Mathematician Kokichi Sugihara, of Meiji University in Japan, once again proves he’s the greatest illusion inventor of our time. Instead of just creating mind-melting images, he creates real-life 3D objects that appear to ignore the laws of our universe. How can this arrow, that perpetually points right, no matter how you turn it, actually exist?

The illusion still works even when the arrow is placed next to a mirror, with the reflected version instead always pointing left, while the real one continues to point right. If you’re happy to be blissfully ignorant about how this illusion works, then don’t scroll any further. But later in the video Sugihara reveals the clever trick, and it, disappointingly, doesn’t have anything to do with magic.

Sugihara uses his skills as a mathematician to design uniquely-shaped 3D objects that can change their appearance based on the angle you look at them. When viewed from above, this ‘arrow’ is a perfectly symmetrical, but ambiguous shape. From a different perspective, however, the undulations on top of it make one side appear to have more of a point than the other, and when your brain tries to match what it’s seeing to something it’s seen before, a pointing arrow is the obvious choice.

[Instagram via Reddit]

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