10 Amazing Optical Illusions

Focus on the dot in the center of the screen The surreal colorful landscape is transformed into a black and white image

It should revert back to color when you look away or blink Known as a negative photo illusion, it occurs when we overwork receptors in our eyes called cone cells, which respectively perceive red, green, and blue When looking at this picture, the cells that respond to red are over-saturated and lose their sensitivity, causing us to see the image in black and white 09 Blivets This is a blivet, otherwise known as a Devil's Fork or a Poiuyt

Looking at it from the top we see two rectangular rods But focusing on the bottom we find three cylindrical poles When our brain is confronted by an impossible object like the blivet, it tries to explain it by interpreting it as a familiar object, in this case a fork The object made a cameo in The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror VIII when Lisa picked one up at a garage sale 08

The Ebbinghaus Illusion Like colors, our perception of size can be influenced by surrounding objects This is proved in a famous illusion known as the Ebbinghaus Illusion You'll notice the 2 central circles appear to be different sizes However take the outer circles away and they are actually the same size Visual clues (in this case those outer circles) lead our brain to misinterpret size In the context of being surrounded by bigger objects, the object in question appears smaller, and vice versa

07 Grey Dot Grid Grey dots appear between the sections of this grid but disappear if you focus on one intersection When we focus on something we can accurately see shapes and color But the part of the eye used for peripheral vision sees in a lower resolution, meaning it only perceives rough shapes and needs to dim brightness When our eyes become flooded with light from the grid's bright white intersections they struggle to see accurately, triggering the grey dots

06 Hering Illusion You might think you are looking at curved red lines overlaying black lines However, the red lines are actually straight It takes one tenth of a second from the moment light hits the retina for the brain to understand what it's seeing To compensate for this, it tries to predict the future

In this case our brain tries to guess what would happen if we traveled toward the center point of the black lines This foresight allows movement such as catching 05 Troxler's Fading Focus on the cross in the center and you'll see the lilac circles that surround it fade away, before reappearing as green This happens when our retinas become over-saturated with lilac, so replace it with its complementary color: green

In this second version of the illusion, the lilac circles are still, while the disappearing space moves By focusing on the cross, our visual neurons are prevented from noticing things that are stationary, and become more aware of moving objects 04 Spinning Dancer Two thirds of us will see the dancer spin clockwise, while the rest of us see her move anti-clockwise However, keep staring at the image and she eventually changes direction

Because the image is completely black, it offers no depth or visual cues, meaning our eyes will interpret it differently at different times By adding in lines or shading, we prevent the arms and legs from seemingly passing through the body If you're having trouble seeing the change, try looking at it with your peripheral vision 03 Spinning Wheels When you look at the screen you should see a group of rotating rings

Try focusing on just one of the wheels and you'll notice that it seems to stop moving, while the others continue to move In reality you are looking at a stationary image Scientists have suggested that we interpret them as moving due to involuntary eye twitches Another explanation could be that when our eyes flick around the image we confuse the motion detectors in our neurons, and falsely interpret movement 02

Confusing Colors In February 2015 the internet was divided over whether a dress was white and gold or black and blue The dress WAS blue, however the reflected light which bounced from background objects in the photo confused the brain's perception of color While the brain normally discards reflected light color in order to perceive an object's ACTUAL colour, in this case the confusing background light made that difficult Different brains ignored different colors, discarding either blue or gold tones, leading to a huge online debate 01

Café Wall Illusion This illusion shows a wall of slanting dark and light tiles However, in reality, the tiles are perfectly straight We see the tiles as wonky only when separated by a thin grey line Remove this and the illusion is shattered The phenomenon occurs as neurones in our brain react to the contrasting colors of the tiles

Our brain blends tile halves that match colors above and below to create illusionary slanting wedges The illusion was first noticed in real bricks on a cafe wall

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