Japanese Scientists Uncover Cool Optical Illusion

By

Word Count

322 words

Reading Level

Listen to Article

Credit: Kei University

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.

Credit: Keio University

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 were 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.

Credit: Keio University

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

Cite Article
Geography
1197 Comments
  • burgerbang
    burgerbang5 months
    I love optical illusions! My favorite is one where there are 8 ladies that are dancing. But their uniforms are the optical illusion. 4 ladies have uniforms that are black on one side and white on the other and the other 4 are vice versa. Then it looks like some ladies are being picked up by others but really all the ladies are lifting one leg. It’s fascinating.
    • lunar3clipse
      lunar3clipse12 months
      Yeah where?
      • astromochi
        astromochiabout 1 year
        Where is the picture
        • pastelea
          pasteleaover 1 year
          I love illusions! <3
          • lilypads
            lilypadsover 1 year
            Cool 😯
            • nora8
              nora8over 1 year
              I LOVE OPTICAL ILLUSIONS!!
              • jkbear
                jkbearover 1 year
                that is so cool!
                • cr4td4l
                  cr4td4lalmost 2 years
                  This is amazing! It is a new discovery! Wow! Whipee! I will call my pack. *Hoooooooooowwwl* I am half wolf
                  • zerotwo02
                    zerotwo02almost 2 years
                    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.
                  • effie302
                    effie302almost 2 years
                    This is amazing, optical illusions are super cool!