A young woman or an elderly one? What you see in this image reveals your age

An old image created by William Ely Hill and published in the American magazine Puck in 1915 went viral on social media due to the different perceptions it could have.

With the clever title of “My Wife and My Mother-in-Law,” the optical illusion shows either the drawing of a young lady turning away or the profile of a many-years older woman staring to the left of the portrait.

If people pay attention to the details, they can quickly see both images (one at a time) and tell them apart. However, a study conducted at Flinders University in Australia revealed that the first woman people see "reveals" their age.


Two psychology professors carried out the investigation for which they had 393 participants divided into 242 males and 141 females. The ages varied, too, from 18 to 68, being 32 the median.

The researchers showed each person the image of “My Wife and My Mother-in-Law” for half a second and then asked them to tell the gender and age of the person from the drawing.


At first, it seemed like the majority of the participants saw the young woman first. However, when the professors separated the oldest 10% and the youngest 10% of those surveyed, they discovered that the older ones saw the old lady first while the youngest saw the young one.

Researchers finally determined that people between 18 and 30 usually see the young woman first and those over 30 tend to identify the older one. The conclusion is that “own-age biases affect subconscious face perception.”

For those who are having a hard time telling both ladies apart, the hint is the horizontal black line at the bottom, which is a necklace in the young woman’s case and the old lady’s mouth. Apart from that, the chin of the young lady happens to be the nose of the old one.

It is not the first time that an optical illusion takes the Internet by storm. Last year, Twitter user @LilMaarty uploaded a photo of a Black lady who seems to show either her head and neck or her back.


More Twitter users shared their thoughts trying to figure out what part of the body they were seeing. Most agreed that it was actually the back, but many others cannot see anything else but a neck.

The bizarre photo becomes quite clear once you stare intently at it. It shows a woman sitting on the floor, with long curly hair flowing down her bareback.

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