The Elephant Illusion

There’s something not quite right about the elephant below. Can you see it? How many legs does it really have?

Elephant Leg Illusion

The elephant illusion is an adaptation of the original which was created by Roger Shepard and published in his book Mind Sights (1990, WH Freeman&Co).

Shepard calls this type of illustration a Figure-Ground Impossibility because it

depicts what may at first glance appear to be something that could exist as a real object in the three-dimensional world.

See a video demonstrating the effect at The Cognitive Psychology Blog by Hugo Schouppe.


  1. Kristy says:

    It can only have one leg and that’s the back one. all of the others have had their feet moved. its to do with how we se depth and figure ground perception.
    (Psychology College Student)

  2. The answer is 4 legs but 5 feet right?