Amazing illusion

Posted by: Matthew Trost

Via Discover magazine via Akiyoshi Kitaoka:


Incredibly, the blue and the green spirals are the same color. From the article:

The orange stripes go through the “green” spiral but not the “blue” one. So without us even knowing it, our brains compare that spiral to the orange stripes, forcing it to think the spiral is green. The magenta stripes make the other part of the spiral look blue, even though they are exactly the same color.

Two TEDTalks on our mis-wired brains: Dan Dennett and Al Seckel.

Comments (14)

  • andy tulett commented on May 17 2011

    its a fake, check out what i found inside it

    the main green is the same colour but the rings have lighter and darker shade pixels spread out inside them – like having a dirty carpet and hoovering one side.




  • Zero Cyde commented on Jun 26 2009

    No, the RGB value of both the “Green” and “Blue” spirals is R:0 G:255 B:150

  • Charlie Ferguson commented on Aug 20 2009

    It gets worse. Our perception of color is entirely subjective. e.g., we cannot agree that our perception of the color of an orange is the same. How can I prove to you that what I “see” is the same as what you see. Perhaps your perception is what I would call blue. We will always agree that the fruit orange is perceived as “orange” and the wavelength 600 nm is “orange”, but can’t know that our experience is the same. There’s is no reason to disbelieve it but there is no way to prove it.

  • Ward Sharlow commented on Aug 19 2009

    We see this kind of thing frequently in printing. A designer will use a company’s logo, keeping intact the color specification. Then, once the client comes for press check, they’ll swear that the logo color is wrong because it’s now in the middle of a field of some other color. You compare a sample and a press proof using a spectrophotometer, and they still won’t believe you.

    For fun, lay a red sample on a yellow background and ask someone by memory to pick the sample color out of the Pantone book. The PMS guide is always printed on bright white paper, so the re-calibration of your eyes will normally have you guessing something much more magenta. It’s pretty surprising how wrong you can be.

  • dennis hoff commented on Jul 4 2009

    There are a lot of funny illusions on the net

  • Warren Lytle commented on Jul 1 2009

    Wow that makes me dizzy!

  • Elizabeth Baum commented on Jun 26 2009

    Didn’t one of Dan Ariely’s TED talks begin with an illusion like this? His premise was that even after we prove to ourselves that we are incorrect in an assumption, this doesn’t change how we interpret the same information later, so we will continue to behave in accordance with the incorrect assumption.

  • Philipp Engelhorn commented on Jun 25 2009

    in case anyone else was confused: the blue and the green are the same color! crazy! went into a photo editor to delete the orange and magenta and it’s true!

  • Cameron Micules commented on Jun 25 2009

    Anybody out there suffer from color-blindness able to see the colors properly? Does that then mean that those of us who don’t ‘suffer’ from the condition are actually the ones with a ‘condition’?

  • Kevin Kopp commented on Jun 25 2009

    It’s cool to go into a photo editor and fill in the magenta and orange, and watch the colors change instantly… http://bit.ly/9unXR

  • Laura Cococcia commented on Jun 25 2009

    If that visual doesn’t inspire us to “look twice” or “think twice” than I don’t know what does. Interesting commentary about how are brains are wired – seems like we have a slight power to unwire them using a bit of will and perspective shift…