A clever illusion turned these buildings into butterfly specimen cases

At first glance, you’d think you’re looking at massive butterfly specimen cases towering over a small neighbourhood. However, a closer inspection reveals that these are actually optical illusions!

France-based street artist Mantra treats the walls of multi-story buildings as gigantic canvases for his larger-than-life 3D murals. Spending hours or days – perhaps even weeks – painstakingly painting his murals, Mantra makes sure each piece will make passers-by do a double take.

His hyper-realistic butterfly murals, for instance, have long shadows, suggesting the specimens are actually inside a huge box. The insects’ wings, meanwhile, have textures that make their patterns look like the real thing.

Mantra also creates murals indoors, at times inside abandoned buildings. He also paints other animals, such as beetles, spiders, cats, and birds, as well as portraits of people. His works have been spotted in places like France, Spain, Austria, and Bogota.

You can find out more about Mantra’s work here.