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Impossible objects

Impossible objects

“An impossible object is a type of optical illusion consisting of a two-dimensional figure which is instantly and subconsciously interpreted by the visual system as representing a projection of a three-dimensional object although it is not actually possible for such an object to exist.” (Wikipedia)

Among the most famous ones we can find:


Can this drawing become a 3-dimensional object? Read here to find out.


Can you colour it? Read here to find out.


Can you tell which side of the cube is the front? Read here to find out.

Impossible objects are usually of interest to psychologists, mathematicians and artists but we believe it would be interesting to try using them outside of these common disciplines. It is wellknown that common thing in one industry may become a revolution in another so let’s imagine lawyers, business managers, architects, engineers, advertising agents getting inspired by magic characteristics of impossible objects. Can you tell us what could happen?

Inventing impossible things is already a difficult task, but what if it comes to inspiring others about what you created? People tend to stick to well known definitions, believe what they know or what they see with their own eyes. And what about showing them works of somebody who had no barriers in thinking?

Maurits Cornelis Escher (M.C. Escher) was a Dutch graphic artist. Imagination was one of the most important attributes of his artistic work that drew the attention of the public to impossible objects. His drawings were created from images in his head rather than observations of the outside world.

His artwork called “Impossible Reality” underlines 3 fundamental truths that you should keep in mind when creating and presenting something new:

- The first impression is shaky

(EYE) Do you see a human skull or a woman?

Learning: Always make sure that people don’t judge your project based on their first impression as this may be misleading. Many great ideas were refused when presented for the first time and after (re)invented 10-20 years later to become a next million $ bussines.

- The paradox of perspectives exists

(GALLERY) Where is the top and where is the bottom?

(RELATIVITY) How gravity works here?

Learning: Each individual see and understands things from different perspective. Ask people what they think, feel, or believe to understand their way of thinking and continue exploring the problem from another angle.

- The impossible may become possible

(ASCENDING AND DESCENDING) Are they ascending or descending?

(BELVEDERE) Is this building turned to your right or left?

Learning: Impossible may become a reality if people believe in it. Impossible objects are fascinating proof of this statement, although it is only a graphic expression. The most important is the state of mind that enables us to challenge the way things work today and invent the way it may work tomorrow.

Do you know other inspiring art work dealing with impossible object? We will be happy if you share with us :-) .

4 Comments to Impossible objects

  1. Capucine

    Thank you Petronela for this nice topic.

    What I do like with impossible objects is that we are able to create them in a way or at least draw what impossibility could be. Impossibility is closely linked -in my mind- to wondering about perfection.
    But the amazing point is we are able to portray Impossibility whereas Perfection only has approaching pictures or acts. That is why I am convinced it is easier to realise impossible things than achieve perfection.
    To support this theory : someone able to realise something could be the only one able to do it -probably because others will not dare to- that is why impossibility is relative to our capacity to try.
    And trying leads to Creativity.

    Have a nice day.

  2. Petronela Eviaková

    I love this comment! especially the part …”I am convinced it is easier to realize impossible things than achieve perfection.”
    I wish there would be more people like Capucine. Imagine how crazy and beautiful it would be!

  3. César

    This topic is just amazing!

    I really agree with both of you.
    From my perspective, what is fantastic with these objects is that, in a way they are impossible and we know it, but in another they are possible in our imagination.
    Just to take the example of the penrose triangle, Oscar Reutersvärd imagined it, Roger Penrose popularised it and Brian MacKay and Ahmad Abas tried to make the impossible becoming possible by creating the sculpture of the triangle.
    It is amazing to see how these four guys worked together, at a different period of time, based on an idea they all knew impossible but that they all want to represent and to challenge.

    Maybe they thought to “challenge the impossible”…wich is an idea I really like!

    Again, thank you very much for this article!

    I wish both of you a nice day.


  4. Petronela Eviaková

    You can find impossible objects and much more about dreaming in the new movie of Christopher Nolan called “INCEPTION”. This story is the proof of boarder-less possibilities of a human mind!

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