Merry Christmas!

Here’s a Christmas present I made for you, guys.

Two Christmas trees! One purple-y and one orange-y. Or are they?

This is actually a Munker Illusion (Munker, H. (1970) Farbige Gitter, Abbildung auf der Netzhaut und übertragungstheoretische Beschreibung der Farbwahrnehmung. Habilitationsschrift, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München) and the two trees are actually the same color – #ff017e. Or if you want, R:255, G:1, B:126.

Just superimpose the blue lines onto the yellow square, and the yellow lines onto the blue square to get the same effect as the differently colored trees. Try it yourself on photoshop!

I learned how to make this illusion from Akiyoshi Kitaoka’s excellent website on optical illusions. I also learned that what’s happening here is that your brain is being tricked, essentially, into perceiving the color of the trees differently because it’s forced to interpret the tree color in relation to the color of the superimposed stripes.

Yep. The brain judges the color of things in relation to surrounding colors. The lesson being that human vision is nowhere near as accurate or as precise as a camera. You really can’t trust what you see with your own eyes, because “what you see” is actually just “what your brain thinks you’re seeing.” So, if your brain is already primed to see, say, the silhouette of the Jesus on a piece of toast, then your eyes are going to “see” the Savior immortalized in butter and bread.

Don’t eat that for Noche Buena!







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