You’ll question everything at a new museum meant to trick your eyes and your mind in the Meatpacking District.
The Museum of Illusions, a Croatian transplant with 19 locations established or coming soon across the world, will fool you into looking like a giant, feeling off-kilter and get you hanging upside down through an optical illusion.
You’ll be unsure of things from the beginning — the museum is housed inside an old and grand bank building, and when you walk in, you’ll immediately be given the opportunity to trick your Instagram friends with a photo that will make you look tiny using perspective.
Feel free to go wild taking selfies in the crazy, confusing and colorful rooms and exhibits, of which there are 70.
The Ames room, which has a floor that slopes, makes you “shrink” or “grow larger” on the video screen. The tilted room also uses a sloped floor but makes it nearly impossible to walk straight and not feel dizzy.
“It gives you a nauseous feeling,” Roko Živković, the museum’s CEO, told amNewYork during a walk-through.
There’s another room that’s completely rotated so that by taking a photo and rotating it, the subjects look like they’re floating in the air.
And placed throughout the museum are interactive pictures, sculptures, games and puzzles that are explained on wall panels.
A lot of the illusions you’ll see come from psychology books — some well-known, others not so much.
The museum’s “thermal grill,” for example, will give you a fake feeling of burning just by touching it. The illusion uses harmless levels of both cold and warm, which for some reason causes a burning sensation.
And its zoetrope, a device that uses a rapid succession of pictures to mimic movement, will make you believe you’re seeing bizarre movement of an object. This one uses a rapidly flashing strobe light to illuminate the pieces.
You can also “swap noses” with a friend through a mirror illusion, if you like.
The museum takes about an hour to get through and is best visited with friends or family, according to Živković.
He and CEO Renne Gjoni wanted to create a space where people can play and learn through doing, he added.
The museum only has one rule: Don’t break anything.
“It’s about visitors losing themselves, climbing on the walls . . . we’re used to fixing stuff,” Živković said. “The museum is a 21st century concept. I always loved National Geographic and brain games and I wanted to do it for people to experience something really different. It’s fun and educational, which has proven to be a hit in all the countries where we are and we are hopeful it will be here, too.”
The museum has a 15-year lease at the bank building, so it’s “not going anywhere,” he added.
Tickets are $19 and $15 for kids at newyork.museumofillusions.us. It’s hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily at 77 Eighth Ave.