This Shape Shifting Optical Illusion will Bend your Mind

We're not sure what's real anymore.

It’s been a while since we’ve shared another infuriating optical illusion but after watching this entry from the Illusion of the Year contest, our brains melted.

Check it out in the player above!

The viral challenge entry stirred up an internet frenzy after viewers were left to wonder how these ordinary cylinders can shape shift in their reflection.

Hundreds of thousands of people were baffled since it first appeared on YouTube, leaving us all to wonder if magic is the only explanation for the morphing shapes.

This mind-altering illusion is the work of Meiji University engineering professor, Kokichi Sugihar, who calls it ‘ambiguous cylinders’. It was also given a runner-up status in the 2016 Best Illusion of the Year contest, a community-run competition that does its job reminding us that “illusions are perceptual experiences that do not match the physical reality.”

So, is it really magic? WE NEED ANSWERS! Ok, we have answers, and sadly no – it’s not magic.

Thanks to a popular 3D printing artist, the trickery behind the perplexing deception is revealed.

Apparently, the upper edges of the cylinder shapes have several wave-like turns, making it appear to look like a circle from one angle, and a square from the next. Watch the entire video here!

And sure, there is a bigger, more mathematical explanation as to why the object is able to appear as two different shapes depending on the angle, but that’s enough mind-bending information for today.