The brain is sensory organ with coping mechanisms and tactics that will help people deal with the intricacies and complexities not only of other people, but also of the everything else happening in the world, including the ever-developing technologies. However, although our minds are highly adaptable and can evolve as we go along, it still has its flaws and can fall victim to incredible illusions that have been crafted especially to pick at the cracks of anyone’s intelligence.
So, below are just some of the most amazing optical illusions that will either make you wonder if you are getting crazy or will make you look not just twice, but many times to see if you what you are seeing is true or not.
The dots below seem to circle the center and change in color. But, if you will just focus on a single dot, you will find that neither circling nor changing of colors is happening.
Just like the image above, if you will focus on the cross at the center of the photo below and look at the blank spot, you will find that nothing is really happening.
From above, this Parisian park looks like it features a huge 3D globe…
However, in reality, it is not even higher than small hill.
The squares below look like they are of different shades of gray. But, they actually have the same color. If you will place your finger on the center area between the two squares that is the lightest in color, you will see the colors are actually the same.
This is because of the Cornsweet Illusion, which manipulates the lateral inhibition of the brain and shows a contrast between two shapes or objects if they are present with edges of different colors.
The dots will allow you to see a familiar face, if you will stare at the image with your eyes crossed.
If you will focus your attention for 10 seconds on the nose of the woman below and then blink your eyes rapidly while staring at a light-colored surface, you will be able to see her face in full color.
Look at these small, medium, and large cars…
They are actually of the same size.
Known as the Ponzo Illusion, this is where the brain will judge the size of an object based on perceived distance. As the third car looks like it is farthest away, it presents the illusion of appearing bigger than the others.
Which of the orange circles appear bigger to you?
You might say the one at the right. But, actually, they are of the same size.
The Ebbinghaus Illusion capitalizes on how we perceive the relativity of sizes. When we see larger objects surrounding a single object, it would look smaller to our eyes than it really is.
Look at the yellow-colored dot at the center. Then, if you will move your face closer to your monitor, you will see the pink objects circling it, rotate.
What is happening here is known as the Pinna-Brelstaff Illusion and it happens because of the flaws present in our peripheral vision.
It’s incredible how the squares with A and B on them are colored with similar shades of gray.
The proof is the replica below.
The human brain immediately adjusts how it sees a color based on the shadows that surround an object or a shape. Since a green cylinder is throwing its shade on the square with the B on it, the brain will instantly think it is a lighter shade of gray, even if it is the same color as the square marked A.
Focus your attention on the swirling image for at least 30 seconds, then look at the photo that immediately follows this.
Focusing on the swirling GIF will cause fatigue to your eyes. So, if you will stare at a non-moving photo after staring at it, they will start moving as well, while your eyes try to regain its balance.
To develop motion illusions, Akiyoshi Kitaoka makes use of color, geometrical shapes, and brightness. The image below is not animated, but because of Kitaoka’s illusion, your brain is making them look like it is.
Using the same approach, Randolph was also able to make more psychedelic illusions that are more or less similar.
The image below makes use of the “Ames Room” illusion, which tinkers with our depth perception. The GIF below appears to be do because the room’s back wall is slanted towards the camera, while the ceiling was slanted downwards.
The yellow and blue blocks below look like they are moving one after the other.
However, when the black stripes are taken away, you will find that they are constantly parallel to each other. The black stripes or bars are actually placed there to distort your brain’s perception of the blocks’ movement.
If you will move your face slowly towards the image below, you will notice the light at the center go brighter. If you move away, it goes weaker.
This is actually what is known as the dynamic luminance-gradient effect that was discovered by University of Maine’s Alan Stubbs.
Look at the middle of the image’s colored version, then wait for the photo to turn black and white.
Instead of the image going black and white totally, your brain will fill it with the colors it believes you should be seeing instead, as is based on the colored photo. But, if you will blink, you will get the black and white image again.
The dots on this photo are all white in color. However, at times, you will see some of them turning black.
Even if you try hard enough, you can never focus your eyes on the black dots. The workings of this illusion remains a mystery up to this date.
Brusspup developed awesome animations using only a blank card through manipulating the eyes and brains.
Do you notice the dinosaurs’ eyes following you?
This is because of the “hollow face illusion”, which happens because our brains see objects differently when we look at them as faces. Although the dinosaurs’ right eyes appear to go farther as you move, your brain is really thinking that the distance is closer than it actually is.
Photographers are able to make incredible two-faced portraits by placing several images, one on top of the other.
Can you say which way this train is headed? If you will blink or focus on the image long enough, your brain will perceive of it going another direction than you originally thought.
This is basically because of the “wagon-wheel” effect. Looking at the direction you wish for the train to head to or blinking your eyes will actually allow the image switch directions as you want it. This also works for the wheel.
Artists such as Ibride are able to develop impossibly looking 3D art through the use of clever designs.
The dancer in the middle must be spinning either counterclockwise or clockwise. The answer is she’s turning in both directions.
If you will look at either the right or left dancer, you can actually change the direction of the spinning of the dancer at the center.
For a few seconds, look at the green dot that is blinking at the center. Then, watch what happens to the other dots in yellow.
It might be incredible for you to believe that the dots never really disappeared. However, our awareness fades fast, especially when the objects we were looking at are surrounded by imagery that is changing nonstop.
The object below appears like a face mask. But, if you will look really close…
The image on the center of the mask is really of a man and woman kissing, and not a face of one person.
Initially, the three people below appear like attractive women…
But, if you will turn the photo upside down, you will see women with distorted facial features.
The human brain has certain parts that are only meant to perceive faces. However, as it is very rare for us to see upside-down faces, we cannot easily see any distortions.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa on the right photo looks to be leaning more to the right than usual. However, they are really identical images with the towers parallel to each other.
If two towers are positioned parallel to each other, then they would eventually fuse into each other from a ground perspective. So, when your eyes see parallel towers, your brain will immediately believe that they are moving away from each other as they go up further into the skies, which was what created the illusion above.
The horizontal lines in the image below look like they are sloping. But, if you will watch long enough, you will notice that they are actually just parallel to each other.
At the start, it is not easy to see the gray line that is positioned between the white and black tiles. This means that your brain is registering the gray line as either white or black, thus creating the sloping illusion.
The circles below appear to be overlapping and distorted. In reality though, they are perfectly round and do not touch at all. Were you able to see past this illusion?
Flathead Lake’s water is very clear that when you look at it, you’d think it was just pretty shallow. However, it is really as deep as 370 feet.
This illusion is actually quite simple. But, its simplicity takes nothing away from its coolness though.
If you will look at this 3D painted room, you’d think it contains a very steep drop. You’d have to be very brave to walk here.
If you will cover the hallway’s center with your hand, the animation picks up in speed. However, if you will cover the sides, it will slow down.
The list above actually exposes how some GIFs and images are mere illusions. However, knowing now how your brain works, you might already think twice next time if it is deceiving you or actually letting you see the real thing.