Do You See a Dog or a Clown in the Photo? Answer to Viral Illusion Explained

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Do you see a dog or a clown?


Do you see a dog or a clown?

Do you see a dog or a creepy clown in the photo above? A picture is going viral on social media that some people think shows a nice dog and other people think shows a very creepy clown. It’s another “Yanny or Laurel” or “What color dress is this?” type of question that people can never quite agree on. But this one is actually a little easier than some of those viral trends because it really does have a “correct” answer.

People Are Positive They’re Seeing Either a Creepy Clown or a Dog

People are positive (or should I say “pawsitive”) that they’re seeing either a very creepy clown or a dog. Here’s the photo again, as shared on Twitter.

It’s unclear where the photo originated from, but it’s gone viral now on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms.

I’ve been able to see both, although for me, the creepy clown looked more like a crawling zombie (kind of like the one in the first episode of The Walking Dead.) Because I can see both, I’ve broken down where the eyes, nose, and ears are on each version to help you see both too.

First, here’s where the face is on the clown version. The “clown” (more like a zombie to me) is actually crawling with his stomach on the ground and his arms on either side of his face. So that’s how that version works, at least how it appeared to me the first time I looked at the photo. The dog’s snout doubles as a face with eyes and a mouth if you’re seeing the clown version.

DwilsonClown version of the photo.

Now here’s how you can see the dog.

DwilsonDog version.

The dog version is harder to unsee once you see it. And it also appears fairly clear that this photo was originally simply a photo of a black dog (likely a black lab) with white fur around his mouth and nose. But because the photo is so grainy and the dog’s features blend together, it’s easy for your brain to try to put together the pattern in a way that’s slightly off and looks like a creepy clown or zombie instead.

There’s a lively Reddit discussion about the clown vs dog photo. Some people can only see one and not the other, no matter how hard they try. One person said they can only see “what looks like a child with clown paint.” Others say that if you turn your phone sideways, you’ll be able to see whichever version you can’t see normally.

I noticed that if you view a smaller version of the photo, it might be easier to see the clown if you’re stuck on only seeing the dog.

The Debates Are Similar to the Dress and the Yanny or Laurel Debates

The passionate debates are reminiscent of the Yanny vs Laurel debate from 2018, when everyone couldn’t decide if an audio file was saying Yanny or Laurel. This also brings back memories of the dress debate, where people couldn’t decide if the dress was white and gold or black and blue.

Some suggest that if you can’t see the clown and only see the dog, if you cover the top part of the picture and tilt your head slightly, you’ll be able to see the clown more easily.

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