How Eye Puzzles Work

Tips for Solving Eye Puzzles

The fun of eye puzzles is that you must "solve" them. If you don't know the right trick to uncovering the 3-D image, you could stare at the same chaotic image for years without the satisfaction of seeing the hidden 3-D image.

The key to all viewing methods is to relax your eye muscles and focus your eyes beyond the eye puzzle image. The recommended viewing technique is known as the "parallel-viewing method." It suggests the viewer attempt to look "through" the picture, focusing the eyes on an imaginary spot in the distance, behind the image. Since your eyes will naturally want to focus on the image in front of you, this technique requires concentration and is often difficult to master.

An easier, but similar method goes against everything your mother taught you as a child -- "Don't cross your eyes!" Well, if you're having trouble solving an eye puzzle, you might want to ignore your mother's warning. Looking at an eye puzzle with eyes crossed actually forces your eyes to focus on a point in front of the eye puzzle image. This is often easier for viewers than focusing behind the image. The only issue with this technique is the image will appear to sink away from you rather than pop out at you [source: 3dWonderStuff].

If you happen to be looking at a framed eye puzzle or one printed on glossy paper, you might want to try the reflection technique. With light shining on the glossy image, focus your eyes on a glare. This will achieve the same relaxation of the eye muscles to allow you to see the hidden 3-D image or message.

Another trick that works with eye puzzles with repeating images is to fix your eyes on two side-by-side images. If you focus long enough, the two images will merge into one and you'll be able to continue looking around the eye puzzle to see more 3-D.

Finally, you might want to hold the eye puzzle up to your nose. This will force your eyes to relax, because you will not be able to focus on the image. Slowly move the eye puzzle away from your face, while keeping your eye muscles relaxed and unfocused. Another trick is to put your finger halfway between the eye puzzle and your face. Slowly move your finger closer to your face. In the same way, this causes your eyes to lose focus and the hidden 3-D message to be revealed [source: Inglis].

Have you tried all of the suggested viewing methods without any luck? Read on to the next page to find out what it means if you can't solve an eye puzzle.