Fact Check

Does This Cow Have an 'Optical Illusion' on Its Face?

An image appearing to show the profile view of two human faces on a cow's face has its origins all the way back to the year 2007.

Published Nov. 4, 2015

Updated Jan. 16, 2020
A photograph shows an "optical illusion" with markings on a cow's face that resemble two people in profile.

An image purportedly showing a cow with a unique facial marking resembling a famous "optical illusion" involving two people viewed in profile (or a lamp) began recirculating online after it was posted to the web site Reddit on Nov. 4, 2015.

While the image was based on an authentic photograph of a cow, the picture was an altered one created for the Worth1000.com web site's "Illusions" Photoshop contest in 2007.

The image was previously posted as a meme by QVC host Carolyn Gracie.

The original picture was taken in 2005 by photographer Fleur Suijten:

cow face

Several digitally altered images created for the web site Worth1000.com have been passed around the Internet as authentic over the years, such as a purported photograph of the world's smallest cat, pictures of giant human skeletons, and an image of a zippered tongue.


Jan. 16, 2020: A GIF was added to show comparison.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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