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Learn How A True Mirror Works

Also known as a non-reflecting mirror or flip mirror, the reflection of a True Mirror is what we would actually see with our own eyes.

Mirrors have had a mystical and spiritual power since time immortal. They ignite the imagination–when you look in a regular mirror, who do you see? Not the person other people see, since our reflection in the mirror is reversed. When you raise your left hand, the person in the mirror raises their right hand!

From the way we style our hair to the way we smile, our faces are not perfectly symmetrical. The image we see looking at us from the mirror is not the face we show to the world – left and right are reversed.

How do you make a non-reversing True Mirror? Simply join two first surface mirrors at a perfect, seamless 90 degree right angle. Is it really that simple? It takes a skilled glass cutter combined with careful engineering. The perfect angle is difficult to achieve because you need a perfect angle and perfectly flat, sharp edge. Even sanding the edges of the mirrors would create a distracting seam which ruins the illusion.

Kudos to John Walter of for sending us this awesome True Mirror which comes fully assembled and allows easy calibration.

In order to avoid an obvious line down the middle, the True Mirror uses first surface mirrors, also known as front surface mirrors, which have been made to fit together very precisely.

For detailed information on first surface mirrors, check out our glass first surface mirror product page.

There is a small adjustment knob at the side, which you can turn to calibrate the angle to a perfect 90 degrees. You’ll know it’s perfectly calibrated when the seam disappears and your face is continuous.

Check out this can of tomato soup–you can still read the text on it as if it’s not reversed.

Hold your left hand up to the mirror and you see in the reflection a left hand, not a right hand as you would see in a normal mirror.

If you look in the mirror and lean to your left, the reflected person leans to their left, i.e. the other way!

So what happens if you rotate the mirror by 90 degrees? You’ll see yourself upside down.

When on display in museums, people have funny reactions to seeing themselves for the first time in a True Mirror. Some like the image they see, many do not. Quite a few find it quite disconcerting because the eye contact is completely different than you’d expect. It can create a hypnotic, spiritual, or mystical effect.