Sunday Morning Illusion: Magic Eye
“Magic eye” pictures are sort of reverse illusions. Where most optical illusions challenge the brain to see what is actually there, a magic eye illusion requires the viewer to force their brain to do things differently to see a hidden image.
For those that don’t know, they work by taking advantage of the nuances of stereoscopic vision. To see the three dimensional image, you must force one eye to focus on one part of the picture while the other focuses on a very similar but slightly different adjacent section. The slight differences in what the eyes are seeing are interpreted by the brain as a three dimensional image.
Don’t know how these work? Click through.
If you don’t know how to see the hidden image, there are a few tips.
1: Get really close to the image. This makes it hard for both eyes to focus on the same point. Get close enough that you see double and then move away slowly. Each eye should settle on a different part of the image but your brain should think it’s the same point.
2: Relax your eyes as if you are staring into the distance. You should see a double image. Try to focus gently on the middle of the image, bringing it into a single cohesive image again but with each eye staring at a different part of it.
3: Go wall-eyed. This is just like going cross eyed but backwards. Some people can just do this. It makes magic eyes really easy.
3: Don’t look at the edges. The fact that your eyes are actually not focused at the right distance means the sides will always appear in double and this will often break your focus.
3: Have the image fill as much of your field of vision as possible. The example above is not so good. Larger pictures are better. They give less reference for your eyes to notice and refocus on.
4: Don’t have anything moving or flashing. Anything that draws your attention will refocus your eyes on the actual depth they should be at.
5: Don’t tilt your head or the image. All magic eyes have a repeating horizontal pattern. This has to be in perfect allignment with your eyes to work.
Science, it works crotches!