The most baffling optical illusions of 2020

Tiago Silva's photos

  • "Everything is cake" was an internet trend where cakes were decorated to look exactly like everyday objects.
  • Joey King wore a dress with a hypnotizing pattern to the 2020 Golden Globe Awards in January.
  • A man went to the Museum of Illusions solo and took amusing photos with employees to demonstrate the exhibits.
  • Other perfectly timed photos taken this year left us scratching our heads.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

From the "everything is cake" internet trend to Joey King's hypnotic dress at the Golden Globes, these optical illusions kept us guessing in 2020.

Here are nine mind-boggling optical illusions from this year.

Joey King wore an Iris van Herpen dress with a hypnotizing pattern to the 2020 Golden Globe Awards in January.

King, who was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress for Hulu's "The Act," wore a dress with a swirling pattern that appeared to move all on its own.

Climate activists in Berlin employed an optical illusion to make their point about coal mining.

A mat on the ground made it look like they were standing at the edge of a giant crater in the ground.

The "everything is cake" trend caught on in 2020.

This year, Twitter and TikTok were flooded with videos of seemingly everyday objects that turned out to be made from cake.

British tattoo artist Ben Cullen, also known as The Bake King, went from creating art on skin to inking up icing with hyper-realistic cakes, like this salad cake.

This isn't actually a peach — it's a cake made by Natalie Sideserf of Sideserf Cake Studio.

Sideserf puts her bachelor's degree in fine art to good use making amazingly realistic cakes.

She's made everything from cakes that look like fruits and vegetables, which she calls her "still life cakes," to busts of famous TV characters.

Sideserf's work earned her a two-season show on Food Network called "Texas Cake House," and she has been a guest judge on competitions like "Chopped Desserts!" and "Nailed It!"

Tattoo artist Yatzil Elizalde specializes in trippy, double-vision designs she calls the "Blurry Effect."

The owner of White Light tattoo studio in Hermosillo, Mexico, Elizalde considers her tattoos optical illusions: "They definitely accomplish that visual effect," she told Insider earlier this year.

A giant face designed by Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa made people's heads spin in downtown Toronto.

Titled "Dreaming," the sculpture's appearance changes depending on where the viewer is standing. It can look wide or thin, hard or soft, tall or short.

Patriots quarterback Cam Newton created an optical illusion when he put on his helmet during practice, making teammate Ryan Izzo look headless.

The 2020 NFL season looked different due to the coronavirus pandemic, with games held in empty stadiums.

When a man went to the Museum of Illusions in New York City alone, employees walked around with him to make the illusions work in a series of amusing photos.

Before the Museum of Illusions closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Florida firefighter Micah Amey ducked into the museum in February to escape the cold and check out the mind-boggling exhibits.

There was just one problem — many of the illusions need two people to work, or at least one person to take photos.

Two employees offered to help him out. They followed him throughout the museum to line up the shots and snap photos of Amey in all of the displays.

"They ended up turning it around for me," he said of the two employees who helped. "Top-notch customer service."

Photographer Tiago Silva takes mind-bending photos that look Photoshopped but aren't.

Silva creates his photos through practical means while on location, instead of using photo-editing software. He spoke to Insider in 2020 about his process, explaining, "Most of the time it's very spontaneous — when I'm walking through the city, traveling, or at the beach."

In a photo entitled "Complete the Puzzle," he saw a semi-collapsed sea cliff and found a rock that roughly matched both the cliff's color and shape, making it the perfect "missing piece."

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