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By on May 16, 2009, with 40 Comments

Flying Bird AfterimageFew days ago I showed you the winning optical illusion of the 2009 illusion contest. As I promised, here is another one that won the second place in the same contest. The illusion you see has some ghostly colors. When you stare at a waterfall for a few minutes, and look away, the still world around you appears to flow. The effect is called an “afterimage.”. Well, being aware of this phenomena, scientists in Israel created a drawing of a sky with clouds that flashes red for a split second. A white dove flying across the sky seems to turn red seconds after the flash, showing that an afterimage color can linger in our vision and bleed into empty spaces.

You are free to play with the color backgrounds, switching them when you wish. After the colored background disappears, our little birdie remains colored. I’d like to thank Jerry Carpenter for sending me this one.


40 Responses
  1. Anonymous says:

    the picture is still not showing up

  2. Anonymous says:

    There’s something wrong with photobucket!

  3. John Wang says:

    It seems that Photobucket is down. This illusion, as well as the past one, did not work. Fix please? I really enjoy these illusions.

  4. AliceIgnis says:

    hm… it doesn’t work. Simply starring at the picture? Or do I have to do something else?

  5. Anonymous says:

    btw im getting a message from photobucket where the image should be. i think this is a fault by them and not by you but it is annoyng as i have been unable to see your usualy brilliant illusions. i hope it gets fixed soon.

  6. Anonymous says:

    All the pictures are disappearing and there are photobucket things

  7. Anonymous says:

    Since yesterday, in every article of your site the big image shows the text:

    “We’re doing an little work right now.

    Your image will be back soon.


    Looking to yesterday’s articles, this problem doesn’t appear on my computer only. Please solve it as soon as possible!

  8. Anonymous says:

    THIS IS SOO COOL, but i still wonder if u added a little bit of colour tio it

  9. Tysss says:

    it just doesn’t work whit me.

  10. Douglas says:

    cool, worked for me

  11. John Michael says:

    To do the illusion….

    1. Scroll down. You should see a box with the image and several colors in a row along the right side.

    2. Click on one of those colors.

    3. Watch the black dot (located a little bit under the closest wing).

    4. The background will flash the color you chose. Then the bird will animate and fly across the box.

    If you did the steps correctly, whatever color flashed in the background then appears to lightly fill the inside of the bird. This is the afterimage effect.

  12. H.Brenton says:

    its not what u are saying it should be the illusion is actualy the color look at the dot and when the color goes still stay looking at the dot and the bird takes on that color! NICE

  13. cutelilbirdie says:

    it worked for me, and it is sooo cool!!!!

  14. Taf says:

    Awesome but the green one doesn’t work as well, the background turns pink as an afterimage and the bird remains white.

  15. Illusion Lover says:

    worked with me- blue had the strongest effect on me

  16. kashmir says:


  17. Anonymous says:

    Worked for every colour. Crazy.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Just follow the instructions -ie: watch the dot, and the bird appears to be pink as it flies across the screen. Pretty cool.

  19. wheatie says:

    Works just fine in Opera – may be a browser problem. Not using explorer, are you?

  20. L says:

    Ah, I see. The colour of the bird is merely tint but it works.

  21. Luvv Yhoo xxx says:

    hmmm….. i wonder what is wrong?

    it works perfectly with me but for nobody else! i really dont know

    oh well

    great illusion tho but can you post more multiple meanings or spot the objects please

    thanks xxxxxx

  22. Shannon says:

    Will this site ever get fixed? It has been down for 2, almost 3 days now. I never got to see the fisherman illusion. I hope you will bring back the illusions we are missing while the problem is being fixed.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The bird turns yellowish,not red.

    I don’t think i can see a color strong as red is, no matter how long i look at this bird.

  24. scottt says:

    this is not a very good illusion…

  25. Anonymous says:

    better verion is in http://birdillusion.biz.nf

  26. Danielle F says:

    oh that’s sweet. The bird doesn’t exactly turn the same color of the background, but a more “pastel” version.

  27. Anonymous says:

    This is so awesome! I just installed your sidebar gadget and I love it! I’ll be browsing frequently! Thanks!

  28. Benjamin says:

    interesting. red worked, blue worked. but green was strange – bird remained white and background went reddish.. Any ideas why?

  29. WOULD WISH TO TELL U says:

    If you do not understand, clcikt he blue background, and focus ont he black dot in the middle of the Birdie, and then what you will notice is that the bird still stays a slight blue colour, whereas the background turns white. It is an illusion, nothing to do with the animation though.

  30. colbycobrien says:

    It just hurts my eyes.

  31. ovis says:

    WOW this is cool … the bird keeps getting more red and red .. well if u keep looking at the dot in middle of the bird …. this one is ice i liked it ;)

  32. clarrisa says:

    oh, i get it!the bird turns the same shade as the background slightly!

  33. littleladygoldie says:

    yeah, the green doesnt work. the background turns pink instead, but nice one!!! =D

  34. lily says:


  35. Shawnna says:

    This is COOL!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Eer..I tried it with the green one and the background turned pink when the bird started moving. Lol!

  37. Kaiser Aldobai says:


  38. Brittany says:

    I only see the paintbrush :/

  39. Anonymous Pagan says:

    This illusion didn’t work for me, the bird didn’t change colour at all, and it has just made my eyes hurt.

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