When we were just grade schoolers, one of our all-time favorite activities was to go through our beloved book of optical illusions. The first time we set eyes on that infamous “horse hiding in the frog” image, we were absolutely hooked!

Hey, it may be a frustrating hobby, but the sense of satisfaction that comes with solving one of these visual puzzles is too substantial for us to give up, which is why we still take a stab at any and every one we come across to this very day.

Over the years, we’ve shared some of the most challenging ones, both old and new, but today’s might be the most mind-bending yet. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at the above image and tell us how many legs the elephant has.

We’re waiting…

Why this “ordinary” optical illusion is particularly perplexing

This mystifying image first started circulating in 1980s, but folks on Internet boards revived the long-forgotten brain teaser just recently, with a simple question attached: How many legs do you see?

Now, it’s important to note that the above question is not a riddle in and of itself; a key detail considering so many of these optical illusions have a tendency to “play dirty” (i.e. they deliver a word teaser within a visual teaser—too much if you ask us!).

That said, this image of the elephant does have a certain unfinished—hint, hint! —quality to it that does, if you are observant enough, give you an immediate answer.

But, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves…

Back to the image. So, how many legs did you count? When most people first lay eyes on the elephant, they count 4 legs—that’s how we first saw it, too. But, of course, the image can’t be that simple to solve! Let your eyes do that magical “defocusing” thing, and you may see either more or less legs behind the blurriness.

So, how many legs does the elephant have now? And, are you sure about that?

If you are willing to bet all of your earthly possessions on your version of the correct answer, then you may want to first revisit our initial hint…

Look back at the image and remember the word that we used earlier: unfinished. This aspect pretty much defines the key to this baffling optical illusion.

Now, does that change your answer at all?

To finally learn how many legs this illustrated elephant has, as well as some helpful info on how similar brain teasers can make you smarter, be sure to watch the video below. Unless you got lucky with your guess, we’re willing to bet that you will find this solution to be pretty interesting…

We’d love to hear your take on this confounding visual puzzle! Were you able to get the correct answer without watching the video first? If so, how long did it take you? Do you have a favorite mind-bending puzzle of your own that you would like to share?