Every year, the Neural Correlates Association announces the world's three best optical illusions. Out of a number of finalists
, the 2014 winners have been announced: 1) The Dynamic Ebbinghaus
, 2) Flexible Colors
, and 3) a Turn in the Road [animated gif version]
. There are also a list of best illusions from all years
, as well as winners from 2013
, and previous posts
. Of course, if there was a lifetime achievement award, it would need to go to Akiyoshi Kitaoka, inventor of some of the most amazing recent illusions: rotating snakes
(seriously, this is amazing
), possibly the best color illusion ever
on making them), and also Lady Gaga covers
. Also, for no good reason, here are 20 more
posted by blahblahblah
on May 20, 2014 -
is just waiting for the perfect time to pounce. (SLYT)
posted by aspo
on Dec 23, 2013 -
is the new game from Terry Cavanagh
It looks like a simple isometric-view platformer but every level (once the game proper starts) is essentially an optical illusion.
It will do your head in. In the best possible way. [more inside]
posted by motty
on Sep 23, 2013 -
Have you ever wondered why you don't see motion blur when your eyes flick to a new position? Why, if you sit in front of a mirror and watch yourself, you never see your eyes move? That is saccadic masking
, one of
the lies your brain tells to avoid confusing you.
Have you noticed that the first tick after glancing at a clock with a second hand can take more than one second? No, it's not just you! That's a related phenomenon called chronostasis
, or more commonly the stopped clock illusion
posted by gilrain
on Aug 16, 2012 -
Bowerbirds, a family of 20 species in eight genera
, are a fascinating bunch of birds who range from New Guinea and Australia. Some are flashy, others drab
, but all are named for the "bowers" (avenues, huts, or towers of sticks
) that the males craft and decorate
to attract a mate. There are regional styles
(PDF) in the design of the bowers, and the male Greater Bowerbirds even employ optical illusions
. Some, like the Vogelkop Bowerbird
, add mimicry vocal to their repertoire of courting methods. Add accidental cultivation to the list of fascinating features of the bowerbirds
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Apr 26, 2012 -
Your mind subconsciously interprets this line drawing
of an impossible cube as a three-dimensional object, even though it is not actually possible for such an object to exist. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte
on Jan 10, 2012 -
Artist François Abelanet
has transformed the courtyard in front of Paris' City Hall into "a new masterpiece of Land Art," on display until July 15. Who To Believe?
is a giant, living anamorphosis
-- a three-dimensional optical illusion that requires the viewer to stand at a specific vantage point to truly appreciate the work. [more inside]
posted by bayani
on Jul 8, 2011 -
See For Yourself
- Purves Lab's optical illusions web page with empirical explanations of familiar and unfamiliar illusions.
posted by nthdegx
on Nov 16, 2007 -
Your daily dose of perception-bending.
Stare at the center of this video (wmv or flash) for a minute or two then look away from the screen at your surroundings. You'll experience an interesting and somewhat disconcerting effect. Not appropriate for anyone prone to headaches or seizures.
posted by brain_drain
on Aug 28, 2006 -
Spanish Castle Magic.
Stare at the dot in the center of the image for 30 seconds, then mouseover the picture. Don't shift your glance, because until you do the picture will appear to be in color, despite the fact that it's in black & white.
posted by jonson
on Jun 7, 2006 -
Turn Your Head
is an online service that echoes the famous "two faces/chalice
" optical illusion, but in the real world. You provide them with shots of your profile, and they carve a wooden sculpture of the image for only $149.95. Works best for those with uniquely pronounced features, not to mention those with $149.95 to waste on useless crap.
posted by jonson
on Jul 5, 2005 -