It's no secret that we love a good optical illusion around here. From wedding-themed illusions to animal-themed illusions, we love giving our eyes — and our brain — a good workout to try to figure out these mysterious images. But this latest puzzle is really blowing our minds.
Kohske Takahashi, a psychologist at Chukyo University in Japan, has — to the best of his knowledge — identified a whole new optical illusion that involves how the brain perceives certain lines. Take a look at the image below, originally published in the journal Iperception, and see how the lines in question look to you.
If at first you see some lines that curve and others that zig-zag, you're not alone. Many folks report seeing the same thing. But look a little closer at each line one by one, and you'll see that every single line is actually curvy. Wild, huh?
Called "curvature blindness," this new optical illusion happens specifically when the curvy lines meet a diagonal line that runs from top to bottom on top of a gray and white background. It's not clear why our brains perceive the lines this way, but Takahashi suggests in his research that it may be due to a conflict between identifying the gentle curves and the corners. According to Discover Magazine, when the brain doesn't know for sure if it's seeing a curve or an angle, it may pick them up as corners instead.
Even wilder? This optical illusion appears to have a startlingly similar effect on anyone who looks at it.
“As the effect magnitudes are quite strong, unless one carefully stares at the region that looks like a corner, it is hard to find that all lines are physically wavy,” wrote Takahashi.
Try it on all your friends and watch them be amazed!