When you consider that we can only see things because of the light reflected off them, our eyes and brain seem pretty amazing. But, they can be easily tricked and manipulated into seeing things we can’t normally see.
Below are some of the most interesting examples, that’ll leave you questioning everything…
1. Stare at the dot in this image for 10 seconds...
It should leave an imprint of color when the image fades to black and white. If you brain thinks an image should be color, it’ll automatically fill it in for you. Blink and it’ll fade.
There's a similar effect on these flowers.
2. The black and white dots look like they're rotating clockwise, right? Stare at the red or yellow dot and you'll see that everything is not as it seems.
3. Where does the space in this triange come from?
Although it’s hard to tell with the human eye, the slope of each triangle is slightly different. This slight change is what creates the hole.
4. Watch this for a minute or two and then look away to get a burned image appear.
5. Cross your eyes and you should be able to see a familiar face.
6. You won’t believe it, but the squares marked ‘A’ and ‘B’ are actually the exact same shade of grey.
Here's a replica to prove it...
Our brains will adjust color based on surrounding shadows. Since B is in the shade of the green cylinder, but is still the same color as A, the brain believes that it’s a lighter shade of grey.
7. Here's an illusion that messes with our depth perception.
The “Ames Room” illusion is created by slanting the back wall of the room towards the camera and the ceiling downwards.
8. These blocks seem to move one after the other, right? Wrong.
When the black bars are removed, you’ll see that they’re always parallel. The black bar distorts your brain’s perception of movement.
9. Is the middle dancer spinning clockwise or counterclockwise?
The answer is both. By staring at either the left or right dancer, you can change the direction the middle dancer spins.
10. If you're on a mobile, close one eye, tilt your phone and look at this image from the charger hole.
I’m sorry. It had to be done.
11. Are these horizontal lines sloping or parallel? Look at them for a few minutes.
They may appear to slope, but they’re parallel. Ar first, it’s hard to see the grey line between white and black tiles, meaning that the brain fills in the grey as either black or white
12. These circles appear to be overlapping, right?
They actually don't touch.
13. What shape is this roof?
14. If you look at this green cube it seems to be bouncing on the inside of the black and white cube, but if you look at the red one you see a convex black and white cube with the red cube bouncing on its outside surface.
15. Keep your eye on the cross and these celebrities will switch faces.
They’re not actually switching faces. By aligning the faces at the eyes and presenting them quickly, it becomes much easier to compare them, so the differences between the faces are more extreme. If someone has a large jaw, it looks almost ogre-like.
16. Adding crosses to this checkerboard warps the straight lines.
Try resting a finger on a line to defeat the illusion.
17. These squares are actually the same exact color.
Hold your finger over the boundary between the two shapes and see them change. The Cornsweet illusion exploits the brain’s lateral inhibition, which creates more contrast between the two objects when they have different colored edges.
18. These cars look like they're different sizes, but in reality they're all the same.
The Ponzo illusion works because our brain judges an object’s size based its perceived distance. The third car seems further away, so it looks much bigger.
19. These dots seem to change color and orbit the center. But focus on a single dot and they're just bouncing on the spot.
20. Stare at the cross in the center and watch the blank spot. It'll turn green.
21. Which orange circle looks bigger? They're actually the same size.
The Ebbinghaus illusion exploits our perception of relative size. When an object is surrounded by larger objects, it seems far smaller than it actually is.
22. Look at this swirling for 30 seconds and then look at the photo from Inception below.
23. Cover the sides of the hallway with your hands and the animation speeds down, cover the middle and the animation speeds up.