Break Education STEM

Don’t always trust your brain!

Surely, you’ve seen a myriad of optical illusions on the internet. Some are funny, inexplicable, confusing, and there are some you may not have fallen for. I present one of my favorite ones here. Take a look at this image:

Most likely, you’ll see different colors of sphere in the above image. Ranging from yellowish, orange-ish, purple-ish, greenish, to red-ish. Great! Except that you are wrong. They are all the same color! It’s your brain tricking you (or your eyes first, then your interpretation).

Prove it! You say? Sure. I’ll take the same image and just remove the overlapping “blinders” lines…and then we see this:

Ah! The real spheres’ color is just light-brown base color (RGB 255,188,144).


Our brains not only process colors individually but also within the context of nearby colors. This kind of optical illusion is known as a Munker-White Illusion. Shrinking the image size increases the effect (and opposite seems to be slightly also true).

This makes you wonder, do we really see the true colors of things around us? Especially when surrounded by patterns/designs and other combinations of other colors in the world? Or is it just our human interpretation? What about the animals that have fewer and larger color spectrum? What colors do they see when we see yellow, purple, green?

Attribution: This illusion was originally created by Professor David Novick ( and he seems to love teasing brains with these things 🙂 More color illusions here.


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