This Triply Ambiguous Object Won Japan’s Best Illusion Of The Year Contest

Ah, Illusions! They are fun to watch and discuss but did you know they are also celebrated? Japan’s Best Illusion of the Year Contest is a self-proclaimed “celebration of the ingenuity and creativity of the world’s premier illusion research community.”

Every year, various members of the illusion community—which is made up of scientists, neurologists, researchers, and even artists—get together to decide which of their recently created mind-melters deserves the honor of Best Illusion of the Year. This year, Japan’s Kokichi Sugihara claimed the top prize with a deceptively simple illusion that plays with how our mind perceives 3D objects.

“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,” continues the outline.