Are These Strawberries Red? Here’s The Latest Optical Illusion To Go Viral
We've got a new "the dress" on our hands, folks!
Of course, we all remember the great debate that was sparked by “The Dress” online. Was it blue and black or white and gold? I can’t even remember what color combo everyone settled on, to tell you the truth. But the internet never fails to provide plenty of mind-boggling content, and this photo of strawberries certainly falls under that category.
The photograph appeared on Akiyoshi Kitaoka’s Twitter account. Kitaoka’s a professor at psychology at Ritsumeikan University in Japan and the source of the latest online confusion.
You see, Kitaoka posted a photo of strawberries that appear red even though there are no red pixels present.
Strawberries appear to be reddish, though the pixels are not. pic.twitter.com/Ginyhf61F7
— Akiyoshi Kitaoka (@AkiyoshiKitaoka) February 28, 2017
See what I mean? Now, how on Earth does that happen? That’s a very good question indeed. According to Today, it has to do with the concept of color constancy. This concept says your brain corrects what you’re seeing when viewing objects under different types of lighting. So, because your brain knows strawberries are red, that’s how you see them, even under this blue filter.
As Kitaoka notes, there are no red pixels in the image above—only grays and greens.
Here’s the original image:
The original image of the strawberry cake. My wife made it. pic.twitter.com/RFRpwsDzEQ
— Akiyoshi Kitaoka (@AkiyoshiKitaoka) March 2, 2017
“If you imagine walking around outside under a blue sky, that blueness is, in some sense, color-contaminating everything you see,” Bevil Conway, an expert on visual perception from the National Eye Institute, told Motherboard.
“If you take a red apple outside under a blue sky, there are more blue wavelengths entering your eye. If you take the apple inside under a fluorescent or incandescent light without that same bias, the pigments in the apple are exactly the same but because the spectral content of the light source is different, the spectrum entering your eye that’s reflected off the object is different,” he told Motherboard.
Quite honestly, this makes way more sense to me than “The Dress” ever did, but Kitaoka’s Twitter feed is full of visual tricks.
"Ascending dragon": The spiral appears to contract. pic.twitter.com/9Bs1yCqSM2
— Akiyoshi Kitaoka (@AkiyoshiKitaoka) March 1, 2017
We’ll certainly be following him from now on to see what optical illusion he shares next. In the meantime, one girl seems to be missing a pair of legs in this photo—can you figure out what’s going on?