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May 21, 2010 AT 2:02 pm

Magnet-like Slopes – A perceptual illusion

Winner of the 2010 Illusion of the Year Contest:

In this video, wooden balls roll up the slopes just as if they are pulled by a magnet. The behavior of the balls seems impossible, because it is against the gravity. The video is not a computer graphic, but a real scene. What is actually happening is that the orientations of the slopes are perceived oppositely, and hence the descending motion is misinterpreted as ascending motion. This illusion is remarkable in that it is generated by a three-dimensional solid object and physical motion, instead of a two-dimensional picture.

Be sure to check out the other finalists as well!


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1 Comment

  1. One of the most awesome things I’ve ever seen on the interwebs.

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