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A Rectangle or a Trapezoid window? This Optical Illusion has Left Netizens Confused

Video grab of the optical illusion. 
(Credit: Twitter)

Video grab of the optical illusion. (Credit: Twitter)

This Twitter user shared a video of Ames Trapezoid, aka Ames window, which is a famous illusion in which a trapezoid is drawn on cardboard showing a window with six frames.

The Internet never ceases to blow your mind away and in its recent mind-bending episode, netizens are left with their jaw dropped over an illusion video. Twitter user @drewcoffman shared a video of Ames Trapezoid, aka Ames window, which is a famous illusion in which a trapezoid is drawn on cardboard showing a window with six frames. It appears to be a rectangular window but is in fact, a trapezoid.

The clip is from a 1972’s Australian educational children’s television show named The Curiosity Show hosted by Rob Harrison and Deane Hutton. The said clip shows Hutton demonstrating how the illusion works by hanging the trapezoid vertically from a wire so it rotates in 360 degrees freely. When the rotation is observed, it appears that the longer side is nearer to the viewer despite it not being so. It appears so because we are used to seeing things closer to us as bigger in size, explains Hutton. But as it is suspended by a wire and is rotating fully in a circle, it doesn’t appear to be. The window looks like it is just oscillating or rotating in less than 180 degree that is, it is going in one direction, stopping and then going the other way.

To further astonish its viewers, Hutton passes a ball-point pen right through the centre of the window and fixed it with tape. He urges viewers to focus on the pen to confirm that the trapezoid is moving an incomplete circle while the trapezoid still appears to be moving in an oscillation motion. Now, this further leaves the viewer perplexed as the pen appears to be passing through the window, even though we know that it is impossible. It was shared with a caption saying that this illusion broke his brain.

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The almost two-minute clip has fascinated netizens and garnered more than 1 million views, 39,000 likes and almost 15,000 retweets. The phenomenon of Ames Trapezoid was discovered by an American Physics researcher named Adelbert Ames Jr. in 1947.

Watch The Curiosity Show episode here.

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first published:June 18, 2021, 21:04 IST