/**/ "What did I just see?" 5 Ways Your Eyes Can Deceive You

“What did I just see?” 5 Ways Your Eyes Can Deceive You

October 15th, 2014

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You can’t always trust what you see. No, there’s nothing wrong with your contact lens or your sunglasses, nor is there anything technically wrong with your eyeballs. It’s your brain that’s causing all the confusion! Like it or not, our mind has a way of influencing our visual perception, that is, what we see through our eyes, allowing us to see the things it only wants us to see. It can even trick us into seeing things that aren’t actually there. Let’s take a look at the image below:

Hermann grid illusion

Are you seeing ghostly grey blobs at every intersection of the white grids? Do they seem to disappear whenever you choose to focus on just one? That’s because there are no blobs in the first place! What you’re looking at right now is the Hermann grid illusion, designed specifically to fool your eyesight. And as if that’s not enough, your eyes can trick you in other ways than physiologically, as it did above. Here’s how:



What’s the color of the object? If your answer is pale yellow, then you’re dead wrong! It’s actually white. The shape has blue and yellow borders that make you think differently. Recent study shows that certain colors we see are actually figments of our imagination created by our brain. Colors also have a way of attracting us to people or things we would otherwise ignore. For example, did you know that wearing something red makes you look more desirable to the opposite sex?


Just think of Neferpitou, a character from the Hunter X Hunter manga. Even today, nobody can tell if IT’s male or female. Ambiguous objects or images often induce a perceptual switch between alternative interpretations. One of the best examples for this is the Rabbit-Duck illusion, as seen below. Here, you can either see a duck or a rabbit, depending on which one you want to see.



This involves seeing a twisted version of an object or image. As in seeing colors where there is none, it’s nothing more than a product of your imagination. Take the Pinna’s illusion for example.

Pinna’s illusion

As you can see, the image is leading you to believe that the circles are intertwining. Nothing can be further from the truth! What you’re seeing is actually a set of four squares, each made from alternating black and white squares that are positioned at a certain angle that gives it an unusual effect.


Your eyes can not only deceive you through your visual perception, but through motion as well. One of the best illustrations to prove this point is the image of the Spinning Dancer, as seen below:

Spinning Dancer

Depending on the beholder, the maid in the picture is either spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise. Viewers also experience seeing the figure suddenly change directions, spinning the opposite way. The illusion is due to lack of visual cues for depth that would have removed its motion’s ambiguity.

There is doubt that your eyes are one of the most useful tools you have for everyday life. But that doesn’t mean you should believe everything you see! Remember to always take a second look, because your eyes MAY deceive you.

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