Thatcher Effect Optical Illusion

The Thatcher effect or “Thatcher illusion” is a phenomenon where it becomes difficult to detect changes in an upside down face, despite identical changes being obvious in an upright face. It is named after British former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on whose photograph the effect has been most famously demonstrated (this illusion was originally created by Peter Thompson). Below you can see the effect in action, this time it’s even more astonishing! Be sure to keep in mind that the right portrait is the very same picture you see on your left!

These images were taken by Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm for the new Dove Campaign

And here’s what you get when you rotate the above picture 180 degrees. Amazing, isn’t it? Be sure to head over to F-Stoppers to see the animated gif. You’ll need to see it few times before you can believe it yourself.

30 Replies to “Thatcher Effect Optical Illusion”

    1. di you may be dyslexic ,Still no hope for you if You cant TYP totally right even with your Encarta ;-)

  1. Good One! This is a perfect example of the kind of freaky thing that keeps us coming back to check out the “illusion of the day”.

  2. i just love these kinds of illusions. they’re the hardest to break just staring at it because it plays with your sense of anatomy.

  3. I could not believe my eyes or the site, so copied the image myself flipped over the image and….”BOOM” freaks appear, flip it back and they disappear.

    Really is a strange visual phenomenon.

  4. “Be sure to keep in mind that the right portrait is the very same picture you see on your left!” Not possible…her wisp of hair goes to the right in one picture and the left in the other.

    1. thats because they fliped the picture and turned it around if u flip it and turn it the right way up it is the same pic but with different eyes and mouths

    2. Elliott, you’re right! The pictures aren’t the same. Upside down mirror negative image?? I can’t believe I wanted to look up a health issue and two hours later I landed on this site. It’s addicting!

  5. nah – thats totally believable
    when i used to draw i noticed – everything looks better upsidedown

  6. @Elliot, your mistake is assuming the image is flipped on the vertical axis instead of the horizontal. The photo is UPSIDE DOWN not LEFTSIDE RIGHT. Try saving teh image and manipulating it 4 yourself and you will see that they are identical.

    BTW, what an amazing effect! Our brains can’t accept the reality and try to normalise the image 4 us. It’s like our conservative brain doesn’t accept the reality (no offence Elliot) and alters it to something more appropriate. Wow!

  7. It is obvious with a few minutes of studying it. The eyes and mouth are upside down. For example, if you read something with mistakes in it, your brain tries to correct it without you really “knowing”. You have to read it out loud to find them. Our brain is working in the same way here. It is connecting how we normally see people, with correct eyes and mouths. Our brain is just like auto-correct.

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