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Archive for June, 2010


I’ve always enjoyed playing with optical illusions. Optical illusion occurs when your brain misinterpret the messages sent by your eyes which resulted in making things look different from what they actually are. There are all kinds of illusions stretching from afterimages to colour adapting to impossible objects. The first illusion I’ve ever been introduced to was the ‘arrow illusion’ by my father.

Take a look at both arrows in the picture above. The line (a) looks longer then line (b) although both are actually of the same length. My father introduced this illusion to me when I was 7 from an airplane magazine.

Last week, my dad gave my little brother an ‘Illusion Science Kit’. Knowing the fun of illusions, he was very excited when he received it. He quickly opened the box and pulled out the contents. He took the booklet (from the kit) and started reading it. As a generous brother and a good boy, he shared them with all of his sisters and all of us crowded around him to take a look. There are lots of illusions shown together with the explanations on how they work. Here is my favourite illusion:

What you should do is to try saying out the colours aloud instead of reading the words.

Say out the colours, not the words!

Quite hard, isn’t it? Here is another one (not from the kit): How many f’s (the letter F) can you find in the whole paragraph? The answer is written below the passage (but don’t read the answer yet).

Count the f's in this paragraph.

Did you say 3? Count again… actually there are 6! Like most people, you might missed 3 f’s. Amazing, isn’t it? Our brain only processes important words that gives real meaning and only skid over less important words like ‘if’ and ‘the’. If you counted six in your first try, consider yourself as unusual and amazing 😉 .

There are many more illusions that on the internet. My favourite website is the Mighty Optical Illusions (http://moillusions.com). Illusions are certainly fun to play with and their effects are amazing.

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