Optical illusions are not an unknown phenomenon in physics. In fact, a scene which deceives the eye into viewing another picture while the reality is different is known as optical illusion. An old video of one such illusion is going viral these days, so much so that it has also gained the attention of entrepreneur Elon Musk.
The optical illusion, first shared on Twitter by Japanese user @jagarikin, shows two cubes rotating in opposing directions while they are perfectly static in reality. The video has left the netizens completely baffled, making them wonder at the unbelievable view.
The video was recently shared by Twitter user Steve Stewart-Williams, who wrote, “One of the most powerful motion illusions I've seen: The cubes appear to be rotating in opposite directions – but they're not actually moving at all…”
One of the most powerful motion illusions I've seen: The cubes appear to be rotating in opposite directions – but they're not actually moving at all… 😮 Credit: @jagarikin pic.twitter.com/RgUFskZbZU— Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) August 15, 2020
The gif has received more than 18 thousand likes, attracting the attention of Elon Musk as well, who commented, "Wow".
Wow— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 17, 2020
A user explained, "It’s because of the shading of the lines. When the background is white the blue lines are outlined in black. As the background switches to black they blue lines begin to be outlined in white. This causes the illusion. If they were just blue lines it wouldn’t happen."
It’s because the shading of the lines. When the background is white the blue lines are outlined in black. As the background switches to black they blue lines begin to be outlined in white. This causes the illusion. If they were just blue lines it wouldn’t happen. Kinda dumb.— please go vote (@EvanLang) August 17, 2020
Let’s have a look at some of the reactions:
The notion that the images are identical and unmoving, and by extension this is some optical illusion that only occurs in the mind, ignores that the shading is in-fact moving in different directions.— markgsheppard (@markgsheppard) August 16, 2020
Extraordinary "our brain has a mind of its own" and if you pull away, you finnally see them stop rotating, just like in real life; many times you need to pull back and look at things from a distance to get the real picture.— NeuroVascular #DontBeTheOne #QuedateEnCasa#UsaMasc (@pablolavados) August 16, 2020
If you want to see them not moving, just turn your phone to the left and to the right fast.— eltangerino🔻 (@OwenMblac) August 17, 2020
Yeah not moving. Angles plus the changing background. Anything in Life is also like this. Depends on how much we can see or what we want to believe or see— 蜻蜓 (aka. Gorgo) (@zalbesael) August 17, 2020
Brilliant. The only way I could convince myself that it's not moving is by keeping a mouse cursor on one of the edges of one cube. But that doesn't stop the perception of rotation of the other cube.— Reiner Wilhelms. 雨男 (@rewtoetzi) August 17, 2020
For those who are not aware, the process in the video is known as the reverse phi illusion. In simple words, when the eyes see sudden transitions from either light to dark or dark to light, our brains believe the object to be in motion.