17 optical illusions you can actually visit in real life

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California Superbloom
Slide 1 of 18: 
 This new museum in Kuala Lumpur is dedicated to optical
 illusions. Exhibits range from a vortex tunnel to a rotated room
 to a bottomless pit. If you're looking for something less
 interactive, there are plenty of framed images that will play
 tricks on your eyes while you try to figure them out.
 Pictured above is the head on the platter exhibit where visitors
 can experience the illusion of a hidden body. You can only truly
 understand how it works after a visit to the museum.
Slide 2 of 18: 
 There are plenty of optical illusions that exist offline. 
 There are whole museums dedicated to illusions in cities like
 Edinburgh, Scotland and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 
 Others include natural wonders like Lake Sørvágsvatn in the
 Faroe Islands. 
 People seem to love optical
 illusions.
 There are the ones that make the rounds on the Internet -many of which end up
 going viral -and the ones that are
 created using just makeup.
 And then there are the ones that you can actually visit IRL -
 natural sites, museums, and tourist attractions.
 We rounded up 17 of the best optical illusions worth traveling
 for, from a mirror maze in California to an infinite tunnel of
 books in China to a gravity hill in Scotland.
Slide 3 of 18: 
 Book worms will love this library and store in China.
 One of its rooms boasts black mirrored floors and curved shelves
 that reach up to the ceiling, creating the illusion that this
 "tunnel" of books stretches on indefinitely.
Slide 4 of 18: 
 Pretty much every exhibit in this museum is dedicated to optical illusions. There's
 everything from the shrinking room (pictured above) to the
 mirrors maze and vortex tunnel.
 The shrinking room is commonly known as an Ames Room, named after
 American ophthalmologist Adelbert Ames, Jr., who created the
 first such room in 1946. When seen from a certain viewpoint
 (through a pinhole), the room appears cubic, even though it's
 actually shaped like a trapezoid, meaning its walls slant outward
 and its floor is on an incline. The room's far left corner is
 lower than the near right corner, which is why someone standing
 in one corner looks bigger than someone standing in another
 corner. This is also why someone in the room appears to be
 shrinking as they walk across the room.
 Click 
 here to see what it's like to visit the trippy attraction.
Slide 5 of 18: 
 Tourists who take photos at Brazil's Pedra do Telégrafo look like
 they're risking their lives, but in reality, they're only
 standing a mere three feet or so off the ground.
 However, if you frame the photo just right, you'll be able to get
 the cliff and the ocean below, but not the ground underneath the
 cliff, creating the illusion that you're on the edge of a major
 drop.
 Click here to see what it's like to
 visit this popular Instagram spot.
Slide 6 of 18: 
 Known as the largest lake in the Faroe Islands -an archipelago
 consisting of 18 islands located between Iceland and Norway -
 Lake Sørvágsvatn looks like
 it's sitting high above the ocean.
 That's because, when taken from this angle, photos of the lake
 make it seem as if the lake is level with the 328-foot cliff
 that's facing the camera. In reality though, the lake is only
 about 98 feet above sea level.
Slide 7 of 18: 
 The Chicago Magic Lounge features
 food, drinks, and of course, magic shows galore.
 However, even the venue will trip you up - visitors enter through
 what looks like an ordinary laundromat, eventually finding
 themselves in an art-deco-style theater. And the bathroom
 presents what looks like a massive hole in the floor, ready to
 take you to a different world. This illusion is created in much
 the same way as the paintings in Seoul's Trickeye Museum.
Slide 8 of 18: 
 Described as a "gravitational anomaly," the
 Mystery Spot sits in California's Redwood Forest.  The tourist
 spot challenges basic laws of gravity and physics; objects roll
 uphill and visitors lean over their toes without falling over.
 The explanation behind this
 illusion is two-fold. The Mystery Spot sits in a particular part
 of the Redwood Forest where the trees grow crooked, creating an
 environment that is titled. The  spot's wooden house is also
 slanted. Visitors mistakenly use this house and the surrounding
 environment to judge movement - instead of the horizon - which is
 what causes their misperceptions.
Slide 9 of 18: 
 Amanohashidate means "bridge to heaven" in Japanese, but
 what's more interesting than this Kyoto landmark's name is the
 way in which visitors view it. The sandbar, which stretches two
 miles into Miyazu Bay, is best looked at upside down, sticking
 your head through your legs.
 You'll see the bridge as a dragon flying into heaven if you look
 at it this way, and legend has it, doing so will bring you good
 luck.
Slide 10 of 18: 
 Located on San Francisco's Pier 39, this black-light-lit maze is quite the challenge, and
 probably one of the only places you'll ever be able to find
 yourself in two places at once.
 Mirrors don't absorb light, so when they're
 placed on a wall, they render that wall invisible. Because a
 mirror maze features mirrors on almost every wall, visitors have
 a hard time telling what is actually a wall and what isn't,
 causing them to bump into their own reflection.
 Visitors can spend hours trying to make it through the maze,
 bumping into their own reflections.
Slide 11 of 18: 
 Built in the second half of the 19th century, the stunning
 Rakotzbrücke gets its second
 name from an old legend claiming that dangerous bridges such as
 this one were built by the devil.
 When viewed on a calm day, when the Rakotzsee below is still, it
 looks as if the bridge creates a perfect circle, thanks to its
 reflection in the water.
Slide 12 of 18: 
 The Hoober Stand was built in the mid 18th century to honor
 Thomas Watson Wentworth, who
 fought alongside King George II in the Jacobite Rebellion.
 Although it looks relatively plain from the outside, the stand is
 in the shape of a tapering pyramid with a hexagonal lantern on
 top. The tower's angles not only create the illusion that it's
 toppling over, but they also make it seem like the lantern moves
 depending on where it's viewed from.
 For example, in the photo above, the lantern looks like it's
 situated to the left of the tower's center, even though it sits
 squarely in the middle.
Slide 13 of 18: 
 This isn't your average museum where you simply look at the
 paintings on display. Visitors here interact with them.
 The artists whose work is featured in Seoul's Trickeye Museum use a
 technique known as "trompe l'oeil," which means "deceive
 the eye" in French. The technique uses perspective and specific shading
 techniques to create the illusion that 2D images are actually
 3D, making them seem like they're popping out of the painting
 into real life.
Slide 14 of 18: 
 Most casinos are known for being over the top, but SLS takes it to the next level
 with the large LED screen that sits above its bar. The screen,
 which boasts more than two million LED lights, makes images come
 to life in a shockingly realistic way. Anything from a rubber
 duck to a giant face have looked down on bar visitors in the
 past.
 Pictures don't do the illusion justice though, watching it is much more
 impressive.
Slide 15 of 18: 
 This gravity hill in Scotland is
 sure to stump anyone who looks at it. The road, located alongside
 a cliff, appears to be going uphill when it's really going
 downhill and vice versa.
 Therefore, a car without its brakes on will look as if it's
 rolling uphill, pulled by some unseen force. For years, people
 thought that this unseen force was electricity, hence the hill's name.
 In reality though, gravity hills are optical illusions, created
 when the horizon is obstructed. Without a horizon as a reference,
 it becomes hard for viewers to determine which way a hill is
 sloping.
Slide 16 of 18: 
 Similar to Electric Brae, Spook Hill is another gravity
 hill that perplexes viewers. But instead of electricity being the
 force behind what seems like an uphill pull, locals say it's the
 spirit of either an alligator or a Native American chief.
 The story goes that the chief fought the alligator in an effort
 to stop it from terrorizing his land. Both died in the battle on
 top of this very hill, hence why their spirits are said to haunt
 the site.
Slide 17 of 18: 
 Although Moncton Magnetic Hill doesn't
 have a legend behind it like Spooky Hill or Electric Brae, cars
 here roll uphill in the same way.
 This hill has been a tourist destination for more over 80 years,
 and during peak seasons, the hill charges
 drivers $6.
Slide 18 of 18: 
 Introduced in February 2019, this 3D zebra
 crossing not only stumps pedestrians, but also forces
 motorists to slow down. Located on St. John's Wood High Street,
 which is near the famed Abbey Road, the crossing was created
 after concerns of road safety from residents. 
 The 3D crossing is reportedly the UK's first, but 
 it's a trend that's been popping up in other cities like
 Ísafjörður, Iceland, and New Delhi, India.
 Read more: 
 40
 mind-boggling optical illusions that have stumped the
 internet 
 20
 classic optical illusions that stump everyone 
 10 of our
 favorite optical illusions that involve cats and dogs

Museum of Illusions, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This new museum in Kuala Lumpur is dedicated to optical
illusions. Exhibits range from a vortex tunnel to a rotated room
to a bottomless pit. If you’re looking for something less
interactive, there are plenty of framed images that will play
tricks on your eyes while you try to figure them out.

Pictured above is the head on the platter exhibit where visitors
can experience the illusion of a hidden body. You can only truly
understand how it works after a visit to the museum.

People seem to love optical
illusions.

There are the ones that make the rounds on the Internet -many of which end up
going viral -and the ones that are
created using just makeup.

And then there are the ones that you can actually visit IRL –
natural sites, museums, and tourist attractions.

We rounded up 17 of the best optical illusions worth traveling
for, from a mirror maze in California to an infinite tunnel of
books in China to a gravity hill in Scotland.  Click through the slideshow above.

Yangzhou Zhongshuge, Yangzhou, China

Book worms will love this library and store in China.
One of its rooms boasts black mirrored floors and curved shelves
that reach up to the ceiling, creating the illusion that this
“tunnel” of books stretches on indefinitely.

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, Edinburgh, Scotland

Pretty much every exhibit in this museum is dedicated to optical illusions. There’s
everything from the shrinking room (pictured above) to the
mirrors maze and vortex tunnel.

The shrinking room is commonly known as an Ames Room, named after
American ophthalmologist Adelbert Ames, Jr., who created the
first such room in 1946. When seen from a certain viewpoint
(through a pinhole), the room appears cubic, even though it’s
actually shaped like a trapezoid, meaning its walls slant outward
and its floor is on an incline. The room’s far left corner is
lower than the near right corner, which is why someone standing
in one corner looks bigger than someone standing in another
corner. This is also why someone in the room appears to be
shrinking as they walk across the room.

Click
here to see what it’s like to visit the trippy attraction.

Pedra do Telégrafo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Tourists who take photos at Brazil’s Pedra do Telégrafo look like
they’re risking their lives, but in reality, they’re only
standing a mere three feet or so off the ground.

However, if you frame the photo just right, you’ll be able to get
the cliff and the ocean below, but not the ground underneath the
cliff, creating the illusion that you’re on the edge of a major
drop.

Click here to see what it’s like to
visit this popular Instagram spot.

Lake Sørvágsvatn (Lake Leitisvatn), Faroe Islands

Known as the largest lake in the Faroe Islands -an archipelago
consisting of 18 islands located between Iceland and Norway –
Lake Sørvágsvatn looks like
it’s sitting high above the ocean.

That’s because, when taken from this angle, photos of the lake
make it seem as if the lake is level with the 328-foot cliff
that’s facing the camera. In reality though, the lake is only
about 98 feet above sea level.

Chicago Magic Lounge, Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Magic Lounge features
food, drinks, and of course, magic shows galore.

However, even the venue will trip you up – visitors enter through
what looks like an ordinary laundromat, eventually finding
themselves in an art-deco-style theater. And the bathroom
presents what looks like a massive hole in the floor, ready to
take you to a different world. This illusion is created in much
the same way as the paintings in Seoul’s Trickeye Museum.

The Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz, California

Described as a “gravitational anomaly,” the
Mystery Spot sits in California’s Redwood Forest. The tourist
spot challenges basic laws of gravity and physics; objects roll
uphill and visitors lean over their toes without falling over.

The explanation behind this
illusion is two-fold. The Mystery Spot sits in a particular part
of the Redwood Forest where the trees grow crooked, creating an
environment that is titled. The spot’s wooden house is also
slanted. Visitors mistakenly use this house and the surrounding
environment to judge movement – instead of the horizon – which is
what causes their misperceptions.

Amanohashidate, Kyoto, Japan

Amanohashidate means “bridge to heaven” in Japanese, but
what’s more interesting than this Kyoto landmark’s name is the
way in which visitors view it. The sandbar, which stretches two
miles into Miyazu Bay, is best looked at upside down, sticking
your head through your legs.

You’ll see the bridge as a dragon flying into heaven if you look
at it this way, and legend has it, doing so will bring you good
luck.

Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze, San Francisco, California

Located on San Francisco’s Pier 39, this black-light-lit maze is quite the challenge, and
probably one of the only places you’ll ever be able to find
yourself in two places at once.

Mirrors don’t absorb light, so when they’re
placed on a wall, they render that wall invisible. Because a
mirror maze features mirrors on almost every wall, visitors have
a hard time telling what is actually a wall and what isn’t,
causing them to bump into their own reflection.

Visitors can spend hours trying to make it through the maze,
bumping into their own reflections.

Rakotzbrücke (Devil’s Bridge), Gablenz, Germany

Built in the second half of the 19th century, the stunning
Rakotzbrücke gets its second
name from an old legend claiming that dangerous bridges such as
this one were built by the devil.

When viewed on a calm day, when the Rakotzsee below is still, it
looks as if the bridge creates a perfect circle, thanks to its
reflection in the water.

Hoober Stand, Wentworth, England

The Hoober Stand was built in the mid 18th century to honor
Thomas Watson Wentworth, who
fought alongside King George II in the Jacobite Rebellion.

Although it looks relatively plain from the outside, the stand is
in the shape of a tapering pyramid with a hexagonal lantern on
top. The tower’s angles not only create the illusion that it’s
toppling over, but they also make it seem like the lantern moves
depending on where it’s viewed from.

For example, in the photo above, the lantern looks like it’s
situated to the left of the tower’s center, even though it sits
squarely in the middle.

Trickeye Museum, Seoul, South Korea

This isn’t your average museum where you simply look at the
paintings on display. Visitors here interact with them.

The artists whose work is featured in Seoul’s Trickeye Museum use a
technique known as “trompe l’oeil,” which means “deceive
the eye” in French. The technique uses perspective and specific shading
techniques to create the illusion that 2D images are actually
3D, making them seem like they’re popping out of the painting
into real life.

SLS Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Most casinos are known for being over the top, but SLS takes it to the next level
with the large LED screen that sits above its bar. The screen,
which boasts more than two million LED lights, makes images come
to life in a shockingly realistic way. Anything from a rubber
duck to a giant face have looked down on bar visitors in the
past.

Pictures don’t do the illusion justice though, watching it is much more
impressive.

Electric Brae, Ayrshire, Scotland

This gravity hill in Scotland is
sure to stump anyone who looks at it. The road, located alongside
a cliff, appears to be going uphill when it’s really going
downhill and vice versa.

Therefore, a car without its brakes on will look as if it’s
rolling uphill, pulled by some unseen force. For years, people
thought that this unseen force was electricity, hence the hill’s name.

In reality though, gravity hills are optical illusions, created
when the horizon is obstructed. Without a horizon as a reference,
it becomes hard for viewers to determine which way a hill is
sloping.

Spook Hill, Lake Wales, Florida

Similar to Electric Brae, Spook Hill is another gravity
hill that perplexes viewers. But instead of electricity being the
force behind what seems like an uphill pull, locals say it’s the
spirit of either an alligator or a Native American chief.

The story goes that the chief fought the alligator in an effort
to stop it from terrorizing his land. Both died in the battle on
top of this very hill, hence why their spirits are said to haunt
the site.

Moncton Magnetic Hill, New Brunswick, Canada

Although Moncton Magnetic Hill doesn’t
have a legend behind it like Spooky Hill or Electric Brae, cars
here roll uphill in the same way.

This hill has been a tourist destination for more over 80 years,
and during peak seasons, the hill charges
drivers $6.

3D Zebra Crossing, London, England

Introduced in February 2019, this 3D zebra
crossing not only stumps pedestrians, but also forces
motorists to slow down. Located on St. John’s Wood High Street,
which is near the famed Abbey Road, the crossing was created
after concerns of road safety from residents.

The 3D crossing is reportedly the UK’s first, but
it’s a trend that’s been popping up in other cities like
Ísafjörður, Iceland, and New Delhi, India.

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