It’s no secret that our minds often play tricks on us. Just take a look at our previous post on optical illusions that almost gave people a heart attack and browse through this list of optical illusions in everyday things that left people seriously confused.

But this time we are looking at a peculiar case of optical illusions that were created by shadows. Think of random shadows created by both inanimate and animate objects like windows, birds, trees and people.

And when you capture them at the right time in the right place (or rather, at a very random time and in a totally accidental place) you may come up with some very interesting results. Get ready to have your head spin, and be sure to upvote your favorite pics as you scroll through this list by Bored Panda!

#1

Shadows Cast From A Tree During An Eclipse

Shadows Cast From A Tree During An Eclipse

LordBandimer Report

Otter
Community Member
2 months ago

Seen it on real life! Twice!

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#2

A Rare Optic Sight, The "Brocken Spectre," Occurs When A Person Stands At A Higher Altitude In The Mountains And Sees His Shadow Cast On A Cloud At A Lower Altitude

A Rare Optic Sight, The "Brocken Spectre," Occurs When A Person Stands At A Higher Altitude In The Mountains And Sees His Shadow Cast On A Cloud At A Lower Altitude

utkrixx Report

Madison Feehan
Community Member
2 months ago

The Chosen One.

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#3

Even The Shadows In Scotland Are Plaid

Even The Shadows In Scotland Are Plaid

BookerDeWittsCarbine Report

KJ
Community Member
2 months ago

We take our tartan seriously up here.

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Previously we spoke with Lisa Yaszek, a Regents Professor of Science Fiction Studies at Georgia Tech, where she researches and teaches science fiction as a global language crossing centuries, continents, and cultures, who explained our never-ending fascination with optical illusions.

According to the professor, there is something inherently pleasing about the ability to perceive an image in different ways and it’s “part of our natural aptitude for learning.”

#4

This Unicorn Shadow

This Unicorn Shadow

OldForester101 Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

pretty awesome!

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#5

The Way These Shadows Line Up With The Windows

The Way These Shadows Line Up With The Windows

bleimanb Report

Sue Lynn Chan
Community Member
2 months ago

My brain….

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#6

The Way The Light Shines Through The Bookcase Making A Cityscape Shadow

The Way The Light Shines Through The Bookcase Making A Cityscape Shadow

Mitchdavismann Report

MellonCollie
Community Member
2 months ago

That is so genius, I'm thinking it is done on purpose! Does anyone know where this is?

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It doesn’t matter the source or the nature of the illusion, each one has captivated us since the dawn of time. “Whatever the source of our love for optical illusions, it’s fascinating to note that the desire to create optical illusions seems to be as old as humanity itself."

Historical examples of optical illusions can be found with the work of the prehistoric artists who decorated the Cave of Altima 20,000 years ago. “They used the natural bulges in the rock walls of the cave to give volume and depth to the animals they drew there; the Greek-Egyptian inventor Heron of Alexandria (10CE–70AD) engineered a device that made it look like priests could open temple doors with verbal commands; and the Airavatesvara Temple in India is covered in 800+-year-old carvings of animals that change species when viewed from different angles.”

#7

This Shadow From Two Different Trees In My Parking Lot

This Shadow From Two Different Trees In My Parking Lot

UnholyFire23 Report

SuperChicken
Community Member
2 months ago

Curses! Foiled again... now they know my true identity.

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#8

Crumpled Paper Shadow Faces

Crumpled Paper Shadow Faces

reddit.com Report

Cip IESAN
Community Member
2 months ago

On purpose!

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#9

Shadow And Slope Makes It Look Like He’s Floating

Shadow And Slope Makes It Look Like He’s Floating

tommytwooo Report

Panda-riffic
Community Member
2 months ago

This one hurts my head.

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Our renewed fascination with optical illusions is nothing surprising, says Lisa, because whenever people invent new creative or technical processes, they use them to create optical illusions. “Indeed, we’ve seen this throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: pioneering filmmakers like George Melies drew on vaudeville stagecraft and scratched and painted on celluloid to create the first filmic special effects; Op artists Josef Albers and Bridgette Riley manipulated geometric forms on canvas to convince the eye that unreal spatial places existed,” she explained.

Today, we use digital technologies that allow us to radically transform the scale and presentation of images in sometimes truly mind-blowing ways, while other times it’s nature that plays tricks on us!

#10

The Shadow On The Stairs Looks Like Another Set Of Stairs

The Shadow On The Stairs Looks Like Another Set Of Stairs

JazzFricker Report

Vasha
Community Member
2 months ago

I had to look twice to understand what I was seeing

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#11

This Shadow That Perfectly Lined Up With The Light Pole

This Shadow That Perfectly Lined Up With The Light Pole

caitwcam Report

404 Panda Not Found
Community Member
2 months ago

Lighting glitches in minecraft be like.

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#12

The Horses Were Standing So Still That Their Shadows Still Have Frost

The Horses Were Standing So Still That Their Shadows Still Have Frost

Kelleykrider16 Report

Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

Not surprising !! By nature, horses are prey animals. They have straight backs, so they can’t get up quickly. If a predator gets close to a sleeping horse while it’s lying down, it may not be able to get up fast enough to escape. And that's why they have specialized legs that can lock its knees and fall asleep standing up without moving or falling over. A horse’s natural instinctive fear of predators also leads it to do most of its sleeping during the day.

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#13

Spider Floating On Water Made A Unique Shadow

Spider Floating On Water Made A Unique Shadow

appleskittles Report

Cip IESAN
Community Member
2 months ago

It looks like an alien virus.

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#14

A Long Boi With A Shadow Of A Mandog

A Long Boi With A Shadow Of A Mandog

thedogpicguy Report

Scagsy
Community Member
2 months ago

What a beautiful doggo

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#15

Shadow Cast By My Light Looks Like The Gingerbread Man Hanged Himself

Shadow Cast By My Light Looks Like The Gingerbread Man Hanged Himself

billysherbert Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

running away from grandma finally took its toll

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#16

A Tree's Shadow Stopped The Snow Underneath It From Melting

A Tree's Shadow Stopped The Snow Underneath It From Melting

louissmlej Report

yeciye
Community Member
2 months ago

Huh. Cool. For now.

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#17

This Restaurant Uses Shadows To Show Men And Women Restrooms

This Restaurant Uses Shadows To Show Men And Women Restrooms

Rook_Mozga Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

thats really clever

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#18

Baby Deer Chilling On A Chair

Baby Deer Chilling On A Chair

Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

Bambi found himself a lovely Chihuahua of a wife this is their oldest child cambi

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#19

The Shadow From A Rivet Makes It Look Like Sacajawea's Smoking A Blunt

The Shadow From A Rivet Makes It Look Like Sacajawea's Smoking A Blunt

pillowcurtain Report

Troux
Community Member
2 months ago

I had to look reeeeeally close. This is too perfect!

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#20

The Way The Shadows Look Between My Coffee Mugs

The Way The Shadows Look Between My Coffee Mugs

reddit.com Report

Grant Barke
Community Member
2 months ago

You will need Quantum Mechanics to explain this one.

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#21

The Shadows From These Window Cages Create A 3D Effect

The Shadows From These Window Cages Create A 3D Effect

Mike_ZzZzZ Report

Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago

that reminds me of that crazy / scary trend from the 1930s ... baby window cages 20748161_1...1bbfa7.jpg 20748161_1713495761995056_5212571742105384111_o-61540f11bbfa7.jpg

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#22

Shadow Looks Like Painting

Shadow Looks Like Painting

Panishev Report

Madison Feehan
Community Member
2 months ago

Perfect for a landscaping company!

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#23

The Shadow Of My Chimney Makes Me Look Like Lord Farquad

The Shadow Of My Chimney Makes Me Look Like Lord Farquad

atheistpianist Report

Hotdogking
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

I think maybe you’re compensating for something

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#24

Lahaina Noon In Hawaii Right Now - The Sun Passes Directly Overhead, So Anything That Isn't Top-Heavy Doesn't Cast A Shadow

Lahaina Noon In Hawaii Right Now - The Sun Passes Directly Overhead, So Anything That Isn't Top-Heavy Doesn't Cast A Shadow

notmedicinal Report

Fred
Community Member
2 months ago

Everything there looks like a bad video game render

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#25

Shadows Of Birds Perched Atop A Tent

Shadows Of Birds Perched Atop A Tent

goodcheapandfast Report

Melissa TO
Community Member
2 months ago

Their feets!

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#26

The Personless Shadow

The Personless Shadow

HappyColoredMarble Report

MellonCollie
Community Member
2 months ago

The person right in front of the shadow, with the black shorts with green stripes, seems to be jumping. Hence the shadow not touching the ground.

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#27

Only 3 Spiral Ornaments And The Rest Are The Shadows They Cast

Only 3 Spiral Ornaments And The Rest Are The Shadows They Cast

frogs-and-flowers Report

Cip IESAN
Community Member
2 months ago

A cheaper sollution.

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#28

I Found The Shadow From My Sculpture More Interesting Than The Sculpture

I Found The Shadow From My Sculpture More Interesting Than The Sculpture

HazerLive Report

Simon Clarke
Community Member
2 months ago

Perhaps that was the sculptor's point.

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#29

I Genuinely Thought My Car Was Hovering Over The Parking. The Shadow Makes It Look Like It's Floating

I Genuinely Thought My Car Was Hovering Over The Parking. The Shadow Makes It Look Like It's Floating

theam107 Report

Madison Feehan
Community Member
2 months ago

Looks like someone tried to park in the Sims.

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#30

This Glass Casts A Spooky Shadow

This Glass Casts A Spooky Shadow

nibers Report

Sue Lynn Chan
Community Member
2 months ago

Don’t drink it!!!

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#31

Around 2pm Every Sunny Day, There's A 1 Shadow On My Floor

Around 2pm Every Sunny Day, There's A 1 Shadow On My Floor

sleeptrouble Report

Kayla J
Community Member
2 months ago

when your sundial is off by an hour

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#32

The Shadow Of This Decoration Piece Makes A Horror Movie Villain

The Shadow Of This Decoration Piece Makes A Horror Movie Villain

shahidhanif0 Report

Lord Mysticlaw
Community Member
2 months ago

Imagine waking up to that

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#33

The Shadows Formed On This Bench Are A Perfect Greyscale

The Shadows Formed On This Bench Are A Perfect Greyscale

bakic0 Report

Cip IESAN
Community Member
2 months ago

4 Shades of Grey

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#34

This Shadow From My Axis Am Allies Game

This Shadow From My Axis Am Allies Game

Bancaghedon Report

Chris Longski
Community Member
2 months ago

Surreal.

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#35

The Clouds Shadows Make It Look Like They're Floating Islands

The Clouds Shadows Make It Look Like They're Floating Islands

reddit.com Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

avocados!

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#36

An Actual Full Rainbow And The Shadow Of My Plane

An Actual Full Rainbow And The Shadow Of My Plane

durkluf Report

Robert T
Community Member
2 months ago

As long as the aeroplane is not "brocken".

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#37

K-Pop Shadow Is Coming For You

K-Pop Shadow Is Coming For You

Kudiak72 Report

Pheeb Carter
Community Member
2 months ago

Gru's skinny cousin, Flu

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#38

The Shadow Left The Snow On The Roof Untouched

The Shadow Left The Snow On The Roof Untouched

somewhat-damaged Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
2 months ago

This is pretty cool !

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#39

Shadow Cast By My Lamp Looks Like A Happy Spider With A Ball

Shadow Cast By My Lamp Looks Like A Happy Spider With A Ball

composerken Report

SuperChicken
Community Member
2 months ago

Itsy, bitsy spider climb up the pretty lamp...

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#40

Straight Ladder Has A Crooked Shadow

Straight Ladder Has A Crooked Shadow

bpcity81 Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

the ladder is straight the shadow is gay :D

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#41

My Jeans' Shadow Looks Like A Face

My Jeans' Shadow Looks Like A Face

naritadivorce Report

Madison Feehan
Community Member
2 months ago

Madame Denim.

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#42

The Shadow Of My Bookshelf Looks Like A City Skyline

The Shadow Of My Bookshelf Looks Like A City Skyline

AppropriateForm Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
2 months ago

Ooooh books! Lovely.

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#43

This Fuel Filler Cap's Shadow Looks Like Batman

This Fuel Filler Cap's Shadow Looks Like Batman

jarzyniowski Report

Madison Feehan
Community Member
2 months ago

Naaa, naa, naa, naaa CAPMAN!

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#44

This Dog Shadow Looks Like Donald Trump

This Dog Shadow Looks Like Donald Trump

DonTramoya Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

that orange turd just can't leave the world alone

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#45

When You're Darth Vader At Heart

When You're Darth Vader At Heart

Tsedik Report

Madison Feehan
Community Member
2 months ago

He's a sky-walker.

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#46

The Shadow From The Bull's Head Making It Look Like It Has A Chicken's Body

The Shadow From The Bull's Head Making It Look Like It Has A Chicken's Body

Blanchere Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

thats bullchick!

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#47

Changing My Friend's Car Radio When I Noticed This. The Shadow Looks Like An Alien Language

Changing My Friend's Car Radio When I Noticed This. The Shadow Looks Like An Alien Language

dr1fter11 Report

River Webb
Community Member
2 months ago

they're trying to communicate

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#48

The Shadow Of This Bench Looks Like Pixels In This Picture I Took

The Shadow Of This Bench Looks Like Pixels In This Picture I Took

cool_enough Report

Madison Feehan
Community Member
2 months ago

It looks like a greyscale palette.

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#49

My Country Is So Poor It Even Has Low Quality Shadows

My Country Is So Poor It Even Has Low Quality Shadows

AziPloua Report

V33333P
Community Member
2 months ago

In Soviet Russia, shadows cast you

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#50

Shadow Of The Hair On The Forehead Looks Like A Bump

Shadow Of The Hair On The Forehead Looks Like A Bump

xiangpornsroung Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good she was very very good, and when she was bad she was horrid. A nursery rhyme I knew growing up (it rhymes the way I say forehead Lol, perhaps not a rhyme depending on your accent!)

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Note: this post originally had 108 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.