Optical Illusion of 'Headless' Security Guard Officer Baffles Internet

A photo of a man has recently gone viral on Reddit after an optical illusion made him appear headless. Since it was shared on Monday by Reddit user u/NixothePaladin, the post has now amassed 11,700 upvotes.

The picture was shared on the r/confusing_perspective subreddit, captioned "headless security guard officer." In the photo, he appears to be sitting on a chair, with his head tilted backwards in a way that it actually fools the eye into believing that the man is headless.

Some 141 users took to the comment section to discuss the post and several saw this as a perfect opportunity to throw in a few puns.

"Must have head out and forgot he left his body home," one user wrote.

Another commenter said: "He could never get ahead in life."

"Well he's clearly not the head of security around here," another Reddit user added.

Meanwhile, others had trouble understanding the reason why the man appeared headless in the photo. "I'm still confused," one user shared.

Another user compared the guard to a turtle, suggesting that his head had sunk back inside the shell.

In order to explain it further, one commenter even created a Paint image to demonstrate the guard's sitting position. "For anyone who doesn't see it, the top part of his neck is actually the bottom of his chin and mouth. His head is resting backwards 90-degrees from his body," the comment reads.

Often described as visual illusions, optical illusions mislead us into seeing something that is not really there and vice versa. This is usually caused by certain positioning of the objects in the image, the lighting and other factors.

According to the New York Museum of Illusions, optical illusions can be divided into one of the three categories: physiological, cognitive or literal. The former occurs when our eyes are exposed to factors like brightness, tilt or movement for a prolonged period of time, after which when you look away, you will still likely experience the image to an extent.

Meanwhile, cognitive illusions rely on an individual's perception of the world. In those type of illusions, every person sees an image differently.

Literal illusions are created without applying any of the cognitive physiological illusion traits. They're usually designed by artists, often combining smaller images to make up a large one.

A Reddit Post Had People Baffled
Stock image of three confused friends watching media content on a laptop sitting on a couch in the living room. An optical illusion made a security guard appear headless. Stock / Getty Images Plus

Unsurprisingly, optical illusions often become viral, confusing social media users on the Internet. Not so long ago, Newsweek reported on a mind-bending illusion built into the city's skyline that makes the top of one of the buildings look like a "play button."

Newsweek also covered a viral Twitter post, which featured a "kittensnake" optical illusion of a cat, making it look like a serpent. Back in March, another Reddit post went viral, featuring an optical illusion that looks like a pair of pants made from grass, confusing hundreds of users.