Wired posted some of the many endlessly entertaining optical illusions from Clive Gifford‘s new book Eye Benders: The Science of Seeing and Believing. The book explains the science behind these phantasmic inventions:
Some of the oldest illusions use simple colors and shapes to trick our sense of scale and perspective. We see equally-sized circles that seem disproportionate, parallel lines that appear to converge, and staircases that never end. Others, like the elephant with the disjoined legs in the gallery above, likely confuse our proclivity to see patterns and fill visual gaps. Illusions that appear to move are perhaps the most interesting. Our brain is continuously rescanning the things it sees, “Like a twitchy digital camera continually autofocusing and adjusting the eye’s lens,” says Gifford. Deployed correctly, color contrasts and sequential shapes could trick the scanning process, causing images that come alive as twisting tie-dyes, tumbling leaves, and spinning pinwheels.
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