# ELI5. Why do mirrors flip the image horizontally and not vertically?

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ELI5. Why do mirrors flip the image horizontally and not vertically?

In: Physics

Mirrors don’t flip an image. They just reflect what’s directly in front of them.
Imagine painting your body with blue paint and then walking into a white canvas. What would the canvas look like? Your feet would paint the bottom, your head would paint the top etc.

The image of you in the mirror is basically you turned around 180 degrees (assuming you are facing the mirror straight on). Therefore, what you consider the right side of your face is the left side of “your” face in the mirror. However, the reflection matches your vertical orientation. All of this is based on the angle of reflection between your eyes and whatever spot on your image in the mirror at which you happen to be looking .

They don’t. Your right eye is on the right, left arm is on the left. You try to turn things around in your brain to make it fit with how you’re used to physics, but it’s just a reflection.

Some mirrors do flip images vertically. Like the inside of a spoon. Also, you eyes take up light upside down but your brain corrects it, so in a way, mirrors DO flip images vertically!

Mirror flip images back to from not horizontaly

Put a mirror north of you and look directly at it. Your right arm is on the east side and if you move it the reflection of you moves the eastern arm. The same is for your arm to the west. Jump up and down and the reflection moves the same way.

There is a difference if you talk about left and right arm but that is because it is a relative definition and it no different to if you look at someone saying in front of you looking toward you

But if you move away from the mirror to the south the reflected image move to the north. This is the flip back to front.

Mirrored text looks like that because you look at it from the back. If you write text on a window and look at it from the backside look just like in a mirror. You can use a mirror to read that text correctly.

Mirrors don’t flip images , they just represent what’s in front on them
You can think of it like thousands of lines connecting from your body back to the mirror
Each one of the color of the part of you they reach
So If you point to east ( your left ) the mirror will also point to the east but with your (right hand )