Puzzle lovers are straining their brains over this optical illusion, which reportedly fools the viewer into thinking that they have gone colorblind. The clip was originally posted in 2018 but is currently recirculating on Twitter amid the current optical illusion craze, with people amazed by the scientific phenomenon.
The quadrilateral appears gray while moving in the pink space, then seemingly adopts a pink hue when in the blue.
[Warning: Spoilers ahead.]
However, as Kitaoka explains in the caption, while the “moving square appears to change in color” its pigment is actually “constant.”
This chameleon-esque effect is caused by a principle called the chromatic induction effect, a perceived color shift that occurs “when one colored object moves around an identical stationary object,” per a 2016 study in the journal “Nature.”
“The perceived saturation of the stationary object decreases dramatically whereas the saturation of the moving object increases,” the authors write. “These color appearance shifts in the opposite directions suggest that normalization induced by the object’s motion may mediate the shift in color appearance.”
In layperson’s terms, our minds make an assumption about the color of the moving object based on the objects surrounding it. In turn, this proves that our perception of color is subjective.
Social media was amazed at how well the illusion seemed to throw their color-vision off-kilter.