There is at least one mirror in the photograph and the answers range between two and fourteen girls.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 23, 2020. It has since been updated.
Every once in a while comes along an optical illusion that makes you do a double-take. Much like the blue-gold dress confusion, the latest illusion doing the rounds of the internet has left people scratching their heads. The image was first shared on Instagram and appeared to be a long line of girls sitting alongside each other with their heads turned in different directions. The photo was taken by Swiss photographer Tiziana Vergari and uploaded in 2016 but years later, people still can't make up their minds on how many girls feature in the photo, reported Express. It is evident that there's a mirror at play in the image which makes it even more difficult to determine the number of people in the photo.
Many have taken a stab at the answer with the general consensus being that the number of girls in the photo ranges from anywhere between two to 14. The photo has gained the attention of many and has been liked more than 23,000 times. Tiziana Vergari had submitted the photo as part of an Instagram weekend hashtag project, captioning the image: Same but different | My entry #whpidentity for Instagram. The photo that captured the imagination of the internet went on to be nominated before winning "Instagram Photo of the Year," according to Simplemost. Shorty Awards seeks to honor the "best of social media" and explained why the images selected by their panel stand out from the rest. "There are over 600 million Instagram users, and the number of images posted to the app is almost endless, so narrowing them down is no small feat. But our nominees for the Instagram Photo of the Year are those indelible images that you can’t forget once you see them, tapping into the spirit of a moment in a way others do not. They are, simply, the best," reads a description of the shorty awards.
The image was posted on Reddit where Redditors discussed the illusion and tried to take guess the number of girls in the image. To many, the obvious answer seemed two. They reasoned that the two girls were sitting between 2 mirrors which meant their images were endlessly reflected, causing confusion. Up to 14 girls could be seen in the image posted by Tiziana Vergari. The discussion even split along the lines of how many 'real' girls were there in the image and how many were 'reflections.' "Of course, there are two live girls and two mirrors, ( one photographer, and a clown in the other room, that can not be seen. ) And no one is going to argue the philosophical point that the question vaguely asked: "How many girls are in this picture"? Not: How many Real living girls are in the picture, and how many are reflected images? Reddit members are way too smart. I am starting to feel bad. This was a test about perception. Some have argued that the "5th" girl L to R could not be the same as the first because of the eyes. It is the angles, of course," explained u/7xlem7.
Some argued that the photographer had placed two sets of identical twins to confuse the viewer, which meant there were four 'real' girls. "There's four. Look closely...look closer.. Two sets of twins (or girls that look very similar) and a mirror....very nicely done photograph," wrote DvsDominus. Another agreed with them, reasoning: "I should mention the slight difference in hair from the first girl to the 4th/5th reflection. Not to mention the darkness around the eyes. Also, first has a longer face while the other has a shorter, less sharp jawline," said sensiblynonsensical. While Redditor had their own fun figuring out the answer, the photographer confirmed that there were just two girls, and that both were his daughters. Now, all we need to find out is if Vergari does indeed have two sets of twins, much like Christian Bale's twin characters from the movie Prestige, and if they plan to have a career in magic.