Skip to comments.Not the dress again — illusion from two identical images confuses the internet
Posted on 02/09/2018 5:02:24 PM PST by Swordmaker
Two roads diverged and confused the internet (again). In a sequel to that blue-and-black-or-white-and-gold-dress and those green strawberries, another optical illusion is confusing the internet, and this time, not on color. This week, a Redditor shared a photo of what appears to be a road taken from two different perspectives. Big deal, right? Except the images are actually one and the same.
The post shows two images of a street side-by-side. The one on the right, however, appears to slant more towards the right. Thats problematic, because if you overlay the images with each other, its easy to see that both images are identical, pixel for pixel.
So why do the two roads look like they could be the opening of a Robert Frost poem? The answer probably has something to do with how our brains interpret lines in a two-dimensional image.
If you take just the photo by itself, the image depicts a concept that photographers call converging lines. If you stand in the middle of a straight, flat road and take a picture, the lines that make up the edge of the road in the distance will eventually appear to merge together. Our brains, however, know that those lines dont actually touch, but that distance simply makes them appear to grow closer together. Instead of seeing converging lines, the brain sees depth. In the street image, we know that the van isnt larger than the truck, we know that its just closer because those lines allow the brain to see the depth in the image.
Thats why converging lines are popular in photography, because that effect gives a two-dimensional image the appearance of depth. Converging lines give our brains clues of depth in the original scene, since the image is actually flat.
If the brain knows that converging lines dont actually converge, then why do those identical photos look different? The answer is in the placement of the photos. View the same images one on top of the other instead of side-by-side, and they look like the same image. When the images are placed next to each other, however, the brain uses those same converging line clues to measure depth and assumes that the road on the right is actually forking off of the first road.
As another Reddit user points out, if you cover up the bottom half of the image, the top halves look identical. Move your hand to view the images in their entirety again, and those converging lines tell the brain that those roads are heading in different directions. Mind = Boggled.
These kinds of illusion fascinate me. Magicians make use of our brain’s tendencies to fool us all the time. Cool!
Aaaargghh.... They still look different to me even when one is placed below the other, while scrolling down with the mouse. But when they’re still, they do look the same.
Worst 3d image, ever. ;^)
I must be missing something, they look identical to me.
That is a very convincing illusion. It’s like watching close-up magic — what you see is clearly impossible, but there it is.
The photos are completely different.
Until I close my right eye. Then they are identical.
Same here. They look identical to me too. I looked, looked, looked, and I can’t see any difference at all in them or how I am seeing them.
does your brain only use one eye?
If you cover one then the other you see they are the same.
The photos are not identical.
The one on the right has sharper lines which causes the road to appear closer. The road on the left is blurrier so it appears to be further away.
Our right eye tends to be the prominent one so it catches first the sharp lines which are on the right.
I’m curious if the same problem would occurs if the photos were switched.
I have 20/13 vision, and they look identical to me too. It’s not just you.
No, they are indeed identical. The issue is your mind insists on making them diverge due to expecting them to diverge due to a life time of seeing perspective. . . so it edits in perspective that isn't there. The world our brain "sees" is not the world our eyes actually see. Perception is a strange combination of reality filtered through pre-learned expectations.
This is cool but the photos are indeed different. The right photo has a creepy clown standing in the middle who keeps urging me to kill people. I’m surprised no one has mentioned this.
I didn’t “see” a difference until I read what the difference was supposed to be now I can’t unsee it!
> The photos are not identical. The one on the right has sharper lines which causes the road to appear closer. The road on the left is blurrier so it appears to be further away.”
Must be something about your screen, the lighting in your room, your eyes, or something else. I used a hex editor (Frhed) and did an automatic comparison of the bits in the image files (by selecting Edit, Compare from current offset — starting at byte 0000), and the result was “Data matches exactly”.
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