Weekly Dose of Woah #40 [September 4, 2019]

gears look like moving

If you’ve been following the Weekly Dose of Woah, you know we love visual illusions.

Too often, the same ones are recycled over and over, using the same principles to wow naive observers.

Every so often, a new visual illusion makes its way across our screens that is so novel that it reminds us of the trite, but true, notion that reality is not as it is perceived by our minds.

So let’s get started…Check out this GIF below:

It looks like the gears are all moving in unison, as gears do, right?

However, something feels a little off…the gears would not actually move in that direction with one another. The blue gear would moving the other way if it was influenced by the brown gear. Same applies for the green one.

This Escher-like impossible movement is being perceived because the gears are not actually moving. The cascading background is the only thing “moving”. It is actually an inferred movement because each column of pixels is changing colors in a consecutive fashion.

The background moving tricks your brain into thinking that the gears are also moving. Wild, right? Be sure to show your friends the next time you’re all lighting up. Count the “woahs” that come out of their mouths when you give the big reveal.

About Nicco Reggente, PhD 167 Articles
Nicco is the co-founder and CEO of WoahStork and Strain Genie-- two companies dedicated to bringing to life his passion of bringing personalized medicine to the cannabis industry. Nicco received his PhD from UCLA in cognitive neuroscience with a focus on machine learning applied to neuroimaging datasets. He previously received two B.As from NYU in Psychology and Philosophy.

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