Take a closer look at that photo up above. How many people do you see? At first glance, it seems pretty obvious: there are two people, possibly a couple, standing on the shore and gazing out toward the water. Nobody else seems to be in sight, but if you look a little closer, you’ll see there’s a third figure hiding in plain sight.

Do you see it? Take another look.

Image of baby formed by tree in old photographguff

Is it popping out to you yet? If not, let us give you some clues. Look at the photo again and pay special attention to the branches of the trees. We’re not looking for an actual person; we’re looking for an optical illusion. See it now?

It’s a baby!

Image of hidden baby outlined in redguff

Once it’s pointed out, it’s impossible to not see it anymore. It’s crazy, right? Like somebody drew the image into those branches on purpose. We know it’s a case of the brain making and seeing patterns where there really aren’t any, but it’s still super cool.

We first saw the image over on guff’s round-up of fun optical illusions and hidden images in old photographs. Nobody seems to know where this hidden baby image originated, but we do know it’s inspired us to check out and share some more illusions, hidden images, and tricky photographs. Check out some of our faves!

The Camouflaged Man

Camouflage is, of course, nature’s original optical illusion, one that we humans have adopted for our own purposes. Do you see the man using it in this photograph?

Man camouflaged in photo of forestguff

He’s really difficult to spot, isn’t he?! Let us point him out.

Camouflaged man circled in forest photoguff

That is some effective camouflage! I wonder if we’d see him if we were there in person?

The Peopled Lake

Other times, artists take inspiration from nature to feature subtle, hidden images. At first glance, this looks like a gorgeous painting of a lakeside rock range. But then you notice something more. Do you see it?

Rocks reflected in water look like a woman and childguff

Try paying attention to the reflection in the water. Maybe tilt your head to the side. There it is!

Rocks reflected in water look like a woman and child, rotatedguff

It’s a mother and child! How lovely is that?

Hidden Faces

There’s a fun art subset of art that’s all about using smaller images to make larger ones and/or hiding smaller pictures within larger ones. This one, for example, features a bunch of hidden faces. How many can you find?

Nine people and faces hidden in profile of old manguff

Did you discover them all? There’s NINE!

Nine people and faces hidden in profile of old man, circled in redguff


There’s something so satisfying about optical illusions and hidden images, isn’t there? Pretty to look at and a brain teaser. If you want to check out more, go visit guff’s collection. Are there any well-known images like these ones you love?