This Guy Built a Periscope to See the Eiffel Tower From His Bedroom

Periscopes are cool, especially if you make them out of mirrors. 

by Sam Blum
Getty, Lucas Berbesson

Periscopes provide a classic optical illusion: By using reflected light and mirrors to illuminate objects that the naked eye can’t see, they were especially useful in submarines and the first mechanized wars, but they’ve since become somewhat arcane.

Unless of course you’re Lucas Berbesson, a Parisian who fashioned a D.I.Y. periscope from two mirrors to bring the majesty of the Eiffel Tower into his bedroom.

He hung the mirrors out of windows using steel brackets, screws, and extra-durable glue.

The whole process is outlined in this video Berbesson uploaded today to YouTube:

You’ll notice in the video that Berbesson’s apartment is situated at a slight angle from the Eiffel Tower, so he positioned one mirror to catch its initial reflection, while at the same time sending that image across his apartment to a separate mirror in his bedroom.

Watch as the Eiffel Tower comes into view:

Berbesson is an engineer, and is no stranger to tinkering with and constructing tons of contraptions, he told Inverse in an interview today.

“When I was young I used to make some tiny periscopes to spy on my older brother Victor,” he says. “It gave me the idea one year ago to make a big one to shift the view from my window.”

Berbesson even made a handy diagram that succinctly explains how the process works.

It’s quite simple, really:

Berbesson says he rents his apartment out on Airbnb, and the magical effect is not lost on his temporary tenants. (Business may increase since his idea received more than 5,000 upvotes on Reddit, too.)

“Actually they don’t realize it is an artificial view until they move their head and the reflection of the Eiffel Tower goes the wrong way.”

In any case, Berbesson doesn’t recommend trying this at home, probably given that if you’re not careful, planks of glass, steel, and wood could tumble from your apartment onto the street below.

He recommends different, tamer periscope projects instead.

“The cardboard periscope is a good one, cheap and easy to make, very convenient to see without being seen and to understand how the ones in submarines work,” he says.

Still, no one would mind going to bed with this view at night: