This mind-boggling optical illusion may baffle you, even after you learn that you didn’t see what you thought you did.
Experimental psychologist Akiyoshi Kitaoka often amuses her Twitter followers by sharing images that can make you question your own sanity.
One mystifying illusion shows two rotating rings made up of six ovals.
One is all black, while the other alternates between black and white against a gray background.
Kitaoka, who teaches at the Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, tweeted, “The right ring appears to rotate faster than the left one, though the velocity is the same.”
The right ring appears to rotate faster than the left one, though the velocity is the same. pic.twitter.com/YnJ9Uh6Hvq
— Akiyoshi Kitaoka (@AkiyoshiKitaoka) October 8, 2022
Even after being told that both rings are spinning at the same speed, it’s hard to believe that’s the case.
Essentially, the flashing ovals on the right ring trick your mind into thinking they’re spinning faster than those on the left.
“To crack the code, viewers can cover the left ring with their hand to see the right ring slow down,” the New York Post explained.
The rotating pattern Kitaoka shared uses the “phi phenomena, an illusion of movement that occurs when stationary objects are placed side by side and illuminated in rapid succession,” according to the Post.
“This phenomenon is commonly seen in flip books to make characters move across the page or added to make marquee lights appear to be flashing.”
Optical illusions spotlight how our eyes and brains work together to interpret what we see.
“You live in a three-dimensional world, so your brain gets clues about depth, shading, lighting, and position to help you interpret what you see,” according to the National Eye Institute. “But when you look at a two-dimensional image, your brain can be fooled because it doesn’t get the same clues.”
Here are some other illusions that may confound you:
Rings appear to rotate. pic.twitter.com/Dcp48Li3iH
— Akiyoshi Kitaoka (@AkiyoshiKitaoka) December 30, 2022
The image appears to wave. pic.twitter.com/qgFVRoskT9
— Akiyoshi Kitaoka (@AkiyoshiKitaoka) December 19, 2022
Let’s go back in time to 3/29/21
“No we know that the vaccines work well enough that the virus stops with every vaccinated person… The virus does not infect them…It cannot use a vaccinated person as a host to get more people.” pic.twitter.com/kwsDIPYl2E
— Aaron Ginn (@aginnt) December 26, 2021
A Year in Review 2022
60 Minutes is asking @JoeBiden about the highest inflation in 40 years.
“It’s up an just an inch, hardly at all” – Joe Biden pic.twitter.com/p8YbZxfEdX
— . SGTValadez (@SGTValadez) December 30, 2022
While optical illusions are tricks our brains play on us, the past few years have underscored how easily the public can be fooled by insidious propaganda — and even blatant lies — rabidly pushed by politicians and their media allies.
As we embark on a new year, let us remember that things aren’t always what they seem and that sometimes, it is not only right to question outlandish narratives, but it is our moral and civic duty to do so.
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