What you see in the mirror is your reflection with which you’re most likely very familiar. So there’s little surprise there. But there are many other things that bounce back at you, or off of surfaces—think of light waves, sound waves, even your thoughts.

In fact, the word “reflection” derives from the Latin reflectere, made up of the prefix re-, "back," and flectere, "to bend." So in very simple terms, it’s bending something back, sometimes accurately (if it’s a smooth surface like a mirror) and sometimes very distortedly (if it’s a water pond).

So today we’re taking you on an adventure into the wondrous world of reflections, both random and elaborate, funny and breathtaking. Scroll down through the list compiled by Bored Panda below, upvote your favorite mind (or rather, light) benders and be sure to check out our previous post with more head-messing reflections here.

#1

This Mural Was Purposely Painted Upside Down To Reflect Off Of The Water

This Mural Was Purposely Painted Upside Down To Reflect Off Of The Water

Baker359 Report

Mistralok
Community Member
5 months ago

Brilliant.

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#2

Reflection Of Trees In A Drop Of Water

Reflection Of Trees In A Drop Of Water

GreenCricket Report

BusLady
Community Member
5 months ago

A mini little faerie land.

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#3

Long Exposure Photograph I Captured Of Yesterday’s Spacex Launch And Its Reflection Along The Shoreline Of The Atlantic Ocean

Long Exposure Photograph I Captured Of Yesterday’s Spacex Launch And Its Reflection Along The Shoreline Of The Atlantic Ocean

johnkphotos Report

varwenea
Community Member
5 months ago

Epic

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To find out more about the wondrous world of reflections, we spoke with Steven Wooding, a physicist and a member of The Institute Of Physics, UK. Steven is also a member of the Omni Calculator Project which is an international community of scientists and researchers with a goal to make science more accessible and entertaining for everyone. 

First, we wanted to know how exactly reflections work and Steven was happy to explain: “Every object you see reflects light from a light source into your eyes. Most of the time, the light is scattered in all directions, and the object has a matte look. If the object's surface is smooth enough, it will reflect light all in the same direction into your eye and form an image.”

“For example, you can't see the sky's reflection on a rough sea, but if it's calm enough, you get an image formed of the sky in the water,” the physicist added.

#4

The Reflections On These Pots Lined Up Just Right

The Reflections On These Pots Lined Up Just Right

Pinyaka Report

Fred the rat king
Community Member
5 months ago

‘Twas intended my good sir/madam

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#5

Every Morning The Sun Hits My Mom's Urn And Reflects On The Wall In This Pretty Design

Every Morning The Sun Hits My Mom's Urn And Reflects On The Wall In This Pretty Design

Wutufuh Report

BusLady
Community Member
5 months ago

She's speaking to you.

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#6

This Reflection Of A Lamp On My Sunglasses

This Reflection Of A Lamp On My Sunglasses

CowInTrouble Report

C. Wade
Community Member
5 months ago

I would 100% sh*t myself if I saw that on my night stand

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When asked if humans can manipulate the reflections, Steven said that they indeed can. “Magicians can play many tricks using reflections when we don't expect them. For example, a ghost can be made to appear on stage, but actually, it's a pane of glass partially reflecting an actor in a concealed part of the stage.”  Moreover, “technologies such as radar and lidar send light towards an object and collect the reflections to determine where they are, how fast they are going, and even their three-dimensional shape.”

It turns out that the smoother the surface, the better the reflection will be. “Any imperfections on the surface will be echoed in the reflected image. With surfaces like water that can move, these flaws can change over time and give pleasing effects. The color of the reflecting surface is also important and acts like applying a filter to the image.”

#7

This Reflection On My Water Bottle Looks Like The Northern Lights

This Reflection On My Water Bottle Looks Like The Northern Lights

abrooks0812 Report

Vorknkx
Community Member
5 months ago

And it even matches the forest below.

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#8

Capybara Looks Like It’s Wearing Clothes Due To Reflection

Capybara Looks Like It’s Wearing Clothes Due To Reflection

crinnoire Report

C. Wade
Community Member
5 months ago

Oddly terrifying

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#9

This Spectrum Reflected Off The Dining Room Window Through A Chair Back

This Spectrum Reflected Off The Dining Room Window Through A Chair Back

skiboy53 Report

Fred the rat king
Community Member
5 months ago

Issac newton was right

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#10

My Blinds Reflection Looks Like Lunar Phases On My Wall

My Blinds Reflection Looks Like Lunar Phases On My Wall

spaniard702 Report

Rhea.S🤍
Community Member
5 months ago

So cool!

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#11

The Reflection From My Window Decal Makes My Toilet Look Like A Quest Item In A Video Game

The Reflection From My Window Decal Makes My Toilet Look Like A Quest Item In A Video Game

DanielInternets Report

N G
Community Member
5 months ago

When a Unicorn poops in your toilet

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#12

Sunset Reflection Looks Like A Demonic Uprising

Sunset Reflection Looks Like A Demonic Uprising

PeteLX Report

C. Wade
Community Member
5 months ago

Yo are you sure their kitchen isn't on fire?

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#13

My Wife Looked Out Of Our Living Room Window And Saw This. TV Screen Reflection Lined Up Perfectly With Her Car

My Wife Looked Out Of Our Living Room Window And Saw This. TV Screen Reflection Lined Up Perfectly With Her Car

Reflex81 Report

C. Wade
Community Member
5 months ago

Damn Leonard, get out of my car!

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#14

The Sun Shining Through My Fish Tank Aligned Perfectly On Each Knob

The Sun Shining Through My Fish Tank Aligned Perfectly On Each Knob

kjh4087 Report

Mistralok
Community Member
5 months ago

Something tells me that it won't be too long until we see this on stoves.

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#15

The Water Reflecting Off Our Old Trampoline Makes It Look Invisible

The Water Reflecting Off Our Old Trampoline Makes It Look Invisible

Or also it could be a portal to another dimension.

huntermanhlh Report

Rhea.S🤍
Community Member
5 months ago

Pretty sure it's a sea portal

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#16

Sat On A Bench Outside An Office And Noticed My Reflection In The Window Perfectly Fit In The Chair

Sat On A Bench Outside An Office And Noticed My Reflection In The Window Perfectly Fit In The Chair

ScummyMoney Report

Fred the rat king
Community Member
5 months ago

Ghost lady

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#17

Thought This Was A Desktop Background But It’s Just A Reflection Of Our Couch

Thought This Was A Desktop Background But It’s Just A Reflection Of Our Couch

Goose248 Report

Fred the rat king
Community Member
5 months ago

I thought it was a dessert

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#18

Reflection Of Ceiling Lights In My Coffee

Reflection Of Ceiling Lights In My Coffee

srslynonsensical Report

Squawkleo
Community Member
5 months ago

Trypophobia trigger warning!😱

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#19

The Steering Wheel Reflection Looks Like A Planet In The Sky

The Steering Wheel Reflection Looks Like A Planet In The Sky

Baconlessness Report

Laura Jackson
Community Member
5 months ago

Maybe that's the wheel in the sky Journey was singing about?

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#20

Sun's Reflection On My Drinking Glass Creates Bart Simpson’s Skull

Sun's Reflection On My Drinking Glass Creates Bart Simpson’s Skull

0zymandias21 Report

Rhea.S🤍
Community Member
5 months ago

D'oh!

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#21

Blursed Cat

Blursed Cat

androweeda Report

Vincenzo Pagliaccia
Community Member
5 months ago

Baby yoda?

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#22

Reflection On An Iron

Reflection On An Iron

FrankoTheThird Report

BusLady
Community Member
5 months ago

Even Aliens have iPhones.

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#23

The Reflection Of My Make-Up Bag Looks Like A Nebula

The Reflection Of My Make-Up Bag Looks Like A Nebula

michaeljacksonsalive Report

C. Wade
Community Member
5 months ago

Woah I love this one too

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#24

Blue Sky Reflecting On Neighboring Building With Storm Behind It

Blue Sky Reflecting On Neighboring Building With Storm Behind It

Staceface666 Report

jevais
Community Member
5 months ago

The fifth dimension may be?

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#25

The Reflection Of The Beer Made The Fire On My Christmas Card Look Alive

The Reflection Of The Beer Made The Fire On My Christmas Card Look Alive

drxpbxx Report

Ray Martin
Community Member
5 months ago

Why is the beer in a wine glass?

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#26

Every Time I Think That This Building Is Burning, But It Is A Reflection Of The Sunset

Every Time I Think That This Building Is Burning, But It Is A Reflection Of The Sunset

acmedoge Report

Brian Bennett
Community Member
5 months ago

Looks like a fire all right!

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#27

The Reflections Of Ceiling Lights Appear To Be Alien Ships Descending On Shreveport

The Reflections Of Ceiling Lights Appear To Be Alien Ships Descending On Shreveport

SoVeryKerry Report

T. D. Bostick
Community Member
5 months ago

They landed at Shreveport, took one look around, and left, never to return.

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#28

The Reflection Of These Sticks Make Interesting Shapes

The Reflection Of These Sticks Make Interesting Shapes

leohpeoh Report

Brian Bennett
Community Member
5 months ago

Makes one wonder what the hell is under there!

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#29

The Reflection In The Mirror On This Hotel Check In Desk

The Reflection In The Mirror On This Hotel Check In Desk

up9trees Report

Johnny Rodriguez
Community Member
5 months ago

He's still in home-office mode..

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#30

Reflection Of The Sun Hitting My Guitars’ Tuners This Morning

Reflection Of The Sun Hitting My Guitars’ Tuners This Morning

jakederps Report

Rhea.S🤍
Community Member
5 months ago

It's Okay guitar,i hate geometry too✊🏽

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#31

Mirage Of Coffee Shop Window Makes It Look Like This Car Sells Pies Out Of The Boot

Mirage Of Coffee Shop Window Makes It Look Like This Car Sells Pies Out Of The Boot

Flynnbojangels Report

Brian Bennett
Community Member
5 months ago

Vending machine you drive!

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#32

Girlfriend Took This Awesome Photo Today While We Went Hot Air Ballooning For My Bday. Reflection Of Our Balloon Of A Creek We Flew Over

Girlfriend Took This Awesome Photo Today While We Went Hot Air Ballooning For My Bday. Reflection Of Our Balloon Of A Creek We Flew Over

MybellyYourbacK Report

Brian Bennett
Community Member
5 months ago

Spectacular!

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#33

Reflection Of Tunnel In Mirrored Sunglasses

Reflection Of Tunnel In Mirrored Sunglasses

zZzZzZz7zZ Report

Deutschland Mädchen
Community Member
5 months ago

Would you say she has... Tunnel Vision..? I'll go now... but I couldn’t resist

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#34

Tom’s Reflection Reflecting His Inner Wolf

Tom’s Reflection Reflecting His Inner Wolf

rivermark Report

Laura Jackson
Community Member
5 months ago

Tom is gorgeous!

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#35

This Puddle Reflecting The Sun Looks Like A Portal To Space

This Puddle Reflecting The Sun Looks Like A Portal To Space

ron_swanson_is_real Report

BusLady
Community Member
5 months ago

A dragon head?

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#36

I Took A Picture Of A Monkey And The Glare Made It Look Like It Was Taking A Wicked Selfie

I Took A Picture Of A Monkey And The Glare Made It Look Like It Was Taking A Wicked Selfie

emily-dawn Report

Brian Bennett
Community Member
5 months ago

Guess you're both cute!

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#37

The Reflection Of The Reeds In The Canal Spell Ok

The Reflection Of The Reeds In The Canal Spell Ok

Richard_Jae Report

Antoilene du Toit
Community Member
5 months ago

Sitting depressed next to a stream: "Please send me a sign that everything is going to be OK"

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#38

Reflection Of Bathroom Mirror Makes It Look Like We Have An Outdoor Cinema Going On

Reflection Of Bathroom Mirror Makes It Look Like We Have An Outdoor Cinema Going On

slamedoodwie Report

boredpanDaman
Community Member
5 months ago

i have no clue what i am looking at

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#39

The Reflection Of My TV Makes It Look Like Girl With The Pearl Earring Is In My Backyard

The Reflection Of My TV Makes It Look Like Girl With The Pearl Earring Is In My Backyard

SleepingLesson Report

Johnny Rodriguez
Community Member
5 months ago

Painted from Jan TVermeer..

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#40

The Gap In My Bedroom Window Became A Pinhole Camera

The Gap In My Bedroom Window Became A Pinhole Camera

scarebulging Report

LisaMarie
Community Member
5 months ago

Very cool!

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#41

The Reflection Of The Light On My Coffee Looks Like A Glowing Castle

The Reflection Of The Light On My Coffee Looks Like A Glowing Castle

MadnessDreamer Report

Johnny Rodriguez
Community Member
5 months ago

Next level-barista..

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#42

The Mirror Reflection In My Car After A Wash

The Mirror Reflection In My Car After A Wash

Zaphod392 Report

BusLady
Community Member
5 months ago

Car? Where? There is no car in this photo.

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#43

Making Cookies And The Reflection Looks Like A Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

Making Cookies And The Reflection Looks Like A Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

robije Report

Zozo🤟
Community Member
5 months ago

The cookie of cookies!!!!!

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#44

The Sun Reflecting Off The One World Trade Center This Morning

The Sun Reflecting Off The One World Trade Center This Morning

Zexov Report

Brian Bennett
Community Member
5 months ago

Remember!

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#45

The Sun's Reflection Off My Watch Looks Like Saturn

The Sun's Reflection Off My Watch Looks Like Saturn

SomeKid__ Report

C. Wade
Community Member
5 months ago

That's so cool! :D

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#46

The Reflection From My TV Looks Like The Moon Is Hovering Over My Swimming Pool

The Reflection From My TV Looks Like The Moon Is Hovering Over My Swimming Pool

TippityTopKek1010 Report

Gene The Bean
Community Member
5 months ago

Gru?

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#47

This Window Filters Out The Exact Wavelength Of Light That My Gloves Reflect

This Window Filters Out The Exact Wavelength Of Light That My Gloves Reflect

soupface2 Report

BigFish Artwire
Community Member
5 months ago

So weeeeeird

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#48

Weird Reflection Makes Man Look Like A Ghost

Weird Reflection Makes Man Look Like A Ghost

TheSh0rt1 Report

Vorknkx
Community Member
5 months ago

"Not even death could save me from commuting."

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#49

How My Face Is Not Reflected In This Mirror, But Is In The Mirror’s Reflection Of Itself

How My Face Is Not Reflected In This Mirror, But Is In The Mirror’s Reflection Of Itself

SimenZhor Report

Rhea.S🤍
Community Member
5 months ago

You my friend,have unlocked a parallel universe

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#50

Reflection On Window Looks Like Massive Spaceship Landing

Reflection On Window Looks Like Massive Spaceship Landing

empty_talks Report

Brian Bennett
Community Member
5 months ago

They do EXIST!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Note: this post originally had 114 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.