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Vanish Puzzles

by Gianni A. Sarcone and Marie-Jo Waeber
"Small streams make great rivers, and viceversa"
- G. S.

Geometric erodings

Cutting and rearranging parts of an image can produce the illusion that a part of it magically disappeared. Actually, early counterfeiting experts used this simple system of skillfully cutting a number of individual notes (say, 9 notes) in order to eventually end up with enough pieces to form a 10th note, as shown in the diagram below.
counterfeited note

Vanish puzzles (we've renamed them 'stereophanic puzzles') exist for 5 centuries... but they still continue to amaze puzzle fans! These kind of paradoxical puzzles involve the rearranging of parts of a drawing, so that, once the rearrangement is completed, a portion of the drawing disappears or reappears when the pieces are put back into their original order. One of the most famous vanish puzzle was Sam Loyd's "Get Off the Earth" puzzle made in 1896. Another early example is the vanishing Leprechaun.

We hope you'll enjoy some variant and novel vanishing puzzles featured in this and the next pages!

The Japanese Birds
Print this page. Then, cut out the 3 pieces A, B, C below
and lay them out in order to make one extra bird appear...

Click here to solve the birds puzzle online!
the birds puzzle
copyrights 1996-2007, Sarcone & Waeber, Genova
(This image is taken from our book Eye Tricks)

arrow  solution + more exciting vanish puzzles

issue 2Archimedes Journal #2
Features 11 vanish puzzle drawings and models, and extensive 10-page explanations

PDF version: €3.00


© 1992-2010 G. Sarcone,
You can re-use content from Archimedes’ Lab on the ONLY condition that you provide credit to the authors (© G. Sarcone and/or M.-J. Waeber) and a link back to our site. You CANNOT reproduce the content of this page for commercial purposes.
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