Impossible rooftop illusions

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Kokichi Sugihara makes 3D optical illusions. He is the creator of the ambiguous cylinders optical illusion that won the 2nd Prize of the 12th Best illusion of the Year Contest 2016. Here's his entry for 2015, which also won second prize. Read the rest

Change this train's direction with your mind

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You can make the train appear to move toward you or away from you by imagining it.

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Concentric circles, not a spiral

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I had to stare at this for a few minutes. Via Neatorama.

The blue elements in the image above appear to be a arranged in a continuous spiral, but in fact they form a series of concentric circles. Your brain will argue so strongly for a spiral that you may need to run your mouse cursor around the circles a few times to convince yourself.
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Cylinders turn into squares when viewed in mirror

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Kokichi Sugihara's Ambiguous Cylinder Illusion was a finalist of the Best Illusion of the Year Contest 2016. Do you know how it works?

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Trippy animated zoom video makes everything you see in the real world recede

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After watching Ben Ridgway's "Continuum Infinitum" video, everything I looked at seemed to recede for a while. Ben recommends downloading the video and looping it.

As you watch the movie for a minute or so and then look away, you will experience a mild optical illusion that feels as if everything you look at is shrinking away from you. This is caused by the motion after-effect (MAE). It is a visual illusion experienced after viewing a moving visual stimulus for a time (tens of milliseconds to minutes) with stationary eyes, and then fixating on a stationary stimulus. The stationary stimulus appears to move in the opposite direction to the original (physically moving) stimulus. The motion aftereffect is believed to be the result of motion adaptation.

Neurons coding a particular movement reduce their responses with time of exposure to a constantly moving stimulus; this is neural adaptation. Neural adaptation also reduces the spontaneous, baseline activity of these same neurons when responding to a stationary stimulus. One theory is that perception of stationary objects, for example rocks beside a waterfall, is coded as the balance among the baseline responses of neurons coding all possible directions of motion. Neural adaptation of neurons stimulated by downwards movement reduces their baseline activity, tilting the balance in favor of upwards movement.

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Superduperperspective paintings that trick the eye

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"This is an amazing piece of 3D art [by Patrick Hughes and on display at Birmingham Art Gallery] where the closest part of the picture appears to be the furthest away, an optical illusion known as "Reverspective". As you move around the painting, the room in the painting appears to move with you." Read the rest

Cool floating cube illusion

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Even after the secret is revealed, I am still fooled!

Make your own by downloading this PDF template. Read the rest

Best 7 optical illusions of 2015

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Is this cat going up the stairs or down the stairs? And what is in the woman's drinking glass below? Here are the top 7 optical illusions of 2015.

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Which rectangle is darker?

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Blocking the dividing line with a pencil or your finger will help. Read the rest

This artist's 3D painting will blow your mind

"For great art, you have to perceive the object, the situation, and watch the everyday lighting," 3D painter Stefan Pabst told Booooooom. "You have to see something like you did the very first time you saw it, with a complete open mind, like a child."

More on Pabst's Facebook page.

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If you can see the baby in this photo you may be more prone to hallucinations or psychosis

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Can you spot the baby in this image? Researchers at the Universities of Cardiff and Cambridge found that volunteers who showed early signs of psychosis were much better at recognizing the baby than a group of people who did not have psychosis.

Can't see the baby? Good for you! See the original photo.

[via]

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Watch: How to make ten cool optical illusions

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Psychology professor Richard Wiseman of Quirkology shows how to make ten optical illusions. The one with the straw is a good magic trick! Download the floating dice template here. Read the rest

Mephisto Spiral optical illusion

"The Mephisto Spiral is a neat toy that gives the illusion that you can continuously pull the two spiral halves apart."

It looks like 2 interlocking wire spirals. In your hands, the two spirals seem to wind together or wind apart, completely effortlessly. However when you hand the Mephisto Spiral over to someone else, they find that they cannot replicate the action – the two wire spirals are completely rigid.

Alternatively, by simply moving your hands in one direction, you can make the two spirals appear to unwind, yet however many times you repeat the action, the two spirals never come apart.

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How to trick your brain with M&Ms

Researchers at Barrow Neurological Institute made a Lego checkerboard and placed white and purple M&Ms on the squares in a way that makes the board appear to bulge.

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Hidden faces in optical illusion paintings

Artist Oleg Shuplyak arranges the figures and objects in his paintings to reveal the faces of famous people such as Salvador Dali and Charles Darwin. Read the rest

Anamorphic illusion of Lego Minifigs

Those Minifigures are actually 2D anamorphic paintings flat on the ground created by the amazing Leon Keer at Legoland Deutschland. See the reality below. Read the rest

Amazing optical illusion and Spirograph

Phil "Bad Astronomy" Plait deconstructs Brusspup's "Crazy Circle Illusion" and ties it to the wonderful classic art/science/toy Spirograph. Read the rest

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