Trick Your Eyes With Amazing Optical Illusions At The Imagination Station’s Rooms of Illusion Exhibit

. February 13, 2020.
Photos by Courtney Probert
Photos by Courtney Probert

Everything the brain learns and processes about the world is first dictated in great detail by our eyes, and it’s often more than obvious that our eyes can’t always be trusted to relay reliable information. But sometimes, that optical failure can be an absolute riot, and the Imagination Station of Toledo is counting on that with their latest temporary exhibit, Rooms of Illusion.

The exhibit, which opens Friday, February 14, consists of four rooms, each containing a different optical illusion.

Earlier today, we took a sneak peek at the visual hilarity.


The Rotation Recognition Room consists of four walls covered in what can only be described as “70’s” colors in funky patterns and two spinning wheels in the center. The way to truly experience the sensory nuttiness is to sit on these wheels and spin yourself into oblivion, which we did. Afterward, dizzily watch the room before you come to swirling, twisting life.

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The Light Room is very simple— a wall full of photos that each contain three separate images on each panel in three different colors. As the various shades of the colored light shift in and out, the reflection of the colored images on the walls changes, sometimes drastically. What was a giraffe one second is now a human skeleton the next. It’s fascinating and wonky fun.


The Reflection Room, as it suggests, is a room filled with infinitely reflecting mirrors. The second you step inside, your likeness will be reflected no less than a hundred times at just about any angle. All angles, all directions, a hundred different sides of you. It’s a great photo op.


The Obliteration Room, inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s artwork (currently on view at the Toledo Museum of Art), is a pure, stark white room. Not a speck of color to be seen… yet, but that is going to change. In fact, it will transform every time you step inside of it. The idea is to place a colored dot somewhere inside, with the hope that the room will be altered by the time the exhibit is over. Leave your mark on the exhibit just as we did.

shrinking-chair-illusionWhile technically not a room of its own, the Beuchet Chair illusion is one of the more oddball attractions. Two separate wooden pieces, about eight feet apart, form a complete chair when viewed straight on from a certain distance away. The key is for a person to stand in two separate places next to each piece so the viewer will see a tiny person standing on a giant chair far away, and then next to a much smaller, albeit the exact same chair, as they come closer. The illusion demonstrates the wonders of depth perception and again, how our brains, often incorrectly, communicate sensory details with our eyes.

The Rooms of Illusion is on view throughout spring. Access to the exhibit is included with admission to the science museum: $13, for ages 13-64. $12, for ages 65+. $11, kids ages 3-12. Free for children ages 2 and under.

On Saturdays, all Lucas County residents receive a $2 discount and FREE admission for kids 12 and under with paid adult admission, limit two children per adult.

The Imagination Station Toledo
1 Discovery Way, 419-244-2674.