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The decade’s biggest optical illusions that stumped us all

By Elina Degani

1. What colour is the dress?

The dress. How could we forget the dress? Is it black and blue? Is it white and gold? Why does it look different to everyone? Hate to break it to those who see white and gold, but it’s actually black and blue. The way your brain sees colour is by two things: the colour of the object you're seeing and the colour of the light source. The light in the image was overwhelmed by the colour in the dress. Parts of the dress were also shadowed. This means that the dress had a bit of light makeup and bluish shadow. And yellow light, from the store’s bad lighting. Depending on whether your brain saw the dress more in shadow or more in a direct light, you'd see the colours differently.

2. Do you hear ‘yanny’ or ‘laurel’?

In May 2018, an audio clip of a robotic voice saying what seemed like either ‘yanny’ or ‘laurel’ broke the internet. Everyone, including the biggest celebrities were posting about what they heard. So, what does the audio really say? Well, it’s all got do to with the frequency. As you get older, you start to lose your hearing at higher frequency rates. So, if you’re hearing ‘yanny’, you’re picking up the higher frequencies. While if you’re hearing ‘laurel’, you’re picking up the lower frequencies. What do you hear?

3. Kendall Jenner’s missing leg

In early 2017, InStyle magazine posted an Instagram picture of Hailey Baldwin, Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner hanging out together after the Golden Globes. At first glance, the picture seems normal, but once you look again, you find that Kendall seems to be missing a leg. So, where’d it go? Eventually, the internet figured out that it was under her dress all along. If you look closely, you can see the horizontal shape of her thigh under her dress. She’s just posing by twisting her body and pointing her knee to the side. But instead, she gave off the impression that she was short of her left leg.

4. Do these legs look oily to you?

This image went viral in October 2016 when Hunter Culverhouse, an art student, posted it on Instagram. It looks his legs are covered in oil when really, it’s just streaks of white paint. The paint makes it look like a glare of light is coming off his legs but in reality, they’re completely dry.

5. There are 12 dots in this image. Can you see them all at once?

This illusion was reposted on Twitter by game designer Will Kerslake. There are 12 black dots in the image, but no one can seem to see them all at once. It’s not the image, your peripheral just sucks. Well, it’s not just you, it’s the entire human race. Your brain just guesses that the black dots aren’t there. The white in between the grey lines makes your brain think the dots are lighter than they really are. So, it just sees more grey.


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