A Brilliantly Disconcerting Optical Illusion Using Disembodied Human Fingers That Can Be Manipulated

Disembodied Finger Illusion

Japanese professor Kenri Kodaka of Nagoya City University has created “Bodiject Fingers”, a rather disconcerting optical illusion in which disembodied human fingers appear out of a wooden table. These fingers are easily manipulated into shapes and movement without any indication of pain.

This illusion was a top ten finalist of the 2019 Best Illusion of the Year Contest (previously).

This kind of thought experiment enables us to become aware of the fundamental difficulty of detaching ownership from our body voluntarily. “Bodiject Fingers” challenges such a cognitive barrier. This illusion is easily experienced by allowing a portion of the fingers to pass through an opening under the slightly raised mirror. Seeing and operating the symmetrically-deformed fingers in this specific layout inspires a weird feeling where the fingers are transformed into strange objects or creatures…

Here’s the illusion from another angle.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.