We’ve seen a lot of interesting riddles and brain teasers on the internet lately, but this is something totally different: Meet the disappearing optical illusion. Exactly as confusing as it sounds, this optical illusion literally fades away right before your very eyes — and all you have to do is stare at the center of it.
Posted by reddit user NightBreeze13 just a couple days ago, the mind-boggling image is now getting loads of attention all over the internet. People say that they only need to stare at the picture for about 10 to 20 seconds before the colors start to slowly disappear little by little. Try it for yourself and see how long it takes you to spot it!
For folks having trouble staying focused on just one spot in the image, another reddit user thegame2010 helpfully added a tiny black dot to the middle of the picture. Some people reported blinking once or twice before seeing the fade. If you had any issues watching the optical illusion with the original one — or if you just feel like being amazed all over again — try this one for good measure.
Crazy, right? As it turns out, not really. As Science Alert reported, there’s actually a pretty interesting reason why this disappearing optical illusion works its magic: It all comes down to the Troxler effect.
This phenomenon, discovered back in 1804, found that when you focus your eyes on a single point, other sights you’d normally see in your visual field began to disappear or fade. It all comes down to your retina — a light-sensitive layer of your eye — getting so used to one scene that the other parts of the scene that you’re not looking at begin to take on the appearance of the background. It’s not really “fading away” or “disappearing” entirely, it turns out. (Phew — we were getting worried for a second there!)
It just goes to show that sometimes taking a long, hard look can make a big difference!
h/t Science Alert