15 Leprichauns... Mundane and pointless, but it still gets me every time

I submit for your viewing pleasure: 15 Leprichauns.

Yes, it is an old illusion, but I absolutely love it. It still gets me and I know how its done too!

Mundane… yes.

Pointless… definitely.

Fun… absolutely.

Well, how’s it done?

It’s a cute illusion. My explanation, after a brief perusal of the linked video:

[spoiler]Take note of the 6th leprechaun from the left, who is entirely on the bottom piece of paper, and the 3rd leprechaun from the right, who is entirely on the top. Assume that each of these leprechauns has a blank box on the corresponding position on the other half of the image. (Perhaps one has an invisible hat, and the other has invisible platform shoes.)

This is important because what you have here is not a picture of 15 leprechauns. It’s a picture of 30 leprechaun pieces, two of which are blank and two of which are whole. When the pieces are arranged so that each blank piece is paired with a whole piece, you get 15 leprechauns. If you arrange it so that the blanks are paired with each other, you have 28 pieces left, which combine to make 14 leprechauns.

Alternatively, you could think of it like this: You start with 15 leprechauns, two of which have invisible parts. You rearrange the pieces so that you have 15 different leprechauns, one of whom is entirely invisible.[/spoiler]

Does that help Zsofia?

How is it done? Its done very well.

See, I knew where it was happening, and that it had to be something like that, but I have a hell of a time actually seeing it happen.

One of us went for a drink, really it happens all the time.

This has been driving me crazy for a few weeks. Thank you for the explanation!

Martin Gardner did a version of this with a little twist:


This version uses the same twist, but with another twist :slight_smile: