Optical Illusions: An Arrow That Is Always Right


Kokichi Sugihara is a Japanese mathematician and artist, a master of 3D optical illusion. Permanent winner in the worldwide optical illusion competition: first place in 2010, 2013, 2018 and 2020, second place in 2015 and 2016.

His interest in illusions stems from his research in the 1980s on automating perspective drawing analysis, which he published in the 1986 MIT Press Machine Interpretation of Line Drawings. When he asked his computer system to interpret impossible objects, such as in Escher’s paintings, he found that they could be interpreted as drawings of real objects of unexpected shapes.

Telegram channel Cognitive Illusions, where I will share the most ripped-out findings on how to hack the brain through perception.

Under the cut are the most interesting works of Kokichi Sugihara, his lectures and files for printing impossible objects on a 3D printer.


Impossible Motion: Magnet Slopes, 2010

Rotation Generated by Translation, 2013

Ambiguous Garage Roof, 2015

Ambiguous Cylinder Illusion, 2016

Topology-Disturbing Objects, 2016

Triply Ambiguous Object, 2018

Ambiguous Tiling, 2020

3D Schröder Staircase

Video with interviews and examples of works by Kokichi Sugihara

(they built a giant impossible snow slide!)

Kokichi Sugihara lectures and instructional videos

Kokichi Sugihara Channel

Lecture on “always right arrow”:

The family tree of impossible objects:

Lecture on “triple ambiguous object”:

Lecture on “impossible movement”:

Lecture on the “invisible chicken”:

Lecture on “impossible shadows”:

Evolution of Impossible Objects:

Files for printing


Large model (120width, 80depth, 54height), Small model (60width, 40depth, 27height)


The object was designed so that the rectangles and circles are most clearly visible when viewed at a 45 degree downward angle from two opposite sides.


It is effective to place a flat mirror behind the subject because we can enjoy two views at the same time. However, this cannot be done with a vertical mirror, because two directions of view cannot be achieved with a single viewpoint.


The mirror must be installed so that it faces slightly downward. Therefore, it is recommended to use a mirror rotating about a vertical axis to adjust the orientation of the mirror so that the two directions of view are reached by the same point of view.

Telegram channel Cognitive Illusions, where I will share the most ripped-out findings on how to hack the brain through perception.

Read more

  • Best optical illusions 2020
  • Best optical illusions 2019
  • Optical illusion 2020

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