The world is full of optical illusions and things aren’t always the way they appear. Although our mind is constantly trying to make sense of the world around us it can sometimes get a little out of control and make us start to see things…literally.
While some of the optical illusions on our list are relatively famous, others are a bit more obscure but all of them give us a glimpse into our amazingly complex minds.
There is no magic involved, no strings attached, its all in your head. Here are 25 of the most incredible optical illusions you will find.
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If you stare at the dot in the center and move your head away from the screen the rings will start to rotate. Now gradually get closer again…they change direction!
This is a classic optical illusion named after Ludimar Hermann who discovered it in 1870. At every point where the white lines intersect our eyes perceive a gray, shadowy blob. If you look directly at one of the intersections though, the blob disappears.
Stare at the image for about half a minute without moving your eyes and watch as it gradually disappears. This is a variation of Troxler’s effect which essentially says that if you fixate your eyes on a certain point, stimuli near that point will gradually fade.
The Kanizsa Triangle was named after the psychologist Gaetano Kanizsa who first described its effect. When you look at the image your brain creates contours (outlines) of a triangle although none exist. In reality it is an illusion created by the the wedges and the angles.
This is one of the most famous optical illusion pictures of an impossible object. It has two rectangular prongs at one end that morph into three cylindrical prongs at the other.
Found in virtually every psychology textbook in the world, the two monsters in this optical illusion are in fact the same size. Your brain automatically adjusts images that it perceives to be distant in order to compensate for the fact that they are larger than they seem.
Blue vs Green
Black on White
Yes, the leaning tower of Pisa does actually lean, but these two images are in fact one and the same. Although the image on the right appears to be leaning away from the one on the left this is only in your head. Go ahead and try the same thing with the empire state building…it will lean too, promise.
Up and Down
Also known as the pac-man illusion, if you stare at the center cross for a couple of seconds you will begin to perceive a green disco going around the circle of magenta discs. After a few more seconds the magenta discs will gradually begin to fade away until all you see is a green disc going in a circle around the cross (if you’re having trouble seeing this optical illusion move closer to the screen).
Checker Shadow Illusion
Probably one of the most unbelievable illusions out there, this one was first optical illusions pictures published by Edward Adelson, a professor at MIT. Although the square labeled “A” appears to be darker than the square labeled “B”, they are actually exactly the same shade of gray. It’s okay if you don’t believe it, we didn’t either, but Photoshop proved us wrong.