The best optical illusion I have seen all year


A few days ago i was sent this amazing illusion (thanks Karen). The illustration below appears to show green and blue spirals…..


But in fact the apparent green and blue are exactly the same colour! Don’t believe me? Well, I put the image into photoshop and changed all of the other colours to black and you get this…..


I find that utterly jaw dropping. What do you think?

Update: A few people have pointed out that you can have the creepy experience of the illusion vanishing as you zoom in in the image!

Update2: Another great version of it here.

P.S. I am not sure who created this, so if anyone can find out let me know and I will obviously credit it. the link I was sent it here. Just found out that it was created by Kitaoka (thanks Rob).


303 comments on “The best optical illusion I have seen all year

  1. Jesse says:

    Wow. I couldn’t believe it at first, but after staring at it and really focussing, I can force the colours to look the same. I dunno how much of that is overcoming the illusion, and how much is deluding myself enough to cancel out the initial illusion. Science!

  2. Atticus says:

    Tis true….. i just spent 30 mins going over it myself through various image programs and yep, its the same color.

    Do you trust your own eyes??

  3. Andrew MW says:

    that is amazing…!

  4. Carl says:

    That’s pretty impressive, although there is a bit of a digital-image artefact which could be affecting the result. If you zoom in a lot so you can see the individual pixels, you’ll notice that the jaggy borders between colour regions have significant ‘anti-aliasing’, resulting in several pixels of an in-between colour along the borders. This is a standard digital image technique, making jaggy, pixelated lines look smoother. However, in this case, it could be accused of contributing to the perceived illusion effect.

    You’ll note that at the centre of the image, the spirals get so close together that the anti-aliased blends become larger than the spirals themselves, and so most of the pixels of the ‘green’ are very much NOT the same colour as the pixels of the ‘blue’.

    However, I will concede that the bands at the outside are wide enough so that there is significant amounts of same-coloured pixels. So, yeah, after all that, it seems the illusion still ‘works’, and it’s damned good.

    Still, for complete rigour, I wonder if anyone can be bothered rendering a high-resolution version with no anti-aliasing.

  5. […] the revelation on Richard Wiseman’s blog. Fellow Ricardo Bittencourt, good skeptic that he is, also tested the image on Photoshop and found […]

  6. Yime says:

    This reminds me of an article some 30 years ago in Sci Am about how a b/w slide photo was taken first through a red filter and then a second picture through a blue one. Then with two projectors — first one with a red filter and second one with the blue — the images were aligned. When that happened more than just the red and blue tints were visible — a whole range of color tints were “visible.”

    The same thing must be going on here.

    Nice illusion.

    • sarandipt says:

      Yes it was in the early 1900’s. Prokudin-Gorskii used this technique. Here is an article about it:

      For more Photoshop fun, you can search the Library of Congress images Web site and find more images, some have been combined, some not. If you’re clever enough, you can composite these yourself in Photoshop and see some amazing images from around 1905 that have never been published in color.

  7. Noadi says:

    Wow. Now I knew of this effect as an artist but I’ve never seen it demonstrated in such a dramatic way.

  8. Michael Kingsford Gray says:

    It is one of those illusions that is very hard to believe!
    Thank you Richard for bringing it to my attention.

    (BTW, the actual colour concerned is not ‘solid’.
    It is formed by dithering two pixels at an approximately 50% distribution.
    One pixels is R=11, G=244, B=156.
    The other is R=20, G=250, B=140.)

    I, too, would be interested in viewing a better resolution version of this startling illusion.
    I have done a cursory search, but have to hand back my Sherlock Google badge, as I found nothing…

  9. stan bucasas says:

    um. unless this image fools photoshop too, it doesnt work. and if you’re removing color from the blue and green to make them match, its not really an illusion since you’re tampering with the image.

  10. Steve says:

    I copied the picture to Photoshop, but did not use the technique described here. I simply used the eyedropper tool, and then the paintbrush. The blue & green are definitely different colors. In the outer edges of the spiral, the colors are more similar, but still distinct. Near the center of the spiral, they are not even close.

    • Steve says:

      Ok, I tried using the same technique using the original image on the buzzhunt website that is linked to here. In that image, the “blue” and the “green” are indeed the same color. Some extra color information was added when the image was copied to this site.

  11. Martien says:

    The original (on the other website) is a GIF image with a fixed palette of colours. The colours in the palette are black (0,0,0), orange (255,150,0), purple (255,0,255), and the green-blue (0, 255, 150) colour that appears as two colours to our eyes.

    The image included on this page (colors.gif) has a different palette with many more colours. It is also smaller. I suspect that it got resized, and in the process the software that resized it performed some color mixing and interpolation. It’d probably be better to have the original picture here.

    That said, this is genuinely a baffling optical illusion.

    • Martien says:

      I’ve been playing with this a bit, or rather, with the original. Even if you change the green-blue colour to another one, like pure blue, or red, the illusion still works.

  12. seb says:

    For those of us who don’t want to bother tinkering with photoshop: zooming in seems to diminish the effect somewhat – probably because the bands become much wider and are thus less affected by the surrounding red and orange bands. With maximum zoom in Firefox I can see that the colors in the outer bands are indeed the same. But I can’t keep this in my mind. As soon as I zoom out again, the colors resume looking completely different.

  13. yes indeed, only when i zoomed in i saw they are the same color. (except for some antialiasing) you percieve them different because the surrounding color is totaly different.

  14. Karthi says:

    I don’t want to believe this, until I try to find RGB values in PS.

  15. cuneyt ozdas says:

    Really cool indeed. I (kinda) remade this image. It’s not as beautiful as this one but free from artifacts.


    • Martien says:

      In this version of the picture, does everyone else see the green on the left and the blue on the right? Or are there people who see it the other way around?

    • Mike G says:

      Very cool – a much clearer demonstration. Good job.

    • Mike Todd says:

      When I zoom in on your image (using pixelmator) I find the ‘greener’ side switches from the left to the right at the highest zoom levels. Intriguing.

  16. Also, if you zoom into it, you can slowly see that the colours are the same. Spooky!

  17. cam says:

    My eyes,my eyes.!!

  18. Moi says:

    Well, it is mostly the same color, but if you look at the pixels bordering with the purple, you’ll find the ‘blue’ ones more blue and ‘green’ ones more green than the base ‘blue-green’ color. And if it wasn’t for that, we wouldn’t be able to see one spiral as constantly green, and the other as constantly blue, they would change places depending on zoom or smth.

  19. SteveE says:

    Sweet, this example is like a colour version of the chess board in shadow illusion:

    I love this one as well:

    There was a lovely issue of Scientific American Mind that covered illusions:

  20. scibuff says:

    As pointed out above, the colors are the same (0x00ff96) in the original image. It seems that the image here was changed by the wordpress image tools

  21. EmilyT says:

    Seriously wow! Have to say I find the spiral version more impressive than the squares version. The colour “difference” doesn’t seem as great in the squares version.

  22. josephalford says:

    Sussed out how this works. Hope it doesn’t detract…

    It’s well known that the human eye detectd differences in colour (chrominance) at a much lower resolution than light levels (luminance). Between two sharply contrasting colours, the eye always does a little bit of averaging at the edges.

    If you zoom in and follow the paths, you’ll see that there are three colours of spiral: a magenta, an orange, and a blue/green. The magenta and orange colours are harmonious enough that we ignore the difference between those and concentrate on the blue/green.

    Where we see blue/green as green, it is averaging with orange; where we see blue/green as blue, it is averaging with magenta. Though the blue/green is always the same colour, it is rendered on alternating paths, and so averages out with a different colour.

    As mentioned above, the illusiion is being ‘helped along’ by anti-aliasing. I would imagine a high-res, non-anti-aliasing version would produce the same effect, though perhaps less prominent, provided the spirals have a small enough width.

    The ‘trick’ is to see the non-blue/green parts as two different colours, magenta and orange. Because of the way our brains prioritise certain contrasts, this is not immediately apparent.

    Cool effect. Thumbs up.

    • thumbtastic says:

      Good job, Joseph. I was hoping someone else was paying close enough attention to see this. Its actually just in the way that original blue green color and the two colored stripes over laying the spirals are seen by the eye.

      Another interesting and sort of similar trick: wrap two copper pipes around each other, then fill one with very warm water, and the other with very cool water. After that, grab the pipes and you will react as if you just scalded your hand.

      The reason why is because the hand, of course, has alot of nerves in it for sensing all kinds of things. Particularly, you have two types of nerves for sensing temperature, one set for hot, the other for cold. When something is on the uncomfortable end of hot or cold it fires both sets of nerves which causes extreeme discomfort, the way a burn feels. SO, the warm and cold pipes fire both types of nerves and you get the same feeling.

      Now, if you will permit me to think a bit. Does it say something about our society when so many people relied more on technology than the obvious explanation?

    • allegoricus says:

      Yes, the actual colour is more of a cyan (turquoise-ish), rather than either blue or green. The apparent outcome is not so much averaging as contrasting, I would say, but you’re otherwise close enough.

  23. nosgoroth says:


    I used an on-screen color picker and BAM.

  24. Hester says:

    Nicely done,…colours do absorb eachother right, guess that’s why, say red, goes better (or better yet different) with some peoples skintone, then others

  25. Phil Plait says:

    This is much like the chess board shadow illusion, which I would say is equally befuddling and overpoweringly real-appearing.

  26. KatM says:

    Must show this to my son who is colour-blind and find out if the illusion works for him. Will report back later……

  27. That is seriously impressive. I had to check in Photoshop before I believed it.

    @KatM: That is an excellent idea.

  28. John says:

    I am colourblind and all I can say is, what’s all the fuss?

  29. Kate says:

    Wow – that is outstanding

  30. natalie says:

    Original versions (without aliasing) and credits are on this site:

  31. Adam Zed says:

    Another way to test this, as I did, is to copy it to microsoft paint and use the ‘dropper’ tool. Then draw a thick line with another tool.

    Same colour. MENTAL. Great!!

  32. Phill says:

    Some of you guys have way too much time on your hands.

    It’s pretty. And it’s interesting. Now do some work.

  33. onmedica says:

    colour blind .. doesn’t work for me!

  34. almonty says:

    It’s funny but no matter how hard I tried I still saw two different colours. I’m was not convinced by everyone’s replies – were they really sure it’s the same colour ? I don’t have photo shop and my sceptisism has a habit of increasing in proportion to the popularity of an opinion !

    Mmmm, so………..

    I cut a small square approx 5mm by 5mm in a piece of paper and covered most of the image such that I could isolate the apparently different coloured spirals and that pretty much did it – I could see that without the influence of the surrounding colours the individual ‘apparent’ blues and greens now appear to be the same colour.

    I then noticed that if you track a pink band across the screen it is not continuous – i.e. across one colour it is pink, then in between it is pink, however, as you reach the 2nd colour it stops and is replaced by the band of that next color. So I’m guessing part of the heart of the illusion is relative to the continuity of the spirals.

  35. almonty says:

    Just had a look at the site posted by natalie –

    It’s weird but I all the blue or yellow or green ones fool me, but the red ones always look like the same red. How am I able to better distinguish the reds ?

  36. narzarom says:

    Hm :-?… is really simple..
    Where you see blue.. that is the dominant color..
    ..There is green with a blue outline.. but.. at first site.. is very cool

  37. Mike12k says:

    Some of the colour in the very middle is the same but where the colour blends it is different, that is what you see. The image, if it was in a higher resolution would not have the same illusion.

  38. Murray says:

    Yeah, I just copied it to my hard disk and opened it in Photoshop. Both the green and the blue are 59 Cyan, 0 Magenta, 71 Yellow and 0 Black.

  39. alhakim says:

    i do a test like nosgoroth do : using color picker. And it has same RGB Value! I couldn’t believe it ???

  40. lessequalsmore says:

    Way cool.

    But I’d love to take this discussion to another level. I’ve just always been curious about something. So if someone out there could explain to me how we ‘see’ the same colours. I mean if I see the colour red and have trained myself to learn that the colour I see is ‘red’ how do I know that my ‘red’ isn’t someone else’s blue, but they call it red? Hope that made sense. My son also asked me the other night whether dogs or cats see better and the best I could do at the time was say that because they are both naturally predators both have to have very good eyesight, although because cats tend to hunt more in the dark, their eyes were better in the dark. He then went on to ask me if they saw in colour or black and white and I said we would look that one up, however it still led to the question. How would they have found that out? Animals can’t ‘tell us’ what colours (if at all) that they are seeing. So how would they test for this? I wouldn’t even know where to research this, so if someone could give me a heads up (before the little guy asks me, that would be terrific). Thanks for your patience all!

    • Gary says:

      I just searched. Haven’t looked into it more than a quick read but has a thought. And it seems like it would be right.
      I thought about calling a veterinarian.

    • Jeremy Miles says:

      There are two ways to know what other animals can see.

      First, you take apart their eyes and see what they are made of. You can also do studies to see how eyes react to different colors, shapes, etc.

      Second (and easier) you train them so that they get a doggy treat when they touch a red disc, and no treat for a (say) white disc. Then do it with red and blue, and see if they can learn – if they can’t, they can’t distinguish between those colors.

      Trying to understand other sensory systems, and what it must be like to have them is very weird. For humans, sight is very important, for rats, touch and smell are much more important, and come first. Cats can see better in the dark, but they are less good at distinguishing detail, and better at distinguishing movement and contrast than we are. Bees can see colors that we can’t see. Hippos rely more on smell, and that their environment changes much more slowly than ours. Horses have oval shaped eyeballs, which means that the ground is in focus at the same time as distant stuff is in focus (like wearing bifocals). And finally rabbits can see almost 360 degrees, but have almost no binocular vision. It’s all very weird.

    • Anonymous says:

      Read a book on dogs recently that reckoned dogs’ eyesight is not as good as ours, and that they see in shades of green, yellow and grey, though I don’t know how they came to that conclusion.

  41. Berber Anna says:

    Cool! I put my hand in front of the screen, then looked through the slits between my fingers, and that got the illusion to disappear (so apparently, it needs a large area of the contrasting colors to work).

    lessequalsmore: I’ve wondered that myself, as well. Afaik, they look at the color-sensitive cells in the eyes, and conclude what colors a given animal can see from those. Of course, that doesn’t quite tell you how the animal experiences them. Also, these experts claim that an octopus sees the world in black and white, which leads me to wonder how it knows what color to mimic with its skin…

  42. […] Hard to believe these 2 colours are the same! Spread the love No Comments » Filed in Fun […]

  43. sapphire14 says:

    wow thats just amzing,

    who could have doen that….

    visit my blog,

  44. mike says:

    That is very cool. It looks green and blue also to me.

  45. Tim says:

    Taking this to a more personable level. This illusion is the same illusion we operate under every day with people. We want to think we’re all different, but really we’re all quite the same. We see people as having different tastes, different style preferences, different likes and dislikes. But inside, really, we’re all the same. We all want what we want.

  46. KatM says:

    Tested this on my colour-blind son as promised. He could see that there were different colours involved but could not say what they were. In fact when asked to look at the original image he focused in on the centre and said he could see a pattern of stars. On second look I can see these stars too and suspect I was probably too distracted by the colours to notice them at first.

  47. Errol says:

    Thanks for sharing. It really blew my mind when I zoomed in on the image and noticed that the spirals – in fact – were the same colour.

  48. Kaytie Marie says:

    haha that’s so cool! even my little brother had never seen this one, and he knows all the optical illusions…nice 🙂

  49. mlanger says:

    Okay, now bring the image into Photoshop, pick the magic wand tool, turn off the Contiguous check box in settings, and click the orange color. The selection pattern makes the image “move” in a weird kind of way.

    Or maybe I’m just looking too hard at it.

  50. AlfredoArriaga says:

    No it’s not the same color, open the Levels editor and remove any RGB color (try firts red and green and left the blue color alone) you will see theres a different amount of blue in each stripe.

  51. Joseph Smith says:

    Not exactly jaw-dropping, but pretty neat.

  52. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  53. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  54. Jeremy Miles says:

    I also didn’t believe it. But I don’t have Photoshop, so I saved it, opened it in MS Paint, saved it as 8 bit color, and then used the flood fill tool to make the pink and yellow stripes green. As you fill them in, you can see the blue and green changing and getting closer to one another.

    @Joseph Smith: If that’s not jaw dropping, what is?

  55. […] Optical Illusions: check this out. […]

  56. IJ Styles says:

    Whew.. I was hallucinated by that.. haha.. lol.. very cool!!

  57. Reverend McClain says:

    you can use paint instead of photoshop. just cut and paste a piece of “green” and a piece of “blue” and put them side by side, it is the same color. and now i have a headache.

  58. EdHead says:

    that is pretty cool 😀

  59. zoudib says:…wow…yes they are truly the same! amazing!

  60. kuttis says:

    Preety cool

  61. anguslamond says:

    What happens when you render it with crayons on white paper?

  62. […] June 24, 2009 at 11:30 am · Filed under Fun ·Tagged best, colors, optical illusion The best optical illusion I have seen all year […]

  63. […] @morethanliving: Optical illusion. – brilliant Written by Doug Platts in: Twitter | Tags: fresh, […]

  64. taboneluca says:

    OMG !! It is real nice

  65. Oh wow! That is quite impressive. But we just found an even better one of Thomas Jefferson at the Company!

  66. Yup – a great illusion. All made possible by the fact that there are around 8 different colors around the blue/green (almost a teal) color that force the eye to create different contrast/interpretations.

    They use this technique in advertising quite a bit. Thanks for the interesting post – Fred/Azratek

    • Martien says:

      Get the original image from the link above. It’s a GIF image with only four colours in the palette, one of which is black, and not used. There are only three colours in this picture, and that’s all that’s needed for the illusion.

  67. 1stboybandfan says:

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  68. africanraingod says:

    I tried Checking the colors on the broad bands as well as the more narrow ones with gimp and photoshop and the colors are different. Maybe a higher rez picture would demonstrate the illusion better but from what I see these are different colors

  69. …Very funny & nice game! (^_^)
    Thanks for sharing.

  70. […] a spiral version of the same illusion here, but because it’s a jpg, you can’t zoom in endlessly like the one I’ve posted. […]

  71. Lovelorn Vik says:

    Interesting! The last time I was hooked to them was in my childhood.

    By the way you must change your blog theme because the sidebar does not show with individual posts [which would have helped you to retain readers] with this default theme! You may check this post on my blog for suggestions on WordPRess themes with custom header.

  72. Jackybird says:

    Love it! As a painter I’m well aware of how different the same color can look in a different context and have often used it or been undermined by it. This is one of the best examples I’ve seen. Thanks for posting it. Is it copywrited. Can someone use it if necessary?

  73. JMG says:

    Not at all unexpected. if you know a bit about the eye and color perception. The phenomenon is known as “simultaneous contrast.” by setting the same color against different backgrounds the eye perceives different colors. Simultaneous contrast identified by Michel Eugène Chevreul refers to the manner in which the colors of two different objects affect each other. See

  74. Opening the original .gif in GIMP, using the eyedropper tool, I get that the ‘blue’ stripes are ff00ff and the green stripes are 00ff96. Is this a psychology experiment?

  75. jr says:

    Wow, great! [/sarcasm]

  76. Oh my! This is pretty impressive! But we just found another optical illusion that is even BETTER! It involves Thomas Jefferson and as everybody knows that man never disappoints.

    Here is our recently uncovered optical illusion extravaganza!

  77. […] Looking again at the full-size image, I can just pick up a green tinge at the edge of the upper-left blue, but that’s all. Impressive. I’d be interested to see a writeup of it at Illusion Sciences. Via Richard Wiseman. […]

  78. Captain says:

    Heh, why do we have to see the dreaded “I just reply without bothering to read previous replies first” -effect also here? To summarize the facts:

    The (current) image here in Richard’s blog does have lots of antialiasing and lots of different colours. Although the basic illusion still works, the image is not very good for skeptics who actually want to see what is happening there.

    However, the untouched image, which you can find for example here:

    …is a GIF file with an indexed colour palette of exactly 3 colours (actually 4, but one of them is not used in the picture). There are no more than that, and “green” and “blue” are the exact same colour, namely #00FF96. If you see them as different colours, it’s purely due to your eyes deceiving you, and nothing else. If your image processing program claims they are different colours, you are doing it wrong. It’s as simple as that, period, no need for anyone to claim otherwise. I have spoken.

    Amazing illusion, BTW. 🙂

  79. allwineschile says:

    ………… ups

  80. santiago456 says:

    Jmm, interesting, but the “blue” seems a kind of light green when you zoom…I think it’s for all the other colors. Good illusion anyway.

    Sorry for bad english, if there’s any jaja.

  81. Grand Dizzy says:

    Here are 5 images I made myself using the same principle:

  82. Grand Dizzy says:

    Are these comments screened? I just posted a comment and it didn’t appear!

  83. Grand Dizzy says:

    OK, trying again. Here are five images I made myself using the same principle:

  84. Grand Dizzy says:

    OK, trying again. Here are some images I made myself using the same principle:

  85. Grand Dizzy says:

    Hmmm. I made some images myself using the same principle, but it won’t let me post my work here! 😦

  86. Anthony says:

    If you look at it from an angle (try tilting the screen up or lowering your head), they both appear as the same color.

  87. geeftv says:

    This is awesome!
    Stuff like this used to happen to me when i watched the clothes on spin cycle [we had a washer you could lift the lid up on and it would still go].
    You watch and blink your eyes at the same time and it all strobes…

  88. jacksonn298 says:

    Wom. I guest what you see is not always what you get.

  89. jomedina says:

    oh my goodness! I looked at it over and over because i seriously could not see it. That’s INCREDIBLE!

  90. zayzayem says:

    @Grand Dizzy: your versions are great. (I think comments with links must be screened)

  91. […] The best optical illusion I have seen all year A few days ago i was sent this amazing illusion (thanks Karen). The illustration below appears to show green and blue […] […]

  92. Very fascinating. This is almost as good as the spinning dancer that switches directions. Did anyone see that one?

  93. Oh my! This is pretty impressive, indeed! But we just found another optical illusion that is even BETTER! It involves Thomas Jefferson and as everybody knows that man never disappoints.

    Here is our recently uncovered optical illusion extravaganza!

  94. movies247 says:

    come on there diffrent colours
    btw if you like movies check out my blog

  95. it looks as if theres a pink background and a orange spiral running through.
    whenever the “same common color” overlaps it, the appearance looks blue, and when the spiral runs over the common color, it gives an appearance of green…

  96. metallastic says:

    I’m not believe at first sight, then tried to check it. It’s amazing…
    How can it be?

  97. nano99 says:

    All mind-numbing. The orange stripe becomes blue when it hits the “blue” coil. The pink stripe becomes green when it hits the “green” coil. I don’t get it.

  98. […] you don’t see it in the image above, Richard Wiseman has posted an alternate version of the same optical illusion where you can better differentiate the […]

  99. […] 25, 2009 I found this amazing optical illusion on This website. The green and blue in the spiral are actually the same color. I didn’t believe it […]

  100. That IS very cool. If you concentrate on the “blue” spiral, and try to ignore the pink, you can see that they are the same.

  101. 박서영 says:


  102. cynndie says:

    Great illusion for sure! I had to really just avoid looking at the pink and the lines to really see that the colors are the same.

  103. Lux says:

    Brilliant. It was quite obvious how they did it but I still had to take it to photoshop and check the colour codes. Even enlarged, with the contrasting colours quite clear, my mind still sees the two different colours (though for split-seconds I can see the “green” pop out of the “blue” and vice versa).

  104. ehlana says:

    relly cool

  105. tranminhtrong says:

    Does it works? I feel difficult to get this picture! Anyway, try it more

  106. […] Adapted from: richardwiseman […]

  107. […] it on richard wiseman’s blog. Leave a Comment No Comments Yet so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. […]

  108. thehongkongfixer says:

    I find this is pretty cool….

  109. Diax's Rake says:

    Illusion in blau/grün…

    Echt? Das hat noch niemand bei uns gepostet? Na dann mach ich es halt 🙂 Bei Richard Wiseman und Phil Plait gab es gestern eine bemerkenswerte optische Täuschung zu sehen. Ich poste hier aber mal eine Variante davon (die von……

  110. belfire says:

    They are definitely not the same colours. Zoom in, look at each band independently. Green is green. Blue is blue. Zoom in further, till you see the basic colour blocks. Again, green is green. Blue is blue. The only illusion in this is to kid people into thinking there is an illusion. There is none.

  111. Tubba says:


  112. Tubba says:


    ……….IT SUCKS BYE!!!!

  113. parcann says:

    uh! ok… i love the colors.. 😛

  114. […] optinių iliuzijų. Jūsų akys jus apgauna. 25 06 2009 Profesoriaus Richard Wiseman blog’e galima rasti įrašą apie vieną iš įspūdingiausių optinių iliuzijų. Apie tai rašau ir aš, […]

  115. markgorman says:

    There’sa absolutely nothing geeky about this comments strand at all. Is there?

  116. markgorman says:

    There’s absolutely nothing geeky about this comments strand at all. Is there?

  117. Well the image looks more of a mix of both Blue and Green… it is really amazing.

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  118. Magnus says:

    I inverted the colors in paint and saw two different colors – so not working no?

  119. Ciphur says:

    Amazing !
    Thanks for sharing !

  120. […] The best optical illusion I have seen all yearJune 23, 2009 […]

  121. Pretty amazing… the color look more like a combination of Green and Blue…

  122. Helen Hunt says:

    Must show this to some people who are colour-blind and find out if the illusion works for them. Will report back later……

  123. […] O.K. That’s all I can show you. I am not into stealing another person’s blog. If your interest is peaked visit: Richard Wiseman blog. […]

  124. Anonymous says:

    When I was in art school I was taught “more red is redder than less red.” The small areas of a colour are more muddied by surrounding colours than large expanses of the colour.

    This is a great example of the effect.

    I have posted a link to your site from mine as I think it is so cool. I hope you get a lot of hits.


  125. suryalubis says:

    this is very fantastic

  126. Brad says:

    here is further proof

  127. Brad says:

    oops thats quite small- here is more proof- zoomed in a bit

  128. Oh my! This is pretty impressive, indeed! But we just found another optical illusion that is even BETTER! Trust us. It involves Thomas Jefferson and as everybody knows that man never disappoints.

    Here is our recently uncovered optical illusion extravaganza!

  129. […] Found it on the wordpress front page, on this post. […]

  130. Doocey says:

    Couldn’t help but notice!!

    And I’m not into these things really!

  131. […] you think you’re smart? Richard Wiseman’s recent blog post on “the best optical illusion i’ve seen all year“  reminded me of one of my favourite books and is must for all you creative types and […]

  132. jobinnigeria says:

    Cool Post.The zoom souds intrsting thogh I am a bit lost

  133. danineteen says:

    I don’t know what you mean by the “illusion vanishing” when you zoom in, but if by that you mean that it becomes clearer that the blue and green are, in fact, the same green colour, then I get ya 😉

    That’s an amazing illusion. I will share it with everyone I know.

  134. […] Bad Astronomy, Richard Wiseman, […]

  135. […] Business as usual. Vielleicht muß man das nächste Mal genauer hinsehen. […]

  136. bobbyf says:

    That is really cool……

  137. arovelloraenso says:

    That’s so cool!! I’ts like magic. I’ve seen things like that in my psychology class and I love it ^o^

  138. […] The best optical illusion I have seen all year — 5:07pm via Google […]

  139. albedo says:

    A classical example for simultaneous color contrast.

  140. Arjun says:

    Well, I copied the image on to MS paint and used invert colors option and the green took a diff color and blue took a diff one. I dont know how you say they are the same 🙂

  141. Oh my! This is pretty impressive, indeed! But we just found another optical illusion that is even BETTER! Trust us. It involves Thomas Jefferson and as everybody knows that man never disappoints..

    Here is our recently uncovered optical illusion extravaganza!

  142. onanxs says:

    No way! They are the same color? How does that work?

  143. Grand Dizzy says:

    Don’t forget to check out my versions too: 🙂

  144. MW says:

    Color is never absolute…our perception can be dramatically affected by proportion, value/intensity, lighting, surrounding colors, etc.

    This particular change in perception is a form of simultaneous contrast and is intensified by the proportional relationships between the colors…this is why the illusion dissipates when you zoom into the image. I always give this assignment in my color theory courses. The other version is to make two different colors look the same (again by the choice of surrounding colors).

    For those of you who are amazed by this, check out the color theory workbook exercises by Albers and Itten…

  145. […] Bild zeigt blaue und grüne Spiralen. Tatsächlich handelt es sich bei Beiden um die selbe Farbe. Hier könnt ihr ein wenig mehr darüber lesen. Eine Erklärung für diese Illusion habe ich nicht. […]

  146. lawyermommy says:

    This does not look like an optical illusion. It is something that might make me puke if I keep looking at it. YIKES.

  147. impossible! WOOOOW! totally shocked!

  148. […] more details here and on Akiyoshi Kitaoka’s website. Share and […]

  149. aqueadesign says:

    This is a great illusion, as evidenced by all the people posting trying to prove it wrong or acceptance there of. Yes I have photoshop too so I had to see for myself. People, the mind creates a color shift because of the color it is next to. Its like mixing paint colors as a kid. When you have certain colors juxtaposed together, your eye (mind) blends them. Thanks for your post!

  150. Nonsense says:

    Nonsense, using ‘Digital Color Meter’ all colors displayed are as you see them.

  151. nikkele says:

    Where the color looks green it is layered on top of the orangish stripes and where it looks blue it is layered on top of the pink. I assume that’s why you get the different hues from one color, or am I missing something?

  152. luminerli says:

    thank you for this nice post. i had to look at the screen closer, almost cross-eyed, and i’ve got a headache but still amused

  153. Here is the key to find out the real colors of the blue or green bands (not the pink and orange). View the image separately by rt clicking on it and choose view image. Then simply zoom in as much as you can by selecting view on the browser tool bar and then clicking zoom repetitively. Now that you have it enlarged as much as possible, look at the color bands individually near the outer most edges of the screen and you will see, that because of the way it was printed with the pink and orange, the bands looked blue and green to the eye before, when in fact they are only green and not blue at all when enlarged.

  154. Incubusaurus says:

    The pixels in the bands that appear blue are indeed the same colour as the pixels in the bands that appear green. However, I don’t find this particularly amazing. After all, using multiple small areas of colour in close proximity to each other to give the illusion of full colour is exactly what colour televisions have been doing for years…

  155. meimi132 says:

    Only by looking very close can I get them looking a bit similar lol.

    Very weird though… weird…

  156. bookguy4 says:

    I copied this to an an image viewer. I zoomed in as close as possible until all I saw were little boxes of color and I checked the numbers on the colors.

    Here are the numbers for the “teal” color that “looks” blue.
    131 Red
    124 Green
    204 blue

    163 Hue
    105 Sat
    154 Lum

    Here are the numbers for the “teal” color that “looks” green.

    108 Red
    197 Green
    108 blue

    80 Hue
    104 Sat
    144 Lum

    Here are the numbers for the “teal” color that “looks” teal.

    11 Red
    244 Green
    156 blue

    105 Hue
    219 Sat
    120 Lum

    What you’ll notice is that the green teal actually is green. The blue teal actually is blue. And what looks like teal on the outside edges, is actually teal. But only around the outside ledges. As you move in each spiral, the color from the orange and the purple bleeds into the teal and changes it.

    I wonder what this would look like not on a computer screen, but on the computer screen the colors have been smooshed together. The little tiny pixels really are blue and green. They were supposed to be teal, but the computer smooshed the colors up and so it gives us green and blue. Which is why we see green and blue.

    This isn’t an optical illusion. At most, it’s an amusing failure of the computer to maintain the integrity of an image file.

  157. Froggy says:

    Amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  158. buzu says:

    It’s not weird. It’s just your brain trying to adjust the contrast between the colors right next to the spirals. If you notice, There are also two other colors in the image. one seems to be orange and the other purple. These two colors “cut” each one of the spiral and that is what creates the apparently two different colors. I believe the difference is made by the color cutting the spiral. If the color cutting the spiral is purple, the spiral appear to be blue, otherwise the spiral seems to be green. It’s not wired, but is amazing. Our brain can be “hacked” so easily.

  159. lookingforsomethingtofind says:

    Wow that is amazing, first it looks like the same color, then when you zoom in you see both a green, just where the green is sort of in reverse.

  160. leecheez says:

    i don’t get it. they just look different to me.

  161. Bandew444 says:

    Dude, that’s insane. I don’t see how they’re the same thing but…. woah.

  162. […] Źródło Zobacz również: […]

  163. wujek says:

    ja pierdole! ziomek ma racje. Kurwa dobra jazda

  164. Marcus says:

    Great pictures!

  165. Dave Bennett says:

    The illusion has to do with haptic perception. When the same color is surrounded by two different colors, relative to itself it appears to be a different color. Basic color theory! Art students at my university do some of their first projects surrounding this idea.

  166. dan.plows says:

    The green is actually 123, 255, 255 (RGB) and the blue is 122, 255, 255; HOWEVER, those colors are identical to the naked eye.

    Great illusion!

  167. gajames says:

    that is one amazing peace of are. especialy if it can be an optical ilusion. thatnks for the post i realy enjoyed it.

    P.S. : check out this Blog set up by my freinds and I, it is

  168. kaustubhd says:

    help me i cannot see the difference


  170. […] Really trippy optical illusion on Richard Wiseman’s […]

  171. Felix Baker says:

    Crock of shit.

  172. Stewart Fay says:

    Despite my homosexual tendancies, i have to agree the green and blue are the same colour!!

  173. My Towel says:

    […] 26, 2009 THIS Posted by Philip Georgiou Filed in Uncategorized Leave a Comment […]

  174. PaoloV says:

    Open it in PS, go to “Enhance”>”Replace Color” and knock the “fuzziness” to about 16-20. Hit the “selection” button then click on either the green or the blue spiral.

    If the colours were the same then you would expect green and blue spirals to both be selected. They are, but at different densities. The same colours are contained in each spiral, but because the density of pixels of a particular shade are different the spirals appear to be different colours. Subtle, but identifiably different.

    • PaoloV says:

      On further investigation I take back my last comment – this appears to be an artifact of anti-aliasing.

      The difference in colour is an entirely perceived phenomenon, influenced by the adjacent colours.

      Fantastic optical illusion!

  175. Todd Geer says:

    Just goes to show you that a color is only as evident as is allowed by nearby colors. Photographers should pay attention to this!

  176. […] True story! Don’t believe me? Check it out here! […]

  177. […] Simplesmente apareceu em minha frente um link para um blog com o post com o seguinte título: The best optical ilusion i have seen all year. Eu completaria, falando tecnicamente, desde de sempre. Segue […]

  178. kerembozdas says:

    when zoom the colors at the edge arent exactly the same for the blue part its blurry

  179. La Chat Noir says:

    Yowzer that is rather mind blowing!!

  180. […] 26, 2009 by mfearing A very interesting optical illusion. Posted on Richard Wisemans’ blog. Worth looking […]

  181. babbo says:

    Dude, I’m color blind. Bud I do feel nausea now from staring at it.



  182. Bogdan says:

    Do you want to see the best optical illusion? Just look at your computer monitor right now. You will see a lot of colors that aren’t actually there, because the monitor only has three kind of pixels: red, green and blue. For example, when you are seeing yellow, you are actually see a bunch of green and blue pixels. Is that an optical illusion or what?

  183. […] by one Akikoshi Kitaoka and posted on his Buzzhunt blog. Then Richard Wiseman posted it on his blog. Which is where Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomy blogger in Discover Magazine, found it. Then Jamais […]

  184. Oh my! This is pretty impressive, indeed! But we just found another optical illusion that is even BETTER! Trust us.

    It involves Thomas Jefferson and as everybody knows that man never disappoints..

    Here is our recently uncovered optical illusion EXTRAVAGANZA!

  185. […] Optische Täuschungen 24. Juni 2009 Posted by mafraka in Uncategorized. trackback… […]

  186. Troythulu says:

    This illusion totally rocks, Dr. Wiseman! If you scroll down to the lower portion of the top image, you’ll notice that the sameness of the apparent green and blue becomes more evident, though even that requires some perceptual gymnastics. Fantastic post! Fnord.

  187. Troythulu says:

    Oops! Sorry, I forgot to mention that most of the upper portion of the image has to be obscured by the top of the browser window in order for this to work.

  188. Melf_Himself says:

    “For example, when you are seeing yellow, you are actually see a bunch of green and blue pixels”

    That’s greed and red that make yellow, actually.

  189. fkdupdad says:

    That is tricky….

  190. […] the best optical illusion I have seen all year […]

  191. Livi says:


    I just want to say that I’ve looked at this a number of times but all i see is pink and green. However I look at it I can’t see the blue. I’m not colourblind but i do have an inflammatory condition of the iris (Iritis) and suffer migraines so I’m not sure if this is why the illusion does not work for me.

    • Melf_Himself says:


      It is possible to acquire colour blindness throughout life as a result of various disorders. A few can cause iritis and can also cause inflammation of the optic nerve, which could result in an acquired color vision defect. This is not something you would necessarily notice if it occurred slowly and was mild (there are various degrees of colour vision defect). I’d get my eyes checked by an optometrist or ophthalmologist to be on the safe side 😉

      Also possible is that the colour fidelity on your monitor is not correct so is not displaying the illusion properly – so don’t rely on websites for the diagnosis.

  192. […] Cool An impressive optical illusion here. […]

  193. […] of you may have seen this awesome optical illusion – but check out the examples of it in action by commentor Grand Dizzy – here, here, […]

  194. […] of you may have seen this awesome optical illusion – but check out the examples of it in action by commentor Grand Dizzy – here, here, […]

  195. Billy Joe McLaughlin says:

    It is the way two different colors are used! One outlines the other in different ways… very interesting effect! Thank-you!!! 🙂

  196. Sabina says:

    Oh wowzers!!!

    That’s truly amazing, and jaw dropping as you say. Love it!

    I’m really interested in colour and how we perceive it. And this reminds me of a little thing Derren did in one of his Trick or Treat episodes. It was the one where he taught an old lady to beat international poker players. He went to Las Vegas and did a little piece with a woman who he showed some coloured cards to, she named each colour and then he convinced her that they could infact be different colours and that it was subjective. Then she couldn’t recognise her own car because her perception of colours had been totally skewed.

    Isn’t there a philosophical question about what each person sees when they’re describing the same colour. How can we ever know if we’re really seeing the same thing? Hmmm interesting…

  197. lessequalsmore says:

    Hey Gary, Jeremy, Anon & Anne,

    Thanks for your feedback about how animals see etc. Gary I tried to log onto that link you left but wouldn’t you know it? Yahoo was…. “We are experiencing some unexpected downtime and are working to fix the problem. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.” So I’ll have to have another gander at that link later on. I’m now about to discuss your feedback with my son. Fascinating subject.


  198. lessequalsmore says:

    Me again …. check out this link it explains the whole how the eye and how animals see colour in basic terms.


  199. […] are endless collections of self portraits. Many of them are NSFW. The same could be said for this optical illusion and belly b******e. The home of the latter is currently featuring pictures from a white trash […]

  200. Andrew says:

    Just open the image in paint and use the eye dropper tool…you’ll see that the 2 swirls are the same colour.

    You don’t even need to use photoshop

  201. […] while back Richard Wiseman posted an excellent optical illusion on his blog here. It looks like a green, blue and pink stripy spiral when in fact it is a turquoise, purple and […]

  202. […] Richard Wiseman said this is the best new optical illusion he’s seen so far this year: Image by Prof. Kitaoka, 2009 […]

  203. Ndo Ism says:

    I totally get it the bluesh magenta colour mixes with the green while the warmer orange mixes to make the green appear more yellowy, i like

  204. Reindeer Bob says:

    I feel very disturbed of finding advertising videos from THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY on this site.

    Is there anything you can do to avoid that, please?

  205. […] posting this after all the cool kids already had their fun with it (ie, The Bad Astronomer, Richard Wiseman, Blog of Phyz and Buzzhunt). The trick?  There is no blue in this pattern.  It’s green.  […]

  206. […] posting this after all the cool kids already had their fun with it (ie, The Bad Astronomer, Richard Wiseman, Blog of Phyz and Buzzhunt). The trick? There is no blue in this pattern. It’s green. The […]



  208. jack says:

    very nice page…let me add my 2 cents to this blog by sharing a really good gallery of optical illusions at

  209. […] destacando apenas o efeito das cores é de Cuneyt Ozdas. Por fim, foi o psicólogo britânico Richard Wiseman que chamou atenção à ilusão, criada por Kitaoka há alguns anos mas circulando mais pela rede […]

  210. Vin says:

    I find it kind of strange how so many people are content with using photoshop/paint/GIMP to check of the colours are the same while completely neglecting to look up why we see them as different colours and how our eyes and brain work.

    • Carl says:

      Not CONTENT, Vin. Just THOROUGH. After all, it’s important to establish for certain that the illusion actually EXISTS before searching for explanations.

  211. […] Amazing Optical Illusion Hard to believe these 2 colours are the same! […]

  212. […] Źródło A teraz dość sławna obracająca się tancerka. Iluzja bardzo ciekawa, bo skupiając się na różnych punktach jej ciała można sprawić, że będzie obracać się w różne strony 😉 Kolejna ciekawa halucynacja dotycząca tym razem rozpoznawania twarzy. Jesteśmy zwierzętami stadnymi – dlatego system wychwytywania rysów twarzy musi pracować szybko. Przez to, że jest on zmuszony do dużej wydajności, jest podatny na przekłamania i w końcu spostrzega twarze tam, gdzie ich nie ma. Albo i całe głowy… […]

  213. shemp von kristofferson says:

    this “illusion” is totally retarded. sure, the green is the same in both spirals, but the one that appears blue at a distance DOES have blue in it (blue borders around the green parts, which the other does not). more accurately, the one that appears green has only green and orange in it, and the one that appears blue has only blue, green, and purple in it. so of course from a distance they look different, because they ARE different. lame…

  214. me says:

    awesome. (i guess)

  215. Anonymous says:

    acualy it was realy easy sorry

  216. […] Originally Posted by TimStannard I've a feeling that I actually would find that fun. Fun. The best optical illusion I have seen all year Richard Wiseman's Blog […]

  217. William says:

    wow that is pretty weird

  218. Paul Durrant says:

    Various people have complained about the anti-aliasing in the original image. I’ve made a version without the anyi-aliasing, and you can find it here:

    (The image with spirals to the centre has anti-aliasing, the one with a missing centre doesn’t.)

    Thanks for bringing this fantastic optical illustion to my attention.

  219. Aran says:

    The Spirals Can Make Things Very Confusing. I Cannot Look At Them If They Are Moving Or Not! 😦

  220. Oliver Gooden says:

    u suck bitch

  221. […] Professor Wiseman’s illusion pictured above, what looks like spirals of blue and green are actually the same color.  The […]

  222. Dirk says:

    i dont see it, pls help me :p

  223. Risa Taylor says:

    Merely wanna input on few general things, The website pattern is perfect, the content is real great : D.

  224. […] Richard Wiseman Tags: Illusion Comments RSS feed LikeBe the first to like this […]

  225. […] a mozak je taj koji ih krivo interpretira. Pogledajte npr. ovu sliku: (preuzeto s Wisemanovog bloga, odn. Što ako vam kažem su plave i zelene pruge u biti jedna, ista boja? Ne biste […]

  226. […] Richard Wiseman, autor de um dos melhores blogs que conheço recebeu esta imagem de um colaborador. Simplesmente incrível. Eu não resisti e retirei dois quadrados no gimp e encontrei: […]

  227. Really impressive, cannot see the trick not even by zooming. I keep on seeing two different colors. Amazing!

  228. paint zoom sprayer…

    The best optical illusion I have seen all year « Richard Wiseman's Blog…

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  230. I didn’t believe this until I dropped it into Photoshop.. Utterly amazing. Wow..

  231. free world of warcraft accounts…

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  232. […] Source: The best optical illusion I have seen all year « Richard Wiseman […]

  233. SusanaFrix says:


  234. Народ ,как вы думаете стоит попробовать. В принципе 10 wmz не такие уж большие деньги. Думаешь прокатит да ты успокойся . почему бы нет .самый прикол что есть специальная программа это многие проблемы решает . да хорошо когда все регулируется автоматически .что такое 10 wmz 6 бутылок пива поэтому риск минимальный. крутяк надо попробовать. время покажет. главное хорошо рекламировать свой сайт.

  235. Just opened two browsers (firefox and safari) to see them side by side. Can see it for sure!

  236. […] destacando apenas o efeito das cores é de Cuneyt Ozdas. Por fim, foi o psicólogo britânico Richard Wiseman que chamou atenção à ilusão, criada por Kitaoka há alguns anos mas circulando mais pela rede […]

  237. […] 17.The best optical illusion I have seen all year « Richard Wiseman Jun 23, 2009 … Best optical illusion ever (this year) | forgetomori Says: …. It’s well known that the human eye detectd differences in colour …. There is green with a blue outline.. but.. at first site.. is very cool … Of course, that doesn’t quite tell you how the animal experiences … Spread the love No Comments » Filed in Fun […] … […]

  238. Theo van Trier says:

    Very nice, mr. Wiseman! All the more so because I can see it and I am blue-green color blind. It doesn’t change when I zoom in, and neither is the green colour the same in both images. I also had my rethinas lasered for rethinopaty and as a result could not see the colour red for a few years.
    Images like this fascinate me!

  239. Sr22 dmv says:

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  241. Close enough to demonstrate the power of the illusion:

  242. OMG! Still can’t believe this is the same colors… I did put it into Photoshop to check it out, it’s amazing… My brain is defective! 😦

  243. Christopher says:

    We have Josef Albers ‘Interaction of Colour’ to thank for being the seminal work that first explored this phenomenon in detail. Check it out if you like this puzzle.

  244. […] The man certainly knows how to play with your brain. And once again he has blown my mind with this amazing optical illusion that he shared on his […]

  245. Marko says:

    Used Gimp to sample colors:

    Green RGB here is: 88, 219, 98
    Blue RGB here is: 94, 161,189

    So they are not the same, there is no illusion here. Still, I do know one illusion just like this with chess table which is true:

  246. It is the 10th time I read this post and still think very cool

  247. […] stole this from a science blog richard weisman. it astonished me when I believed it finally. but I actually don’t believe it because I […]

  248. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  249. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  250. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  251. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  252. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  253. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  254. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  255. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  256. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  257. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  258. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  259. […] my evil twin Richard Wiseman comes one of the best color optical illusions I have ever seen. The original was apparently posted […]

  260. Ivaylo Malchev says:

    I just love these. I like to call them brain food, as they always put a smile on my face and make me think harder. But the illusions that really get me are the ones input in a painting or a picture that brings a deeper meaning encrypted inside. Something like these –
    I just love this artist’s work! If you have more like these or know more about it, please share it with me!

  261. Anonymous says:

    The key is the color that is crossing the green, in the case of the blue, the pink lines and the green mix and makes that light blue color and the orange lines and green it makes the other caind of green lime

  262. Keith McClary says:

    I would like to print this on paper and cut out holes where the blue/green parts are. Then I could place it over a green background and see the illusion. The cutting would be difficult with the spiral design, but I think the illusion should work with straight bars. Is there a suitable image I could use? Maybe some graphics guru could make one?

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