The human brain is designed to do things that even machines cannot do, from solving complex mathematical equations to making important decisions. But sometimes even our powerful brain gets fooled easily. How? As we know our brain uses several human senses to judge something and react according to them. So technically, it just takes a pair of eyes to fool the most powerful and important part of the human body really. In this article we have assembled some of the brilliant optical illusion that can easily fool our eyes and mind.
Table of Contents
26. Hermann Grid
This famous Hermann grid illusion is characterized by dark blobs which appears at the intersections of white or lite colored strip on a black background. The blobs disappear while looking directly at one intersection. The Hermann grid illusion was first discovered by Ludimar Hermann in the year 1870.
25. Rotating Rings
Look at these two circles one by one. First, concentrate on the circle around the red dot, then move on the yellow one. So which way do these circles move? Counterclockwise? Yes, that’s right. Now look at the red circle once again, but this time try to observe the yellow one without actually moving your eyes (with your peripheral vision). Are they moving counterclockwise or is it clockwise? If you are doing it right, then whenever you look at one ring, the other ring appears to change directions and visa-versa.
24. Troxler’s Fading
Troxler’s fading was first recognized by a Swiss physician Ignaz Paul Vital Troxler in 1804. Troxler’s effect essentially demonstrates that if you concentrate on one point with your eyes, the stimuli near that point will gradually fade. Try it. Stare at the image for a considerable amount of time without moving your eyes and watch as it slowly disappears.
23. Floating Stairs
In the image above, you can clearly see that how a painter cleverly illustrated stairs on the wall and floor. When viewed from a certain angle, it appears to be a floating staircase leading to infinity, practically nowhere.
22. Jastrow Illusion
Image credit: Imgur
In the above GIF, the two adjacent bars appear to be even at first but when they are placed side by side one became apparently larger than the other, why is it? Well, there are many explanations for this illusion and most widely accepted one is that our brain get confused by the difference between the large and the small radius objects when placed close to each other. What actually happens is that the shorter side makes the long side appear longer, and the longer side makes the short side appear even shorter. This illusion was first described by Joseph Jastrow in 1889.
21. The Blue and the Green
The green and the blue spirals displayed here are the same color. At first you might think that we are messing with you just as we thought before. If you do not believe us, test it yourself. You can use Photoshop and examine the image.
20. Impossible Trident
This is one of the most popular optical illusion known to human. An impossible trident also known as a blivet, is a drawing of an impossible object or undecipherable figure that appears to have three cylindrical prongs at one end which mysteriously convert into two rectangular prongs at the other end.
19. Monster Illusion
The monster illusion is a common optical illusion, in which one of the two monsters shown above looks bigger than the other even though they are of the same size. This illusion is actually based on the “Ponzo illusion” that proves that our mind has a tendency to judge an object’s size by the background. Once you remove the background, it becomes obvious that they are indeed, the same size.
18. Scintillating Grid
Scintillating illusion is an another type of grid illusion and a variation of the Hermann Grid where black dots randomly appear and disappear at the intersections of the gray lines. The main difference between the two grids is that scintillating grid comes with white dots at the intersections of white lines, whereas there are no spots at the intersections of Hermann grid illusions.
17. The Leaning Tower Illusion
The leaning tower illusion can be observed with a pair of identical images of the Leaning Tower of Pisa placed side by side. The photographs should be taken from the foot to the top. Although the images are the exact copy, in first impression, one might get that the tower on the right is more inclined than the left one. It seems like the images were taken from different angles. This illusion is caused due to the prescriptive distortion.
16. Fraser Spiral
Originally known as the twisted cord illusion, Fraser Spiral was first ever reported by a British psychologist James Fraser in 1908. While looking at the image, it immediately appears that the overlapping arcs are forming a spiral, but they are in fact only a series of concentric circles.
15. Black on White
Here is a cool mind illusion for you. Just stare at the center of the image for just half a minute and then look away at a plain white surface, sometimes the ceiling also works. Did you see something unusual?
14. Penrose stairs
The Penrose stairs is a variation of the Penrose Triangle, both of which were popularized by psychiatrist Lionel Penrose and his son Roger Penrose. This image is a two-dimensional depiction of a staircase in which either they ascend or descend after making a 90-degree turn and yet form a continuous loop, so that a person could climb forever and never get any higher. Inception!
13. Zöllner Illusion
The Zöllner’s illusion consists of a series of parallel, diagonal lines which are checkered with a series of short lines in horizontal and vertical direction. This eventually creates the illusion that the big diagonal lines are not parallel. This optical illusion was named after its discoverer Friedrich Zöllner.
12. Kanizsa Triangle
Kanizsa Triangle is actually is a variation of Illusory contours. It’s mostly accepted that illusory contours have been first detected by Friedrich Schumann. However, it was Gaetano Kanizsa who is credited for the resurgence of illusory contours. When you look at the image, your brain automatically creates progressive outlines with the help of angles and wedges, making a triangle but in reality it does not exist.
11. Hering illusion
What do you think about the two red lines marked above? Are they perfectly straight or bowed outwards? As we have shown you before, how our eyes plays tricks with our brain, this case is no different. Here when two straight and parallel lines are introduced in front of radial background, the lines appear to be bowed outwards. This is known as Hering illusion.
10. Wundt illusion
Wundt illusion is an inverted version of above mentioned Hering illusion. It was first introduced by a German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt in the 19th century. The scenario here is the same, but instead outward impression the red line seems to bend inward.
9. Ebbinghaus Circles
Named after its discover Hermann Ebbinghaus, Ebbinghaus circles is a popular optical illusion of relative size perception. Here, two circles of equal size are placed near each other, one is surrounded by relatively large circles while the other is surrounded by small circles. As you can see, the circle surrounded by large circles appears to be smaller than the circle surrounded by small circles which in fact isn’t.
8. Wonder Block
Another perfect example of indecipherable figures.
7. Up or Down
First appeared on 9Gag.com, the image took internet world by storm. Many people believe that the cat in this image is clearly descending, while others think that it’s going up.
6. Checker Shadow Illusion
This amazing illusion was created by Edward Adelson, a professor at MIT. Here two of the checkered boxes are marked with A and B. Although the square “A” appears to be darker than the square labeled “B”, both are actually of the same shade of gray. If you do not believe us, then verify it yourself.
5. Cafe wall Illusion
In 1973, Richard Gregory, a British psychologist re-discovered this illusion outside a cafe wall, and since then it has been known as cafe illusion. It is a class of geometrical illusion in which parallel horizontal lines appear at different angles.
4. Rotating Squares
Scan the above image, examine the boxes what do you see are they moving? Well, in reality they are not. As a proof you can just concentrate on one particular box, then you can clearly see that it’s not shaking anymore. We perceive this illusion because of the color pattern used in the boxes and the angle in which all the boxes are placed.
3. Spinning Silhouette
The spinning silhouette is one of the most controversial illusions today. The illusion was created in 2003 by web designer Nobuyuki Kayahara. At first, many may feel that this figure is spinning clockwise, but for others it may revolve counterclockwise. Moreover, some may witness the figure suddenly spin in the opposite direction.
2. Static Motion
Did you also think it’s a GIF. Well its not. The image really is static. To test it try to concentrate on any individual point and it will stop moving. This illusion is a result of interacting color contrasts and shape and positions within the image.
1. Lilac Chaser
The lilac chaser consists of 12 lilac or magenta blurred discs arranged in a circle on a gray background. Now if you concentrate at the center for just a couple seconds you will notice something unexpected. First, you will perceive a green disco running around the circle of magenta discs. After a few more seconds the lilacs will gradually disappear and all you will see is a green disc going in a circle.
Bonus: The Hidden Chairs by Ibride