It’s easy to trick our brain into perceiving something when in reality it’s something else. Here are some optical illusions which can teach us a great deal about how our brain and eyes work together.
Almost any room we enter is either square or rectangular-shaped, meaning opposite walls are parallel to each other and meet at 90-degree angles. However, an Ames room is shaped like a trapezoid.
The far-left corner is farther from the camera than the far-right corner. So, as the woman walks across the room she appears to grow in size when in reality she’s just moving closer to the camera.
Curious cat illusion
Is the cat going up or down the stairs? Unfortunately, there’s no set answer because there are arguments for both sides.
To answer the question, people again use their brain’s sense of perspective as well as draw from a lifetime of experience with stairs. For example, people examine dark smudges in the grainy image that could be shadows that would specify the position of the cat’s body.
Flattened moon illusion
It’s a real photo of the full moon taken in 2012 by an astronaut on board the International Space Station (ISS). It is a trick of the light that is reaching astronauts’ eyes and camera.
When the moon and the ISS are on opposite sides of the Earth, the sunlight that bounces off of the moon and heads toward the ISS must first travel through Earth’s atmosphere. During its journey, the light interacts with particles in the atmosphere that bend the light, similar to how water distorts light and why objects underwater look larger.
But light from the top-half of the moon travels through less atmosphere than the bottom half, which is physically bent upward to reach astronauts’ eyes and that is why the moon appears squashed from the bottom-up.