The World Isn’t What It Seems: 45 Reflections That Twisted Our Reality

By Giovanni DS

Reflections have long been a source of confusion for many people, and even animals, the world over. They are caused by light waves that shine against flat and smooth surfaces, which then bounce back to the object facing it. At least that’s how we understand it. It’s easy enough to understand the basics, but the physics can be a bit tricky, and we aren’t experts on the matter, so do keep that in mind. That said, join us as we scroll through some of the most amazing and whacky reflections you have ever seen! Some will confuse you, others will leave you gawking, and all of them are guaranteed to amaze and fascinate you as you marvel at the bizarre things that reflections can create.

There’s Someone In The Car!

Reflections can do some pretty crazy stuff. Take this picture as an example. Apparently, one day the wife of the poster was busy relaxing at home while watching TV. That is, she was relaxing until she saw this and got a fright.

Image Credits: Reflex81/Reddit

What she thought was some creep sitting in her car was actually a reflection from the TV that happened just to line up perfectly! While she probably laughed about it later, suffice to say she will be closing the curtains from now on.

Quick, To The Invisible Car!

Wouldn’t it be awesome if things like invisible cars were capable of being made? Well, unfortunately, this pictured car is not some piece of futuristic stealth tech capable of doing that. It’s an optical illusion created thanks to its reflection.

Image Credits: Zaphod392/Reddit

The car was given a proper clean the day before. One so through that the car’s surface basically became a mirror, reflecting the house and trees against its shining surface. While it may not be as high-tech as Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet, it’s still pretty interesting.

Outdoor Garden Cinema?

There is nothing better than just laying back, cozy in your bed, on the couch or a comfy chair, and relaxing with a good movie or series. For some reason, some people prefer to enjoy the experience outdoors. However, this person isn’t one of them.

Image Credits: slamedoodwie/Reddit

While it might look like they have a fancy floating TV in their garden, it is actually the lights around their bathroom mirror reflecting against the window. Yep, this picture of the garden was actually taken from inside the house.

The Monkey Has A Phone!?

While zoos are nowhere near the best solution for the preservation of wildlife, they offer some form of protection and allow us to meet these amazing species up close. And as a bonus, they lead to funny scenarios, like this one.

Image Credits: emily-dawn/Reddit

This super convincing picture makes it look like this Saki monkey was not only wearing some rings but was actually taking a photo with its phone! Unfortunately, it wasn’t documenting the zoo patrons; it was just the glass reflecting the person who took the photo.

Talk About Having Tunnel Vision

Wow! What the –? Don’t worry; we had the same reaction and were just as confused about what we were seeing. This bizarre picture is not of a lady who has replaced her eyes with some kind of futuristic tech. Her sunglasses were just super shiny.

Image Credits: zZzZzZzZzZ/Reddit

Yep, she was standing towards the opening of the tunnel when someone realized that her sunglasses’ mirrored surface was creating an amazing optical illusion. One thing is for sure; we definitely want a pair of sunglasses that look like this 24/7!

Waiter! There Is Something In Her Coffee.

There is nothing worse than finding something that really should not be in your food or drink. Be it a fly, a hair, or a (*gag*) bandage (*gag*). This person, on the other hand, found something completely unexpected in their coffee.

Image Credits: MadnessDreamer/Reddit

This jelly-like yellow building, hovering on the surface of their coffee, is really just a reflection from one of the lights hanging above. Amazing to think that a reflection can create something so solid and three-dimensional on a liquid surface.

Never Trust Portals

Okay fine! It’s not a real portal, but it sure looks like one, doesn’t it!? This “not a portal” is actually a tiny puddle of water (most likely rain) that collected in a hole in this giant rock. The near-perfect circle only adds to the optical illusion.

Image Credits: ron_swanson_is_real/Reddit

The supernatural and celestial look of the puddle is thanks to it catching and reflecting the light from the sun. Depending on the angle, it also kind of looks like the eye of some stone beast that has just awoken!

The Aliens Are Here!

Imagine waking up one morning and opening your curtains to find out that an alien space armada is hovering over your city. Fortunately, that’s not what happened to this user. If it were, we would have heard all about it on the internet and on news stations.

Image Credits: SoVeryKerry/Reddit

What we are seeing is the homeowner’s ceiling lights reflecting against the shiny windows, and no doubt aided by the hazy and bleary sunlight outside. Even if it’s proof of extraterrestrial lifeforms, it’s still a really cool picture that will undoubtedly confuse others.

Don’t Call The Fire Department Yet

Don’t worry. The building isn’t actually on fire! But we don’t blame you if you thought it was; we were also confused at first at this borderline nightmarish display. This optical illusion is nothing to worry about. Once again, the sun thought it was being funny.

Image Credits: acmedoge/Reddit

Yep, the shining glass windows of this building were built in just the right spot to receive the full warmth of the setting sun’s rays. We wouldn’t be surprised if it took some getting used to for non-locals. Well, maybe for the locals, too.

Alien Cat

Behold Earth mortals! The wonder and awe of the mighty three-eared space cat and his celestial and galactic wisdom! That is, we assume that is what an actual sentient, space-traveling alien cat would have said upon landing. Probably, if it were anything like Earth cats.

Image Credits: androweeda/Reddit

But unfortunately, this is no alien cat. It’s just an ordinary terrestrial fluff ball that squished its face against this reflective surface. While it might not be real, it certainly is a cool idea and would easily fit into the Star Wars universe.

It’s All About Perspective

You would be surprised at the number of oddities you don’t see on a daily basis. Not just the things you weren’t paying attention to, but things that you sometimes just cannot see. This water droplet is one of them.

Image Credits: ClaimTheIntersection/Reddit

So, the poster of this image saw that they had spilled water onto their counter, thanks to a reflection spotted on the plastic shell of their coffee maker. A mess that they could just not see with the naked eye.

Music Makes The World Go Round

While outside with their fellow music players, this musician noticed something truly eye-catching about their trumpet, which they had placed down on the grass. Its shiny brass surface was just perfect for creating this brilliant illusion reflected off the polished instrument.

Image Credits: sssnark/Reddit

The metallic surface allowed the grass and everything around it to be reflected against it, creating a tiny and contained spherical world around its base. The magic of music is evidently not only limited to its sound but its form as well.

The Lady Of The Lake

Water and liquids offer some remarkably reflective surfaces, though you would probably need to ask someone who knows a bit more about science for an explanation as to why that is. That said, liquids really can offer some clear-as-glass reflections that are super cool!

Image Credits: adambombz/Reddit

This individual accidentally spilled some of their drink onto their table, leaving a very likely sticky mess behind. But it wasn’t a total disaster as it allowed them to see that the puddle created a perfect reflection of what they were watching.

Wacky Drinking Glass

Speaking of liquids offering a clear-as-glass surface, get a look at what happened to this glass of water that was left on the windowsill. The light from outside and the shuttered blinds made the glass look like it had a jagged shape.

Image Credits: brasher/Reddit

The separation between the blinds and the strips of light allowed the liquid inside the glass to take on a multilayered appearance that help to create this optical illusion. While a cup like this would be cool-looking, it wouldn’t be practical.

A Magic Door?

Now, this next one is seriously impressive and definitely worth talking about, or at least taking a moment to look at. The mighty rays of the sun shined through the decorative glass door of this home and created a dazzling work of art in the process.

Image Credits: embracingfit/Reddit

The sunray-made door has an almost magical quality to it, creating the impression that it could be some kind of magical doorway to another world. Similar to the magical wardrobe in C. S. Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia book series.

There Is Someone In The Mirror

What appears to be nothing more than a charming family photo is, in fact, a lot more interesting once you know a bit more about it. The upper portrait of the man in a blue shirt is actually not a picture.

Image Credits: drakanz/Reddit

That’s right, it is, in reality, the man’s reflection that happened to get captured in the hanging mirror when the photo was talking. Quite interesting, and also really convincing as well. But we do wonder why he looked so glum.

Aluminum Of Many Colors

Aluminum is a stunning metal that offers a great balance between strength and malleability, a balance that makes the metal a lot more versatile than others. Because of this, it should be no surprise why the metal is so popular.

Image Credits: Quasaris_Pulsarimis/Reddit

But what is truly interesting and worth taking a look at is this picture of a rack of hollowed-out aluminum bars. The sun shined through their empty forms, illuminating them and creating a breath-taking display of colors in the process.

Mutant Cat With Human Legs

We’ve seen reflections make some interesting and head-scratching images and illusions. But they can also create some hilarious ones as well. Take this bizarre image as an example, where the cat sitting outside lined up perfectly with the person standing inside.

Image Credits: musicformadventures/Reddit

The reflection resulted in a weird image of a cat hybrid with giant human shins and feet instead of a normal cat body. Can you just imagine if something like this was real and how weird they would look while walking about!

Is The Sky Glitching?

We wouldn’t be surprised if sometimes someone truly got a fright with some of these wacky illusions and reflections. This person, for instance, noticed that the ceiling lights within their building were being reflected against the glass, creating an interesting image.

Image Credits: RoosterjayP/Reddit

Thanks to the lights, it looked like there were large white-yellowish blocks that broke through the skyline. Kind of like when you are playing a video game and the sky has a few graphical texture glitches that keep tearing the visuals.

The Aliens Are Back! Wait, Are They?

Yes, you probably already know what it is by now. The neon, and definitely bizarre, lights of the restaurant were shining against the glass windows, which the customers might have mistaken for a hovering alien spacecraft. The cloudy night sky certainly gives it the right atmosphere.

Image Credits: fweng/Reddit

There is just something just so perfect about this image. The way the light is hanging just above the building across the street. The fact that it was just the right color to make it look otherworldly. Just everything was perfect!

A Nature Themed Watch

While sitting outdoors and enjoying the trees and garden, this individual decided to take a photo of their watch. Not terribly interesting, but what was worth documenting was what the camera decided to focus on instead, creating something quite surprising.

Image Credits: GiveMeYourGuitar/Reddit

The camera had decided to focus on the hanging tree branches that were reflected onto the watch’s glass instead of focusing on the actual watch. While it is certainly a bit too busy looking, we don’t hate the idea of the design.

Decoder Can

Reflections are also capable of transforming the most unassuming objects into something just a bit more interesting. Take this can, for instance, which, when shined upon, creates an elaborate and intricate design that looks like some kind of sci-fi decoder or code wheel.

Image Credits: ExtraTurnip/Reddit

Sadly, the decoder ring is just the sun reflecting against the can’s shiny surface and illuminating the patterns and numbers printed onto its wrapping. But it really does look like something out of a space movie like Star Wars, don’t you think?

Waiter, There Is A Spider In My Spoon

There is no beating around the bush with this one. Spiders are just creepy; no argument about it. Yes, they are useful for getting rid of other annoying bugs, but there is just something so unnerving about them. Especially when it comes to our food.

Image Credits: Panishev/Reddit

That said, even arachnophiles might get quite a fright if they saw this spider laying on their spoon! That is, if it was a spider. No, what we are seeing is the wooden frame of the umbrella that is hovering overhead.

Looks Like The Aliens Are Back

Imagine looking up one day only to see that there is a giant hollowed-out square ominously floating above your city like this giant white square here. One would think that an alien ship, like those from Arrival, had come to visit.

Image Credits: dmazzarin/Reddit

This interesting visual is again thanks to our trusty friends: indoor lighting and clear glass windows. Meaning we don’t have to worry about dealing with some weirdo aliens just yet. Wonder if stuff like this inspired some alien fiction writers?

Art Imitating Life

This had to be one of the best optical tricks we have seen so far. It is a bit confusing to look at, at first, but it truly is brilliant. The swimmers and boats we see in the water are actually just reflections.

Image Credits: Baker359/Reddit

Yep, the artist decided to create this mural onto the blue house we can see in the background. But in order to achieve the mind-boggling effect we see on the water’s surface, they had to paint the mural upside down.

Double Vision

Nope, this is not a pair of joke glasses, although they really do look like one. They are just a pair of simple sunglasses that caught the reflection of the overhead light. Something you would never be able to tell at first glance.

Image Credits: CowInTrouble/Reddit

They even look like they could have been animated; that’s how convincing they look. While we wouldn’t want to wear a pair of those regularly when going out, they would definitely be welcome for a costume party or crazy events.

A World Within A Droplet

Interesting and captivating things — be they buildings, paints, or elements of nature — don’t always have to be of great size. Sometimes the smallest of creations hold the most wonder. We only need to take the time to find them.

Image Credits: GreenCricket/Reddit

Take a look at this stunning photo of an ordinary branch with a water droplet bubbled on top of it. Take a close look at the tiny forest contained within it, a reflection created from the nearby trees. Truly marvelous!

Perspective Is A Ghost’s Best Friend

Just like the previous image, you would be surprised at what you can notice, sometimes, if you only take a moment to stop and look around. This lady found just that when she decided to rest by an outside bench.

Image Credits: ScummyMoney/Reddit

She was seated outside and next to a nearby office, where the clear glass doors provided the perfect surface on which her reflection could be cast. This trick of the light makes it look like a ghost was sitting inside the office.

Le Car Café

If you’re like us, you might be a little confused about why this car is selling a staggering range of pastries and goods out of its trunk. While selling food out of a vehicle is nothing new, the idea of getting it from a trunk is a bit odd.

Image Credits: Flynnbojangles/Reddit

Well don’t worry, the world hasn’t gone completely crazy. The food is just a reflection of the display inside of the coffee shop. Although it is really intriguing how clear and defined the reflection is. Not to mention its perfect fit inside the car.

From The Ocean To The Stars

This stunning photo was taken on the day of SpaceX’s launch a few years ago. The skilled photographer decided to lay in wait, holding out for the right moment to take the snap as the space rocket shot into space. The wait was definitely worth it.

Image Credits: johnkphotos/Reddit

This long exposure shot was able to capture not only the ray of heat that traced the rocket’s ascendance but also the mirrored ray that was reflected onto the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, creating a truly magical image. It looks more like a painting than a real photograph, doesn’t it?

Who Knew Capybaras Wore Clothes

A stroll around the zoo again brings us to the capybara exhibit. Capybaras, for those unaware, are the largest species of rodents in the world and are native to South America. And as you can see, they love to swim.

Image Credits: crinnoire/Reddit

But there’s more to the photo than just their love of water. A perfectly timed photo captured the jacket of a nearby child that was reflected against the glass enclosure, making it look like the capybara was wearing one of his own!

The Empty Trampoline

Water really seems to enjoy creating a scene that makes us scratch our heads. An apparent drizzle or downpour seems to have collected a fair bit of water onto the surface of this garden trampoline, transforming it in the process.

Image Credits: huntermanhlh/Reddit

The ordinarily solid, or whole, trampoline looks like it had its center cut out. Only it hadn’t. The “hole” is, in fact, the wooden wall next to the trampoline being reflected on the surface of the collected water. It’s incredible how the reflected planks line up perfectly.

The Girl With The Pearl Earring In The Backyard

One day, the owners of this house noticed that the program they were watching had reflected its image onto the glass screen door. The resulting image made it look like someone was staring at them over the fence in their backyard.

Image Credits: SleepingLesson/Reddit

The image of the person in question is known as the Girl with a Pearl Earring, a famous 17th-century painting by acclaimed Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. However, the painting only came to be known by its present name in the 20th century.

That’s One Way To Get People To Read

We ask that you cast your mind back to the image of the house, which featured an upside-down mural that reflected onto the water. This next image embodies the same principle, with the sign only being readable if you look at its reflection.

Image Credits: halfchance100/Reddit

The sign reads, “The remains of a wooden icebreaker submerged,” with the sign’s reflection hovering over the site of said icebreaker. Wooden icebreakers were heavy wooden boats that hulled onto the ice and used to break them by rocking them back and forth.

Honey, There’s A UFO In The Cupboard Again

Optical illusions are not only fun but also fascinating, providing hours’ worth of entertaining head rubbing. This next image is a fine example, transforming a seemingly ordinary cupboard stuffed with plates into the docking station of a hovering UFO spaceship!

Image Credits: LaztheFox/Reddit

The outline of the tiny UFO was formed by the rays of light that reflected off of the porcelain plates below it. It must have been a bit confusing when the homeowners first saw it and while trying to find its source.

The Sky Is Falling!

Imagine stepping outside for a stroll or to run some errands, only to then stumble upon a piece of the sky in the street! Fortunately, such things are impossible unless you live in The Truman Show. But that doesn’t make this reflection any less dizzying!

Image Credits: 9999monkeys/Reddit

It appears that these street hole covers were so clean that the pristine sky could reflect its dazzling image onto them as if they were mirrors — a surprise to be sure, considering how dirty and positively filth most streets can be.

Talk About A Smart Car

Renting and driving a car in a different country can always be a little intimidating. For one, you might feel nervous and uncomfortable with the driving norms in that country. For another, they could be driving on the complete opposite lane.

Image Credits: lambokid/Reddit

While this can be daunting for most, a car rental business in Ireland used a clever reflection trick to allay those fears. As shown in the picture, they placed a sticker inside the car that would reflect off the windshield, showing the driver which side of the road to drive on.

Sun Science

As we’ve seen, the sun is capable of doing some wacky and amazing things. Take this bizarre display, for example, where the sun managed (somehow) to not only create a shape onto the stone floors but to form a perfect double helix.

Image Credits: LuminousCode/Reddit

We have no idea how it did that, and we hopefully aren’t the only ones. The double helix is basically the structure that forms our biological DNA, helping to give it form and give us life. In a way, our DNA allows us to comprehend this DNA.

What Are We Looking At?

The world is undoubtedly a strange place, made even stranger by weird things like this that seem to pop up everywhere. This visually challenging reflection may be hard to recognize, but it’s simply two shopping carts floating in the swamp.

Image Credits: Jeckell-exe/Reddit

The unidentifiable quality of the two carts is thanks to their reflection cast on the surface of the water, making them look weirdly shaped and like they are hanging in the air. We do wonder how they got there, though.

Sir! Where Is Your Body!?

Ghosts and the world of the supernatural have long been a source of interest for many of us. Those of us who hold burning passions to find out more about this weird world and the truth behind the paranormal try to look for supporting evidence in our daily lives.

Image Credits: TheSh0rt1/Reddit

It should go without saying that these same people were briefly excited over this next image before reality sunk in. What looks like half-man half-ghost was just the result of a weird reflection. Nothing supernatural, just our vision playing tricks on us.

The Watch To The Regional Manager

Watches are a timeless (get it?) accessory that is multifunctional, giving us a useful timepiece or fashionable item that uplifts any outfit while adding some maturity to it. While this person’s watch was anything but fashionable, it certainly was hilarious!

Image Credits: Snbridenbaugh/Reddit

While relaxing in front of the TV, the poster noticed that their boyfriend’s watch was catching the reflection of the TV. The watch’s smooth surface perfectly captured the depressed and defeated look of Michael Scott from the iconic sitcom, The Office.

Air Balloon Shenanigans

Hot air ballooning is certainly a more fabulous, if odd, means to travel and explore the skies in style. A means that allows for a more intimate exploration and admiration of the sky that planes just cannot offer. Seeing the Earth from above can give us a whole new perspective.

Image Credits: MybellyYourback/Reddit

While this lovely couple was out in the skies on a balloon ride of their own, they noticed that the multicolored and spiral-designed balloon was casting its reflection onto the waters below, creating a weirdly colored whirlpool of sorts. They certainly couldn’t see that angle from a plane.

Decorative Vultures

Vultures get a bit of a bad rep, always seen as the filthy scavengers of the wild world, circling in wait for their next meal. Their natural behavior has entered our language to describe shameless opportunists who behave in a distasteful manner.

Image Credits: jollytoes/Reddit

While vultures are certainly not the most charming birds to look upon, these two must be an exception to the rule! The stained-glass window reflected its intricate designs onto the backs of these vultures. Almost looks like they are wearing backpacks.

Advertising Is Hard

Advertising is arguably the lifeblood for many companies and businesses, as seen almost everywhere all the time from plastered billboards to TV ads to web ads that cover most websites. But advertising isn’t always done well, as you’ll see soon.

Image Credits: hatefullhippo/Reddit

The poster most likely was fairly well designed, but it was completely ruined by the poster reflecting against the transparent wall, creating a bizarre-looking and cross-eyed poster. For what it is worth, it shows that you should always take everything into account when creating designs like this.

What Sky?

Now for the final bit of trickery. Cast your eyes towards the seemingly deserted alleyway that goes on for miles and is framed in by sand-colored buildings with the clear blue sky overhead. However, things aren’t always as they seem.

Image Credits: TG–/Reddit

This seemingly endless alleyway isn’t all that long. You see, what looks like the clear sky above is actually just the sky reflecting against the building up ahead. If you look closely, you can see the windows and gridlines of the building.