New museum promises to mesmerize

Those who enjoy having their minds boggled likely will be delighted to learn that a new museum has opened in Atlanta focusing on illusions.

The Museum of Illusions Atlanta, located in Atlantic Station, is an emporium of rooms, exhibits and interactive installations that combine fun with science and things that aren’t easily explained.

At a ribbon cutting and private preview on May 17, a magician wowed guests with one-on-one close-up card tricks while cocktails infused with dry ice resulting in smoky vapors were served. The museum opened to the public on May 19.

While unusual beverages and card tricks won’t be part of the everyday experience at the museum, attendees can expect to be surprised, confused, and mystified—learning along the way about how the brain responds to various cues. And the place is just a romp of fun.

The museum’s Cloning Room reflects multiple images of a guest.

“Discover a brilliant collection of perspective-changing rooms, enthralling installations, and spellbinding images,” states the website. “Our exhibits will teach you that nothing is ever quite as it seems.…”

In one exhibit, a guest is instructed to lay on the floor and a reflection of the person shows an image of the individual appearing to sit on a ledge on a wall.

The one exhibit my body, or was it my mind, wouldn’t let me experience was the Vortex Tunnel, a straight walk through a stationary short tunnel but with neon-colored spinning walls. As soon as I took two steps, I was overcome by a sensation that the walkway was tilting, and I became momentarily dizzy. While I tried to get my bearings, I watched a man walk through without hesitation. Asked how he did it so quickly, he explained he simply focused on the end of the tunnel.

Visitors should make sure their cell phones are fully charged as they will often be encouraged by museum staff to take photos of themselves at an exhibit and then rotate it on their phones to get the full effect. In one called exhibit, visitors stand on a small transparent platform and are told to raise their arms and when the photo is turned upside down, it appears they are falling through a narrow tunnel. In another exhibit, guests stand in a room with furniture on the ceiling but when the image is turned upside down, it appears the person is standing on the ceiling with the furniture on the floor.

Throughout the museum, signs are posted on walls describing the exhibits, what to do and a brief explanation of the illusion.

 

Highlights of the museum include:
• Cloning table
• Reversed room
• Tilted room
• Walk in kaleidoscope
• Holograms and optical illusion images

“Immerse yourself in our intriguing visual, sensory, and educational experience,” states the museum’s website.

With so much of the museum interactive, it’s likely to become a popular spot for families with children as well as couples seeking something different for date nights.

In addition to the 80 exhibits for exploring, there are also puzzles visitors can try their hand at solving and a gift shop for treasures to take home.

The Atlanta venue is part of the global Museum of Illusions group with museums in 40 locations in 25 locations worldwide including Athens, Greece; Dubai, Hamburg, Germany; Madrid, Spain; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas and Scottsdale, Arizona

The museum is located at 264 19th St. NW, Suite 2200, across from Publix. Tickets range from $24-$29. For more information, go to moiatlanta.com.

Standing in the Tilted Room at the Museum of Illusions Atlanta, the woman on the left appears much bigger than the woman on the right.

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