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5 Optical Illusions That Might Break Your Brain


Everyone knows the five senses—sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. But scientists have reported that we could have as many as 33 senses contributing to the way we perceive the world around us. However, illusions test our senses, and these illusions prove we sometimes can’t trust any of them. Look at these five illusions and test your own senses. Did they trick you?

Seeing Shades Of Gray

Australian psychologist Dr. Michael White developed an optical illusion, “White’s Illusion,” that involves only three colors: black, white, and gray. Do you see four colors, though? This is because the gray color is embedded into the black and white stripes, causing our eyes to believe there is an additional shade of gray.

Zhengyj4411 via Wikimedia Commons

Ebbinghaus Illusion

When you look at the two center circles, which one is bigger? It may be surprising to know that both circles are the same size. The “Ebbinghaus Illusion” is when we subconsciously use context to assess an object’s size. This explains why we think the circle surrounded by smaller circles is larger than it is.

Wikimedia Commons

A Young Woman Or An Old Woman?

This optical illusion dates to the 1800s. When you first look at the image, you think it’s a young woman. Look again, though. Do you see an old woman, too? The young woman’s jawline is the old woman’s nose, and the young woman’s ear is the old woman’s eye. You’ll never be able to look at this drawing the same way again.

Blackeye.com

Hermann Grid

In 1870, Ludimar Hermann discovered this optical illusion that has now become one of the most famous tricks on your eyes and mind. At every point where the white lines intersect our eyes see a gray, shadowy blob. Once you look at the intersection, however, the blob disappears. Try it for yourself!

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Moving Art

Art images are the most popular optical illusions. This image appears to be moving, but it’s not. Most theories suggest we believe the image is moving because of the brain’s inability to process the different colors and shapes at the same time. There is too much going on in the photo, therefore our brain tricks us into believing the shapes are moving.

Fiestoforo via Wikimedia Commons

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