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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.
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
This is the winner of the "2014 Best Illusion of the Year Contest;" below is a description and video of the second and third prize winners.
Christopher D. Blair, Gideon P. Caplovitz, and Ryan E.B. Mruczek University of Nevada Reno, USA, USA The Dynamic Ebbinghaus takes a classic, static size illusion and transforms it into a dynamic, moving display. A central circle, which stays the same size, appears to change size when it is surrounded by a set of circles that grow and shrink over time. Interestingly, this effect is relatively weak when looking directly at a stationary central circle. But if you look away from the central circle or move your eyes, or if the entire stimulus move across the screen, then the illusory effect is surprisingly strong -- at least twice as large as the classic, static Ebbinghaus illusion.
Mark Vergeer, Stuart Anstis, and Rob van Lier University of Leuven, UC San Diego, Radboud University Nijmegen, The NetherlandsRead the rest
In this visual illusion one colored image can lead to completely different color impressions. The impression depend on the grey scale transparent image that is presented on top of the colored image. The 2 colored images on the left and the right are exactly the same, constructed from a combination of the color profile of the forrest picture and the Manhattan skyline picture. The grey scale image that is presented on top of this colored image reinforces the colors that are congruent with the the gray scale image and inhibits incongruent colors.
A few years ago, artist Maki Naro drew a comic explaining why the Moon appears larger on the horizon than it does way up in the sky.
Recently, he got a helpful email from astronomy blogger Phil Plait. Turns out, the original comic was just a bit wrong and Phil Plait had a much more thorough explanation. So, like any good evidence-based comic artist, Naro drew a new version of the comic, featuring a only-sorta-creepy Phil Plait jumping out of the bushes to accost people with accurate astronomical information.
Check out this post on Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy blog, upon which the comic is based. Read the rest