22 Shadows That’ll Make You Do A Double Take

Shadows can create some pretty impressive optical illusions. Shadow play is fun when you’re a kid, but the following pictures prove that shadows are no-less fun when you’re a grown up.

Shadows are formed by blocked light. Light rays travel in straight lines, and whenever a solid object gets in the way, it’ll stop light rays from continuing on their path.

A shadow’s size and shape are dependent on the position and size of the light source in comparison to the object.

Some shadows are boring and straightforward. Others are rather poetic and creative, which makes us think that some shadows have a mind of their own and may actually get tired of following around the same people and doing predictable things.

To see what we mean, check out these impressive shadow pictures that’ll make you do a double take.

1. Children’s Shadows on a Playground

Katrin Korfmann

Your shadow is the longest in the early morning and in the late afternoon when the sun is at its lowest point in the sky. So, if you want your shadow to look like Slender Man, give it a go early or late in the day.

2. A Shadow Cast By Mt. Rainier

The coolest part? This photo was taken from someone’s backyard… now that’s a view!


In the afternoon, when the sun is directly above you, your shadow will leave your side momentarily. With the sun shining directly from above, there is nothing to get in its way and cast a shadow.

3. This Tree’s Shadow is Everything


Invented sometime around 1500 BC, sundials are the most primitive form of clocks; they depend on shadows formed by the sun to determine what time of day it is.

4. The Shadow Cast by this Truck Says “Hi”


Over 2,000 years ago, around 250 BCE, Eratosthenes, the head librarian of the Great Library of Alexandria, became the first person to closely calculate the actual size of the Earth. He used simple geometric equations and measurements of shadows to do so.

5. These Bikes’ Shadows Prevented the Snow From Melting

Anything can cast a shadow – living or non-living. The only objects that don’t have shadows are transparent things, like glass, which light can shine through.

Balloons and wax paper are other examples of transparent objects that don’t always cast shadows.

6. The Shadow of This Plane Formed a Rainbow of Light Around It


The smaller the angle between an elongated object and the direction of the light, the shorter the shadow will be. Oppositely, the smaller the angle between the direction of the light and the surface on which the shadow occurs, the longer the shadow will be.

7. This Cat Looks Like a Mouse In His Shadow


Objects with curved surfaces produce even more distortions – creating beautifully patterned shadows. While multiple light sources will cast multiple shadows.

8. Tree Leaves are Responsible for these Unique Shadows During a Solar Eclipse


Interestingly, light and shadows are one in the same – they are not opposites. A shadow is simply the difference between a particular light intensity and a lower light intensity next to it.

Essentially, light passing the object will be brighter than the light that is blocked.

9. The Swing of Death

Proof that some shadows have a dark sense of humor…


There is still some light in the shadows. Since light bounces off of almost anything, some light will be bounced into shadow areas. This lightens the shadows, so they are not completely dark.

10. This Spider Doesn’t Look So Slender and Sleek In His Shadow


Hard light is when direct light forms sharp edges around shadows. The shadow will abruptly stop, and the light begins.

With little diffusion, a more intense shadow is produced because there is no diffused light bouncing into the shadow area to lighten it.

That being said, hard light paired with little diffusion produces well-defined shadows.

11. This Bag of Cat Food Looks Like a Cat Begging for Food


Photographers must be very familiar with how light and shadow work, as it can make or break their photographs.

Photographers mainly work with light intensity, color, direction, and hardness. When combined, these components produce high quality lighting for picture-perfect photos.

12. Shadow Creates Infinite Staircase


13. An Enlightening Form of Shadow Play


14. “Sitting on the couch with a headache and an ice pack on my head when my girlfriend tells me not to move”

That you, Donald Trump?


15. Plaid Shadows in Scotland


16. “Found The Eye Of Sauron While Wine Tasting”


17. A Cuddly Little Sundog!

To others it might be a ghost dog…


18. Do you see the hidden heart?

“Proposed to my girlfriend and realized there is a heart in our shadows.”


19. Glass of Juice Creates the Shadow of a Rose


20. The Sinister Shadow of Einstein


21. The Ultimate Prankster Shadow

“My friend’s golf team photo had some unfortunate shadows”


22. When Your Shadow Takes on a Mind of its Own


h/t: Bored Panda