IB brought my attention to this great new version of the cars perspective illusion ….

cars2

Can you believe that the cars are the same size?

50 comments

  1. The license plates are the same size, and in the same proportion to the rest of the car(s), even though the rest of the car(s) look(s) increasing in size.

  2. A small issue of phrasing: normally, with schematic optical illusions, I have no problem with the phrase “the cars are the same size” being used in reference to the images of the cars, and just the images. However in the case of a photograph of (ostensibly) real cars it sent me up the garden path a bit, because I assumed it referred to the physical size of the actual cars, and not just the sizes of the images of the cars on the screen.

  3. This has been making my brain hurt! Surely it has something to do with the surrounding background. If the background image was just blank white, would the illusion still work?

    1. Here’s what’s going on: If you were looking at an unmanipulated image, the car at the top (farthest from your eye/the camera) would be smaller than the car in the foreground due to perspective.

      What’s happened here is that someone has photoshopped the exact same image of the car into one image in three places. So your brain receives an image where the car that ought to look smaller due to distance looks the same size and it processes the image as if the car farthest away were bigger than the nearer car.

  4. Very bad choice of words from Richard. The physical cars (if they existed) would not be the same size. The images of them, however, are.

    1. Deliberately ambiguous or bad wording or phrasing of statements are the bread and butter of this forum, and what stimulates discussion. It would have been boring, minimalist and obvious if Richard had simply written “Can you believe that the images of the three cars, as seen on the screen, are the same size?”.

      But anyway it doesn’t count because the gorilla needs to be driving the car in order for it to be valid.

  5. I found that it is possible, with some effort, to compare one feature (say the distance between the rear light clusters) of the cars and find that they are all the same size. But when you look at the whole image the illusion snaps back into place.

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