This optical illusion is confusing everyone because the lines are actually straight and parallel

In Inspirational, Science & Technology

Image credit: Victoria Skye.

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An unusual optical illusion has gone viral recently, leaving people collectively confused and scratching their heads. But can you figure out why?

Take a look at the image again. It appears as though the four horizontal lines are bending at an angle. But when you take a closer look, you’ll see that they are in fact completely straight.

Image credit: Victoria Skye.

The image is called the Café Wall Illusion and was created by Victoria Skye.

“I love tricking the brain on any level and making the impossible possible,” explains Ms Skye.

“In my version of the famous Café-Wall illusion, I have mixed together both the original Café-Wall illusion that was made famous by Richard Gregory – and which showcases the brickwork laid on the wall of a café in Bristol – with the work of Akiyoshi Kitaoka, who has developed a number of different versions using the same underlying effect.”

Skye continues:

“Other versions of this effect were later discovered, such as the Café Wall variant, and in my version I have summed two very strong versions of this effect to heighten the illusion even more.”

So how does the image work?

“The scientists say that the reason the illusion exists has to do with how the with and black edges interact in opposite directions along the straight edge, tricking the brain into thinking there is a slant in the line,” she says.

“That’s why, if you blur the image, the effect disappears… because you cannot resolve the tiny white-black interactions once they are blurred, so the brain is no longer led down the garden path.”

We blurred the image for you.

This image is unique for demonstrating so clearly that our brains distort reality. If a simple image like this can so easily make horizontal lines appear to be bending, what else in your life is being distorted by your brain?

If you the distortions in this image blows your mind, check out these other puzzles:

References: The Telegraph