Mystery Photo Contest Thing

What’s in the photo, below? Every few days, I’ll be gradually increasing the resolution, making it a little easier to try and figure out just what it is.

The first person to correctly guess won’t win truckloads of cash, a new car, a new dining room set or a pair of jet skis. But they will win the following:

I’m a bit limited as to what I can give away around here, but this is all just for fun anyway. And here is the mystery photo…

what is it?

Good luck.

Update: Believe it or not, this photo was guessed in the first comment. Either tirin is a genius, or I clearly didn’t make this hard enough. Regardless, this concludes this (short) contest.


  1. tirin says:

    it’s a moose

  2. It’s a bug

  3. #1 tirin – My goodness. That didn’t take long! How the heck did you — Ah well, congrats!

  4. Scott Frazer says:

    Wow! How in the world did you guess a moose out of 48 pixels?! I must say I’m very impressed.

  5. Little Moe says:

    If he’s that good, he should be able to guess what kind of moose it is and where the picture was taken!

  6. Craig Dickinson says:

    I had no doubt it was an animal, I was just trying to figure out which kind. If you load the thing into Photoshop and zoom WAY out, it’s obvious that it’s some type of 4 legged creature :-).

  7. Craig M says:

    Damn him, he must have used that gizmo that I keep seeing on CSI, where a piece of crappy security camera footage is “enhanced” to reveal the label on a distant person’s jacket… Or maybe he just knew you had a moose fetish?

  8. Can we see the orginal?

  9. tirin says:

    photoshop + a fair amount of induction
    what makes this sweet is that I dig your icons and was considering purchasing your book yesterday!

  10. It looks more like the SuSE chameleon to me but oh well…
    I wonder what the real picture looks like, too much green over there.

  11. Colin says:

    Can you post the un-pixelated version of the image?

  12. Chris Clark says:

    So do we get to see the moose? Or do I have to use my imagination? I’m no good at these magic eyes.

  13. Bryan says:

    Ok, how in the hell did you know it was a moose? Seriously.

  14. oVan says:

    I think I deserve an icon set now ;-)

  15. Mike D. says:

    If it were me, I’d be banning Tirin’s IP right now. He is obviously in possession of some freakishly powerful psychic powers and that just scares me.

  16. seth says:

    Tirin is the moose.

  17. brian says:

    if you take it into photoshop and blur it up a bunch, you can kinda see the moose-ishness of it.

  18. Damn… I thought I’d have something to read… Biatch! :D

  19. WillB says:

    I guess this must be the original?

  20. Yes, I too am afraid of Tirin’s freakishly brilliant powers. I still can’t believe it.
    #19 WillB – Heh. You know, I picked the photo from my iPhoto library, forgetting that I had posted and almost identical version way back when. You are almost correct :-)
    The original moose

  21. tirin says:

    Just for the record, even though I follow your site regularly, I did not catch your previous posting of the moose.
    I don’t (to my knowledge) possess freakish powers, although I do dream about them from time to time…
    I did what most folks who have posted have done. Open the image in Photoshop and zoom out. At 3-5% reduction, the image clearly becomes some sort of 4-legged creature. Moose was the first thing that popped into my head.

  22. Dustin Diaz says:

    It’s the third icon from the left

  23. tirin says:

    OK, I fess, I DO possess freakish superpowers…

  24. Tirin – Heh heh. I believe you — just dumbfounded that moose was your first guess. So damn impressive.

  25. geoff says:

    It’s funny that those grays and greens actually make a nice colour palette!

  26. Phil Sherry says:

    first thing i thought of, was an Underworld album cover.

  27. web says:

    Yet another RIGGED Simplebits’ contest!!
    Is nothing sacred anymore???
    WHY DAN!! WHY!?!

  28. web says:

    Yet another RIGGED Simplebits’ contest!!
    Is nothing sacred anymore???
    WHY DAN!! WHY!?!

  29. Manoloweb says:

    Nature is always a nice color palette. Try the same effect (mosaic/pixelate) with a picture you like the next time you are looking for a color scheme, you might be suprised on how good it is :-)

  30. Joel says:

    Man that was fast.. I got keep up on my blog reading.. I in fact tried the same attempt; 3% photoshop zoom out – but it was too blurry for thes old eyes.

  31. Dustin says:

    Darn. He was right…maybe I should read a bit of the guesses.
    after trying the zoom trick, I can definitely see the moose…in a grass field…and maybe there’s a barn in the background…
    Here’s my zoomed, unzoomed stretched out image -> Moose

  32. Since it was “so easy” – maybe you’d try again with a new image? *wink-wink*

  33. Dan, I demand a recount!
    By the way, did you have both files in there at the same time? If I wanted to cheat, I would have just copied the image url, changed the extension, and launched it.
    It is highly unlikely that someone would guess that you would name your files like that, but it still deserves one of these if it is executed properly:

  34. unilever says:

    Very easy to view using Image Zoom 0.1.7 for FireFox/Mozilla.
    No need for PhotoShop.

  35. Matthijs Aandewiel says:

    Dustin, dude, seriously, if that was supposed to be a moose, i would be santa. :P

  36. #33 – Nope, I hadn’t uploaded the real photo until after it was guessed. That would’ve been too easy.
    It seems it’s easy to tell that it’s an animal with Photoshop wizardry — but to guess the right animal in one try… now that is what’s amazing here.

  37. Nidifice says:

    I was sure it was an orangutan screwing an accordion…I guess my eyes have failed me in old age. You should try another one and not from your online photos.
    ~tough being 24

  38. Happy Steve says:

    Jeez, okay here’s another challenge. Here’s a picture that’s been shrunk down to one pixel. Oh, and it’s transparent.
    Where’s your psychic powers now?!?

  39. #38: Could it be an chameleon?

  40. Simon says:

    Well wasn’t that a shame…
    “wohoo, this will be fun!”
    aprox 3 seconds later…
    This place is way to quick for me, hehe.

  41. Allan Rojas says:

    A contest ??
    GREAT !!! I’ll participate !!!
    Oh wait…
    what the! …
    d*mn …

  42. Keith Bell says:

    I’m confused, Dan. I mean, in my native Scotland, this is a moose.

  43. bk says:

    I thought it was an avocado.

  44. Dustin says:

    Santa Clause eh?
    btw, I was totally being sarcastic about the barn and the field and…well..yea.
    but you can kind of tell it’s a moose now that it’s out in the open

  45. ghola says:

    Come on people! We all know it’s FIXED! People will kill for a copy of “Web Standards Solutions”! Well I know I won’t.
    I already bought it!

  46. Jeez, fastest contest in the world. What about this Tirin: can you tell us the name of this particular moose?
    Nice idea Dan, next time, I hope to be some nanoseconds ahead of the others.

  47. max says:

    It´s a moose or not? Im from argentine, for me is a black cow! ;)

  48. Andyk says:

    I would have entered this compo except for the fact that
    a) my wonderful girlfriend bought me the book for my birthday on the 16th of this month so I didn’t need to enter
    b) I didn’t get chance!

  49. Kenny F says:

    Well, I showed this to my wife and she immediately said “it looks like a deer in a meadow”, so I think the colors really give a big clue.
    BTW, I already have the book and I love it.

  50. Ben says:

    So Dan, going to make another for us? This time I shall win :)

  51. Andy Stones says:

    I’ve already bought the book (a masterpiece by the way…)!
    I must admit, moose wasn’t my first guess, but the brown on green instantly conjours up visions of some sort of animal grazing!
    Can we have some more Dan??

  52. Nathan says:


  53. Matt says:

    i think it’s a moose

  54. Jon says:

    Manoloweb’s comment (#29) inspired me – some of you designers might find this tool useful…

  55. James says:

    Can I just have a book please?
    OK, seriously – we want a new competition, I mean why shouldn’t we expect you to give away another book and icon’s, when that dude obviously cheated with his *Start Dr Evil Mode* “special powers” *End Dr Evil Mode* *cough*.
    Wait a minute!!! “tirin” could be Dan!
    Ha! You fooled everyone else! But you didn’t fool me!!! *Start Dr Evil Mode* Muhahahahahaha! *End Dr Evil Mode*.
    Maybe Dan is the moose? That’s why he has so many pictures, and why he got it right!

  56. LasseFernov says:

    Hmm but why would he want to win a copy of his own book… :D
    And yeah, give us a new pic!
    Oh and btw tirin you can only participate once ;D

  57. LasseFernov says:

    Maby a b/w pic would challenge tirin’s super powers…

  58. James says:

    The point is if he wins, he does not have to give a book away! See, he has deceived even you!!!

  59. Nikole Jolie says:

    i thought it was the two mooses…

  60. James says:

    I thought it was a cat…

  61. Event Horizon says:

    My first guess was a rhino in the meadows. Pretty odd.

  62. Morun says:

    It is the mouse cursor over some thing greenish. Am I right?

  63. Tomas says:

    I was going to say a moose. Honestly I was, either that or a house.

  64. Rick says:

    A moose once bit my sister. No, really! Yeah, seems she was carving her initials in the side of the moose, when it turned around and…

  65. mark says:

    you know what I think would be really neat as part 2 of the contest? If this picture is on the internet, first person to google it and provide a url wins a prize. I would google
    moose maine field summer
    or something like that

  66. Brigzy says:

    Its a hampsters nob poking through the long grass

  67. Taymos says:

    A moose bit my sister once, no really she was carving her inittals into the side of the moose with a toothbrush she had recived from dr…..