Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Our Idiot Eyes: Color

Via the blog Bad Astronomy comes one of the more interesting color optical illusions I've seen, chiefly impressive for its subtlety. I had absolutely no clue what the illusion could possibly be.

So what is it that's strange about this psychedelic pattern? The answer elicits the obligatory disbelief and head shaking: the blue and the green spirals are actually the same color (and yes, in disbelief I pulled the graphic into Photoshop and tested it: they're identical).

The relative nature of colors has always amazed me (particularly in my brief foray into color theory in college), but this is one of the more baffling examples. Bad Astronomy has a more thorough discussion of the effect, so I'll leave it to him while I'm busy getting out my black light and having my mind, like, totally blown.


emilyeirich said...

This optical illusion kind of makes me angry. I want to punish my eyes for their ineptitude by making them watch Basic Instinct 2 on a large screen tv while I hack up an onion.

Tim said...

I think my brain just exploded.

And I can still see it when I close my eyes! (the optical illusion, not brain matter)