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Description Presented here is a vast gallery of many different forms of Optical Illusions. Whether these optical illusions are conveyed through fractals, photographs, architecture, art, or old fashioned pen and ink, they are bound to remind you that "seeing is not believing."

Caution!!!! Some of the optical illusions on this blog may cause dizziness or possibly epileptic seizures. The latter happens when the brain can't handle the conflicting information from your two eyes. If you start feeling unwell when using this website, immediately cover one eye with your hand and then leave the page. Do not close your eyes because that can make the attack worse.
Fractal of the Day Fractal of the Day
Provided By Sprott's Fractal Gallery


Bumps or Holes? Astronomy Analysts Confused

The below two images are quite interesting. The image on the left gives us the impression of having 5 holes and 1 bump. The image on the right looks like it has 5 bumps and 1 hole. What makes this a fascinating optical illusion is the fact that these are the exact same image.

That's right these two images are identical, one is turned upside down. The simple act of turning this image upside down completely changed our assessment of the image.

The reason for this is that the brain assumes that light comes from above. For centuries the best light source was the sun (came from above). Now we have various sources of light but one thing most of them have in common is that designers typically put all major light sources above us. This is a very strong predisposition on our part. Thus we view shadows and light with the assumption that the light is coming from above.

Another example can be seen below. The top image seems to be a large dome, could this be a lava dome preparing to erupt?

No of course not. This is not a lava dome, below we flip it back to where we started. Most of you will recognize this landmark.

Barringer Crater on Earth
Credit: D. Roddy (LPI)

In this image it is clearly the Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona. The only thing done to this image was the top picture was turned upside down. I got this image from the Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Here we think of this as an interesting effect and no more than that. But analysts viewing pictures from other planets often analyze the image from the wrong perspective. Many times these pictures end up in science magazines and journals (one example here) completely upside down and misrepresented. Go to this page to read more about the problems that some analysts have in getting past this optical illusion. Scan down the page and you'll see many examples of errors in astronomy reporting and analysis.


Anonymous said...

hahahahaha... SO cool.

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