kottke.org posts about optical illusions
I couldn't figure this out when I watched it on my phone this morning, but if you watch it in fullscreen HD, you can see how the shapes are cut to look different from various angles. Still trippy though.
Update: Make Anything reverse-engineered the illusion...here's how it works:
Somehow, this woman seems to be spinning both clockwise and counter-clockwise simultaneously. This is worse than the spinning ballerina. Anyone know who did this? Randomly found it on Facebook and couldn't trace the source back...
Which gray block is actually darker? Hold something over the seam to find out.
Mindblowing, right? Now for the fun science part: how does this effect work? Well, it works because whoever made this thing is a fucking witch. I mean, Jesus. QED. (via ★interesting-links)
When the hand reached in to turn the Rubik's Cube, my brain melted and spilled out of my ear and into a puddle on the floor.
The images used in the video are available for printing out so that you can wig out your friends and kids in person: Rubik's Cube, tape, and shoe. (via colossal)
This amazing optical illusion was everywhere last week, but if you didn't see it, you should check it out.
This is one of the freakiest optical illusions I've ever seen.
It took me at least 30 seconds of looking at these shoes to realize that the woman wasn't floating two inches off the ground and what I thought were shadows are actually heels. Even knowing the secret, the effect switches for me like a Necker cube or the spinning dancer.
Here's a fun optical/muscular illusion to try out:
This morning I went into the darkest room in our house (the kids' bathroom), closed the door, and turned off the lights for 5 minutes. There was enough light coming in through the crack in the door that after a minute or two I could begin to make out shapes in the room: A towel rack, the shower curtain. My eyes had adapted to the dark condition. Then I closed my right eye and covered it with my hand. I turned the lights back on, for a minute, until my left eye had adapted to the light. Then I turned the lights off.
I could still see the towel rack and shower curtain with my right eye, which remained adapted to darkness. But my left eye could see nothing. In fact, my left eye felt as if it was closed. I made every effort to open the eye, but it seemed that some unstoppable force was keeping it closed. The only way to make my eye feel as if it was open was to cover it with my hand. I still couldn't see anything with the eye, but at least I could convince myself it was open.
I've been obsessing over this optical illusion ever since I ran across it yesterday.
Is she spinning clockwise or counterclockwise? Or both...and how is that even possible? It's a left-brain vs. right-brain test...which way she spins for you determines which side of your brain is more dominant. (Tip: if you're having trouble getting her to switch directions, focus on a point a couple of inches below her feet...that seems to do it for me.)
Update: Neuralogica Blog debunked the left/right-brain explanation in this post.
This news article, like many others, ignores the true source of this optical illusion and instead claims it is a quick test to see if you use more of your right brain or left brain. This is utter nonsense, but the "right-brain/left brain" thing is in the public consciousness and won't be going away anytime soon. Sure, we have two hemispheres that operate fine independently and have different abilities, but they are massively interconnected and work together as a seamless whole (providing you have never had surgery to cut your corpus callosum).