Skip

World's Oldest Optical Illusion Found?
December 24, 2010 3:59 AM   Subscribe

World's Oldest Optical Illusion Found? A 15,000 year old piece of an atlatl (spear chucker) shows definite signs of being a Gestalt shift optical illusion (as demonstrated here, here, and in the classic duck/rabbit picture). Although not as well defined as modern optical illusions (like the really tripped out Neave Strobe), it likely demonstrates a stage of cognitive awareness in human psychological development.
posted by novenator (12 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
duck/rabbit

a penis with a battery clamp on it. er, i mean, a duck.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:09 AM on December 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


It could just be the world's oldest typo, from the look of it.
posted by memebake at 5:14 AM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


(spear chucker)

Dead honkey.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:01 AM on December 24, 2010 [11 favorites]


Look at it again. This is a remarkable find, but the article's analysis is way off. What we have here is the world's first fake dog turd.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:02 AM on December 24, 2010


Duck/Rabbit is a terrible "illusion." If you look at it as a "rabbit" you see a rabbit with oddly angular ears, both of which are attached to the same side of the head, and no nose, mouth, or whiskers. If you look at it as a "duck," it's pretty much right, but with a bit of odd shading that could be a photocopying error.
posted by explosion at 8:09 AM on December 24, 2010


Is this what passes for science these days? Because the linked article sounds like complete bullshit.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:10 AM on December 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


The details in question are the eyes. Caldwell describes how there is "both an upper eye, which turns the crescent beneath it into a tusk, and lower eye, beside the front leg, that transforms the same crescent which we just interpreted as a "tusk", into a bison's overhead horn." Looking back and forth between the eyes then, we are able to see the entire shape transform from one animal to the other, an effect much more like the classic Gestalt shift of the duck-rabbit.

Maybe, if mammoths' eyes were halfway down their trunks. And that lower "eye"? It's a nose. The bison is already quite stooped over in that configuration; how it's supposed to get its eye way the fuck down there is anyone's guess.

It'd be nice if the dude making these observations was a little more observant. Neat artifact, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:52 AM on December 24, 2010


For him, knowing the original context of the image is key. Speaking of the classic version, he said "If somebody had been illustrating a children's book about rabbits, nobody would have seen it as a duck."

The slightly funny thing here is that someone did illustrate a children's book called Duck! Rabbit!, using that exact illusion.
posted by redsparkler at 11:13 AM on December 24, 2010


yeah yeah, bison, mammoth, i don't know. whatever. but whoa, the neave strobe, that was really cool.
posted by rainperimeter at 12:15 PM on December 24, 2010




Duck/Rabbit is a terrible "illusion." If you look at it as a "rabbit" you see a rabbit with oddly angular ears, both of which are attached to the same side of the head, and no nose, mouth, or whiskers. If you look at it as a "duck," it's pretty much right, but with a bit of odd shading that could be a photocopying error.


It gets really impressive when you use the right beverage. Now there are two of them! Optical illusions are awesome.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:39 PM on December 24, 2010


Old Woman Young Woman was the best one even if the young woman was wearing a giant white bag for a hat.
posted by laneXplace at 8:37 PM on December 24, 2010


This thread was worth my time simply for the Neave Strobe. Damn, that is trippy, indeed! (My eyes hurt now, however.)
posted by menschlich at 6:07 AM on December 29, 2010


« Older For the Love of Elephants   |   Fritz Leiber centenary Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post