Mind-blowing retro optical illusion BREAKS your brain into seeing ‘impossible movement’
A ‘SPINNING window’ optical illusion from the 1970s has gone viral.
A mind-boggling old Australian TV clip from a programme called The Curiosity Show features the presenter demonstrating the Ames Window illusion.
this illusion broke my brain pic.twitter.com/BvgO2TcwFE
— drewcoffman.eth 𝕚𝕤 𝕠𝕟𝕝𝕚𝕟𝕖 (@DrewCoffman) June 14, 2021
The clip was recently tweeted online and has been viewed millions of times.
The illusion involves a cut out window shape that the presenter spins on a piece of string.
When watched closely, your brain doesn’t interpret the window as spinning 360 degrees like it actually is.
Instead, the window appears to oscillate, meaning it looks like it’s swinging back and forth in a regular rhythm but not fully spinning.
This just broke my brain. Wait for the pen….
— M.P.F (@NotAgain79) June 18, 2021
The illusion is even more strange when the male host sticks a pen on the window and shows how your brain can see the pen spinning but not the window shape.
The pen appears to pass through the window frame as it spins as if by magic.
One Twitter user commented: “Now if you watch it focusing say on one corner, following it turn with the pen you can see it, but then drift your gaze to the centre and it snaps back to crazy town.”
The Ames Window is named after Adelbert Ames Jr who discovered it in 1947.
Our brains are tricked because the window is an odd trapezoid shape but we try and perceive it as a normal window as it rotates.
The spinning window doesn’t align with normal perspective shifts so we interpret it to be oscillating.
The science behind optical illusions
This brief explanation may help to unscramble your brain…
- Optical illusions make a little bit more sense when you learn that our eyes have very little to do with what we see and it is our brains that play the key role in creating images and trying to protect us from the potential threats around us
- Our brain is constantly trying to make sense of the world at the quickest pace it can despite the world being in 3D and the images on our retinas being in 2D
- It can be really difficult for your brain to interpret everything at once so it will often take shortcuts and give you a simplified version of what you see so you can have quicker reaction times if the object you’re looking at looks dangerous
- When you look at an object what you’re really seeing is the light that bounced off of it and entered your eye, which is converted into electrical impulses that your brain then turns into an image
- Our brains can warp straight lines if an object in the middle of them looks like it’s drawing closer as it wants to emphasize the potential threat
- Different colours and light and dark can make the same sized objects look different or make patterned images look like they’re spinning
Most read in Science
For more brainteasers, can YOU spot the fourth person drinking whisky in this mind boggling optical illusion?
And this couple took a snap on their new sofa & accidentally created an optical illusion which made it look like they’ve switched heads.
Plus this woman was horrified after her ‘cute’ bikini snap goes viral for showing ‘penis’.
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