Is seeing really believing?

By: Grace H.


  Do you ever wonder what that really is a picture of? If yes, then this is the article for you! If no, you still might like it. So read on and find out!

Types of Illusions

  So, how many illusions are there anyway? Well, there are a countless number of illusions, so I’ll just tell you the main four: anti-imaging, geometric illusions, snake illusions, and motion aftereffect. Anti-imaging can be done with an anti-aliasing filter. This effect makes normal things look abstract and scary. Geometric illusions use unusual geometric properties, such as strange alignment to confuse you. The possible effects are: moving objects, strange colors, and double perception. On snake illusions, the phenomena may also have moving effects, but unlike geometric illusions, snake illusions distract you from the background with a focal point and color will not change the effect. Motion aftereffect can be done by staring at something spinning. The effect comes when you look at something not moving, then it seems to be moving because of motion aftereffect.

But, why?

  The brain processes illusions using perception. That’s why an illusion looks different to everyone! How illusions work are the eye sends multiple messages to the brain, so the brain gets confused. So, in return, we can’t see things correctly. We can’t see things correctly because there is not enough information that makes sense, thus the brain is forced to jump to conclusions because the visual cortex can’t decide what you are looking at, so you see something that is not real. What is really there is a deceptive image, such as a “3D” object that is really 2D.

 Real World Illusions

     The first illusion we will talk about is a mirage. The first thing you should know is that they can form ANYWHERE! Fun fact: the longest lasting mirage was four hours and looked like an ocean under the city! We see mirages because we see the sky reflecting on ground that is hotter than usual. Mirages look distinct because the temperatures vary. The next illusion is refraction. Refraction can be described as light bending two different ways. Then, refraction happens when two kinds of molecules clash together. The third real world illusion is complex drawings. Complex drawings simply fool your visual perception. The fourth and final illusion is magic. So-called magic only works because a magician distracts you while she/he is really doing something else. Your mind tries to fill in the blanks while your eye is being distracted.

Famous Optical Illusion Makers

The first is Beverly (“Bev”) Doolittle. She wrote five books and made many optical illusions. The next is Octavio Ocampo. He had to be an artist- everyone is his family was a designer! The third is M.C. Escher. Art seemed to be the only thing Escher was good at when he failed the 2nd grade. The fourth and last optical illusion maker is Mr. Wenner. He painted his first mural when he was only 16 years old!

So, is seeing really believing? Now that you know more about illusions, they can still deceive you! Even if you already know the effect it will still get you. The minds control over the eyes is powerful. So if you fall for one again, at least you are smart about illusions!


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Woodward, John. How To Be A Genius. N.p.: Laura Buller, 2009. Print.

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