Love optical illusions? A new one on TikTok is going viral — and it’s making us absolutely freak out. 

Optical illusions are always fun, especially when thinking about how our brains process things differently. Few can forget the “blue or gold dress” dilemma back in 2015, which divided the world more than any of the world cups in history, or Kanye West’s claim that Beyoncé deserved the 2009 best female video award.

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If you’re still steadfast on how you see the iconic blue-gold dress, you might find yourself just as obsessed with TikTok’s latest viral optical illusion. This time, the image in question is a pair of grainy, gray photos with the numbers “03” and “20” on them (or not).

As explained by TikTok extraordinaire @taylornikolai, otherwise known as the self-proclaimed “CEO of reactions,” the image somehow stays exactly the same even when you turn your phone around.


Your brain changes the numbers… 😳 #opticalillusions #opticalillusion #illusion #illusions #mindblown #mindblowing

♬ Violin – Grooving Gecko

Nikolai explains that this optical illusion “blows your mind” and that not even he knows “how this works.” If you flip your phone upside down, the “03” and “20” each magically change into one another, making the image look exactly the same no matter the direction. 

The user exclaims, “How does your brain do that?” and we’re just as confused. Joining the very perplexed club? Pretty much all of TikTok.

One user commented, “FOR EVERYONE THAT DOESNT KNOW WHATS GOING ON: I don’t know either….” and LOL, same. Another commenter wrote, “Wait, what!?…..what just happened? 😳 🤯.”

Still, other viewers seem to have it figured out. One user explained that the illusion has to do with how “the numbers are pixilated” while another says, “One pixel in the center is offset on purpose to trick your brain.” 

Even more users report they can still see both at the same time, with one TikToker writing: “Can see both at the same time and can switch which one i want to see 🤷🏻‍♀️.” All we have to say to that? We’re feeling even more confused about that possibility right about now!