Incredible optical illusion video shows arrow which always points to the right

Rob Waugh
Is the arrow as simple as it seems? (Picture Physics is Fun)

The video is so surreal that it’s easy to imagine that it’s been digitally edited – an arrow which, when you turn it, always points to the right.

But the video hasn’t been doctored in any way, and the arrow is real – it’s just an incredible optical illusion.

It’s the brainchild of Professor Kokichi Sugihara of Meiji University in Tokyo, one of several brain-boggling illusions he’s created based on unusual shapes.

Shared online by Physics is Fun this week, the description says, ‘Spin this arrow 180 degrees and it still points to the right. Only in a mirror will it point left (and only to the left).’

But there’s no magic at work here – instead, the 3D printed arrow itself is a much more complicated shape than it appears.


The arrow isn’t (as it first appears) flat on top, but is covered in different gradients, which makes you see it as an arrow pointing in one direction.

Physics is Fun says, ‘Another incredible ambiguous object illusion by mathematician Kokichi Sugihara of Meiji University in Japan, the inventor of this illusion and art form. A clever combination of reflection, perspective, and viewing angle produce this striking illusion.’