These Upside Down Portraits Demonstrate The Bizarre Thatcher Effect

These upside down photos look completely normal — until you put them the right way up.

Thatcher illusion

Thatcher illusion

Anuschka Blommers & Niels Schumm

Notice anything funny about these portraits — apart from the fact they're upside down? Now look at the flipped version, and tell us what you think. This is an example of the famed Thatcher Effect, an illusion where the face is flipped, but the eyes and mouth aren't. Our brains think the eyes and mouth look normal, and don't kick up a fuss, but when the whole image is then reoriented, they look utterly bizzare.

According to HUH, this series of photographs comes from Dutch photographers Blommers Schumm (Anuschka Blommers & Niels Schumm) in an ad campaign for Dove — but the photos aren't on the photographers' website, nor is there any Dove branding, so we'll have to take HUH's word on that. If nothing else, it exposes the vaguries of our own perceptions.