This shiny legs optical illusion is dividing the internet

By Mark Molloy

Oily legs or white paint? Optical illusion divides internet. Photo / Leonardhoepams Instagram
Oily legs or white paint? Optical illusion divides internet. Photo / Leonardhoepams Instagram

What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Are we alone?

What's going on with these particularly shiny legs? Wait, what?

There may still be some philosophical questions about life that we may never know the answer to but it's simply a photo of a person's legs that has got much of the internet captivated this week.

Instagram user Hunter first posted the image online in September before it was reposted by Twitter user @kingkayden and retweeted by thousands of users.

He asked the simple question: "Are these legs shiny and oily or are they legs with white paint on them?"


Once the tweet was posted, the internet went absolutely crazy with comments and hilarious memes.






Then for some Twitter twitter users, it all became clear.





It's not the first illusion to drive the internet crazy.

In April, a British Twitter user shared a confounding video of his son's toy train tracks, which appeared to show one track growing and shrinking depending on where he placed it. This is called the Jastrow illusion and has to do with the way the brain interprets curved segments.


Since May, more than 7.5 million people have viewed this Imgur image of a couple hugging - mostly because their legs look impossibly (painfully?) intertwined. As commenters eventually figured out, the illusion springs from the design on the man's shorts. Wait for it...

This hurts my brain...

In July, a Facebook user in the Philippines posted a photo of a floral carpet and challenged viewers to find the camouflaged phone placed on it. (That was shared more than 20,000 times, and liked by about 155,000.) A hint: The phone's patterned case is very similar to that of the rug, but they don't perfectly match up.

- additional reporting by Washington Post

- Daily Telegraph UK

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