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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  • the_wolf
    the_wolfSunday, 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.
      • 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 😎👍
                • animetoast100
                  animetoast100Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 12:07 pm
                  This is soooooooo cool
                  • lpsbrooklyn11
                    lpsbrooklyn11Monday, March 23, 2020 at 8:40 pm
                    That's amazing! I recommend this to @little_angel27 and @bookstory13 and @queenfrankie!
                    • bookstory14
                      bookstory14Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 4:55 am
                      This is crazy!! Thanks for sharing this with me, @lpsbrooklyn10!
                    • fitzpatrick14
                      fitzpatrick14Friday, January 31, 2020 at 7:22 am