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Magic tricks have been around forever. But in the Internet age, it’s harder and harder to find an illusion that truly captures our imagination. But last week, the winner of the 2016 Best Illusion of the Year Contest certainly stepped up to the plate.


In this video, a number of cylinders are pivoted in front of a mirror, seemingly changing their shapes from a rectangle to a circle depending on how the shapes are pushed or pulled in the mirror’s reflection.

So, what’s going on here? Is it a bit of trickery, with someone using a different tray of shapes on another mirror and matching up the imagery? That was the first guess of many viewers but it was clear that the reflected hands in the mirror were moving too perfectly in sync for it to be a total scam.

The video has already been viewed more than three million times since it was first posted, with hundreds of commenters chiming in with explanations on how the slight of hand is brilliantly pulled off.

The “Make Anything” YouTube channel revealed the deceptively simple explanation behind the trick. In short, the shapes have been built a curving angles, which slowly alters their shape. By the time your eye reaches the bottom of the shape the rectangle is now a circle. When tilted at an angle in a mirror, it makes it appear as if the same object exists as two objects simultaneously. Watch the video below to the see the full explanation.

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