Watch and Wonder. . .

Where does the extra man go?

  Every 10 seconds, the image above will shift. It will change from 12 men to 13 men and back again. The image is doing exactly what it appears to do. It is not being changed in the transition. You could accomplish the same exact thing by printing out the above picture and cutting it in the same manner.  

If you are sufficiently confused and have no desire to figure this out on your own, then read my solution below. But try a little bit more--it's always more satisfying to solve a riddle than read the solution.


The Solution

The easiest way to keep track of these men is to count the heads, legs, and torsos. Since the men become taller and shorter, and the hair and feet are interchangeable, heads, legs, and torsos are the only things logically to count.

So how do we account for an extra set of legs, an extra head, and an extra torso?

12 Person Version
13 Person Version

In the 12 version, you’ll notice the man on the far right (back) has long legs. When he is cut in half, the bottom half of his long legs remain behind on the right. The recipient of the stumpy top portion of these legs in the 13 version is the short guy with the white shirt in the middle of the back row.
So this is where the extra set of legs come from. One set of legs is turned into two.

The extra head comes from the guy in the front row second from the left. He’s the one with the white feet. If you notice in the 12 version, he has a nose and eyes. In the 13 version, he has no nose at all. The nose has become his eyes. The top part of this guy’s head becomes the whole head of the guy on the far right in the 13 version. The guy on the far right has a wife-beater t-shirt on in the 12 version, but in the 13 version, the neckline of this t-shirt becomes the bottom part of his head. So this is where the extra head comes from. One head is turned into two.

The extra torso comes from the extremely tall guy in the middle row towards the right in the 12 version. His torso gets cut in half and in the 13 version the top half of this torso becomes the entire torso for the guy in the middle row toward the left hand side (with the white shirt and black pants). Notice that in the 13 version he has no lower arms.

So now we have accounted for an extra set of legs, an extra head, and an extra torso. From what I learned in Biology class, that makes an entire extra body.

P.S. If anybody knows who created this fantastic riddle (it's more than just an illusion, after all), I would love to give him or her credit.

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