Optical Illusion of Cat With Arm Going 'Through' It Baffles the Internet

Sometimes a photograph can be so visually confusing that it leaves the internet scratching its collective head to make sense of what is actually portrayed.

This is known as an optical illusion— something that tricks the eye into seeing something different to what has been captured.

And a recent photograph of a cat being held by a woman is just that.

In the snap, posted to Reddit by user Francis__99, a fluffy cat is being held by a woman and it looks as though her arm is going straight through the cat's body and out the front of its chest.

The image, shared to the discussion-based site on October 14, shows the woman looking down at the animal, who is looking startled at the camera.

Francis__99 has captioned the perplexing picture, writing: "My sister's hand passing through my cat's body."

The snap, which can be viewed here, has gone viral on Reddit, garnering more than 25,000 upvotes, there are nearly 600 comments, which highlight people's bemusement.

One person, for_f*ckssake, mused: "Her hand is on the right side of the cat with the cats arm over it . Or it's edited cos it looks strange."

Cat optical illusion
This photograph of a cat has been confusing people on the internet. Can you tell what's going on? Reddit/Francis__99

Another social media user, BonelessPickle, also thought it could be edited, asking: "Yeah plus the angle of the hand? Her arm is confusingly short. I say probably edited."

Grapesfrompluto admitted: "I still don't understand this photo."

Another theory was that there are in fact two cats depicted in the image, with Mutcholoko32 typing: "Yes, now I get it, there are two cats. She's holding one in her right arm, and the other is on her hand and kinda leaning backwards."

However the same Redditor later backtracked by saying: "Yeah, that's probably just one cat. I sent this to a friend who has a cat and she confirmed that it is very possible to do this."

Anozium explained: "If you look closely, you can see a section of white 'fur' to the lower left of the 'hole" that looks like a different texture. My guess is that is a white sleeve that blends with the fur of the cat. Her hand is in a weird angle too."

But what is actually happening in the photograph? Well, Francis__99 went on to revealed to Newsweek: "Also many people me wrote to me and also under Marvin's picture that the photo was photoshopped, I used a fake hand, I used two cats, but I can assure that the picture it's just real.

"My sister's hand goes under my cat's right armpit, and the fur of his belly touch[es] the one from the arm, leaving the hand of my sister all alone in his chest."

UPDATE 10/20/21 4:57 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include comments from Francis__99.