This bizarre optical illusion has gone viral on social media, showing two people hugging in an office. At first everything seems completely normal… and then you notice something strange.

That dude in the attractive blue shirt. The one wearing the figure-hugging white jeans, cuffed above the heel in a distinctly feminine style. Wait, is he wearing women's shoes… are those heels?

The photo shows two journalists from the Brazilian channel GloboNews, and was first uploaded on Instagram by Raphael Perachi a week ago. But it wasn't until it trickled through Reddit and imgur over to Twitter when the viral fun really started.

Twitter user cj Fentroy ended up unleashing a tweetstorm which shows he definitely wasn't the only one bewildered by this confusing cuddle.

If you take your time looking at the image, you can begin to unravel the trick your eyes are playing on you.

While the angles of the embrace make it difficult to tell the two bodies apart, if you concentrate on the left half of the image, it's easier to discern the man sitting in the chair at his desk, wearing a reddish check shirt.

Once that image is firm in your mind, it's easier to recognise that the blue shirt and white pants – which looked great on him too, by the way – actually belong to the woman with long hair, who is bending down to hug the man in a friendly embrace around his left shoulder.

When you think about it, if their positions/heads were reversed – so that it really was the man bending over – then the woman's head would be contorted at a very strange angle for someone sitting at a computer.

But hey! That's just our hot take. We could be wrong. Maybe the dude really is wearing the flattering blue-and-white combo, and our eyes had it right the first time around – but we don't think so.

As some on Twitter point out, one of the most convincing elements of the illusion is the dark gap that appears directly behind the man's head.

At first glance, that shadow looks like it's the collar of the man's blue shirt, but once you realise the rest of the image doesn't make sense, you can see it's actually a false impression created by another part of the woman's shirt (we think).

And you can't blame us for being a little uncertain about things, after all we only just recovered from the auditory weirdness of Yanny or Laurel, and even though that one might have been solved, it's an uncanny reminder that the world we live in isn't always quite what we perceive it to be.

What's so cool about this office hug illusion though is it's so simple.

Working scientists spend a lot of time studying the limits of human perception, using sophisticated techniques to generate mind-melting apparitions that befuddle our senses.

But sometimes all you really need for a good optical illusion is a photo or twoa dress, or a couple of good friends who aren't afraid to get nice and close.