Japanese Scientists Uncover Cool Optical Illusion


CCSS NAS-1 322 Words 3-Minute Listen

Focusing on the red cross, look carefully at this picture. What do you see? White dots wriggling around in different directions and colliding? What if we tell you that the dots are not wriggling around, but are actually moving in a straight trajectory and even worse, they never meet each other at all!

Not convinced? Look below at the second picture that has no cross, focus on one single dot and follow it with your eyes - What do you see now? A dot moving in a straight line without coming into contact with any other dots right?

This fun optical illusion was uncovered by three scientists at Japan's Keio University who discovered that for some reason when hundreds of dots are moving in straight trajectories but random directions, our brain perceives them as wriggling around and colliding with each other. It's only when we focus on one single dot that we can see what is really going on.

And while they are unable to figure out why this happens, what they did discover was that the illusion depended on two key factors - the number of dots (the larger the better) and their proximity to each other. The things that made no difference whatsoever was the distance the dots were traveling, what type of dots they were and how the observer's eyes were moving. The scientists presented their findings in a scientific paper in late 2012, hoping that someone would be able to find the cause. But so far, all the experts remain stumped.

And if you think that is cool, how about this one? Look at the white grid drawn on the black background. if you move your eyes around the image, dark dots will magically appear and disappear at the intersections. However, focus on one intersection and poof! - The dark dots are gone! Discovered in 1870 by German physiologist Ludimar Hermann, the reason for this illusion also remains a complete mystery.

Resources: Ncbi,nim.nhi.gov, dailymail.co.uk

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  • lilypads
    lilypadsSaturday, December 12, 2020 at 9:18 am
    Cool 😯
    • nora8
      nora8Friday, November 27, 2020 at 11:15 am
      • jkbear
        jkbearTuesday, November 17, 2020 at 12:21 pm
        that is so cool!
        • appledusk657
          appledusk657Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 3:30 am
          This is amazing! It is a new discovery! Wow! Whipee! I will call my pack. *Hoooooooooowwwl* I am half wolf
          • helacruela
            helacruelaSaturday, July 11, 2020 at 7:17 pm
            I love Optical Illusions! My favorite one is were you stare at the screen for 30 seconds and then look away. I find most of them on Youtube.
            • prodancer
              prodancerFriday, January 15, 2021 at 4:20 pm
              Yeah I like those too and I find them mostly on this book I have
            • effie302
              effie302Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 4:54 pm
              This is amazing, optical illusions are super cool!
              • pinep23
                pinep23Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 3:36 pm
                • bookfan2008
                  bookfan2008Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 1:08 pm
                  So cool!!
                  • shinebright
                    shinebrightTuesday, March 24, 2020 at 5:51 pm
                    woahhhh!!!! This is crazy! Thanks 4 sharing :)
                    • glowinq_stxrs
                      glowinq_stxrsTuesday, March 24, 2020 at 4:04 pm
                      My cousin loves japan a lot and speaking of japan, that’s a cool image 😎👍