This Triply Ambiguous Object Won Japan's Best Illusion of the Year Contest

The top spot of Japan's yearly celebration of the ingenuity and creativity of illusions went to this pretty incredible concept that has to be seen to be believed!
Loukia Papadopoulos

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Every year, contestants around the globe gather to submit their most impressive and original novel illusions (unpublished, or published no earlier than 2015) while an international expert panel of judges rate them. This year's top winner went to Kokichi Sugihara for a submission called the "Triply Ambiguous Object."

If you are confused so where we but the submission's description explains this top candidate pretty well. "The object generates three different interpretations when it is seen from three special viewpoints. Most of existing ambiguous pictures/objects, such as Necker cube and Schroeder staircase, generate only two interpretations," says the competition's description.

"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.

As with all illusions, it is more fun to watch than to explain so stop reading and take a look. We promise you will be mesmerized.