vision screens which display moving patterns that highlight and reflect the space in which they are installed. The piece made its debut in Shanghai, China in July 2020.
Designed by Wales-based sculptor Ivan Black, this hypnotic, kinetic plaything is made from 21 interconnected metal rods, which can be spun and twisted to produce visually-stimulating patterns inspired by the Fibonacci sequence. It’s available in silver, gold, bronze, or a limited edition scarlet color. Be sure to watch the video.
When an airplane encounters just the right weather conditions, its wingtips and propellers can generate visible patterns in the air. Redditor cburnett shared this wild footage of the patterns made by the four props on a Hercules C-130. A google search for “propeller vortexes” turns up more incredible images of the phenomenon.
John Muntean shows off his amazing LEGO shadow sculptures, each of which looks like an amorphous blob, but casts shadows of three distinct images as it’s rotated through a beam of light. After DragonButterflyJet, be sure to check out KnightMermaidPirateShip and ABC.
Game developer Matt Stark posted this mindbender of a video which uses computer graphics trickery to make it look like virtual Polaroid photos are portals to other environments. It’s a wild effect, and could be a very cool gameplay mechanic if incorporated into a video game.
Recently seen in a much larger version, this intriguing piece of plastic distorts light in order to make objects placed behind it look like they’re invisible. NightHawkInLight goes beyond the wow factor to explain how the prisms in this fresnel lens work their magic. If you want to play with a Lubor’s lens, you can find a bunch on Amazon.
Scientists from the University of Sussex are developing a method of displaying 3D tactile images using ultrasonic waves. The system works by levitating a small plastic bead and rapidly maneuvering it to create a persistence of vision effect. If they can move more dots or move them faster, they could create more complex images.
Canadian camouflage experts Hyperstealth Biotechnology has recently applied for patents on their technology which can bend light around an object to make it vanish from sight when placed in its sweet spot. The paper-thin screen could be used to hide military targets from ground-level threats. More on Vimeo.
Intrigued by slow motion visuals? Wonder Machines‘ unusual picture frame makes real world objects appear to move in slow motion. Designed by artist and inventor Jeff Lieberman (Time Warp), the device appears to use some sort of nearly imperceptible vibrations to pull off its trickery.