How Eye Puzzles Work

What if I can't see it?

While solving eye puzzles makes most viewers giddy with delight, if you're having trouble seeing the 3-D image, eye puzzles can be insanely frustrating. Although special glasses and lenses are not required to view the 3-D illusion, there are a few necessities. Depth perception and stereoscopic vision rely on the fact that you have two eyes with healthy vision. If you have vision in only one eye, or one of your eyes is extremely dominant over the other, the 3-D illusions of eye puzzles will be lost on you [source: Magic Eye].

Other issues with depth perception or eye conditions like lazy eye may also prevent you from seeing the image. If you wear glasses or contact lenses to correct your vision, this should not impede your ability to solve an eye puzzle. However, if you are nearsighted, you may want to remove your glasses to help you solve the eye puzzle more quickly. If you have healthy vision in both eyes and have not been diagnosed with any depth perception or other eye issues, you should be able to solve eye puzzles.

If you're having trouble, just be patient. Employ all of the different techniques until you find the one that works for you. If all else fails, there is a way to cheat and see the image in 2-D. Print or copy the eye puzzle onto two pieces of transparency paper. Lay one of top of the other and line them up perfectly. Then, move the top transparency slightly to the right. This should reveal the hidden object, but it won't jump out at you like the 3-D illusion was intended [source: Inglis].

If you do suffer from depth perception issues such as lazy eye or crossed eyes, eye puzzles might help improve your vision. Some eye doctors use 3-D imagery to help train the eyes and brain to work together properly. Although licensed optometrists have been successful in implementing this practice, usually referred to as vision therapy, there is no guarantee it will work for you.

Related Articles


  • Bianco, Carl. "How Vision Works." April 1, 2000. (Aug. 28, 2011)
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  • "History of Magic Eye 3D Pictures." Magic Eye 3D. (Aug. 28, 2011)
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  • Inglis, Stuart. "Stereogram FAQ." June 6, 1994. (Aug. 28, 2011)
  • McEntegart, Jane. "How Does the 3DS Work Without 3D Glasses?" Tom's Guide US. March 24, 2010. (Aug. 28, 2011),news-6237.html
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