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By on November 28, 2011, with 34 Comments

Arjen Goldschmidt has sent in what appears to be the best (proof-endorsed) color optical illusion I have seen up to date! Below examples showcase embedded lines of seemingly different colors. The reason they look different is because our brain judges the color of an object by comparing it to surrounding colors. So without us even knowing it, in first example, our brains compare the flowing red stripes to the yellow stripes, forcing us to think they are orange. The blue stripes make the red ones appear much darker -almost purple, even though they are exactly the same color! This is just one of the examples why you cannot trust what you see even with your own eyes. Next time someone swears they saw Jesus, UFO, or a ghost, show them this animation ;)

Hue is one of the main properties of a color, defined technically as “the degree to which a stimulus can be described as similar to or different from stimuli that are described as red, green, blue, and yellow” (those beeing the unique hues). The other main correlatives of color appearance are colorfulness, chroma, saturation, lightness, and brightness.

In painting color theory, a hue refers to a pure color—one without tint or shade (added white or black pigment, respectively). A hue is also an element of the color wheel. Hues are first processed in the brain in areas in the extended V4 called globs.

  • Kelsey

    The bottom one works best for me :)

  • Dave

    Wow, I really like this one. Interesting how our perception of color is influenced so strongly by surrounding colors.

  • Gabe

    very cool!

    • lia

      i know right it also hurts my eyes though

  • Trolleo and Juliet

    The yellow looks like yellow to me, the blue looks like blue, and the red looks like red. My eyes must be defective.

    • Mindirella

      Mine too. I don’t get this one….

  • http://www.youtube.com/lBlaxl Blax

    First Comment :D

    WOW thats just Damnlol.

    Thats just cool.

    • Gabe

      actually “Blax” there’s is like 4 more people who commented before you. Who cares who puts the first comment?????????!!!!!!!!!

  • Peet

    Wow! I found the illusion was greatly enhanced when I looked at the widget without my reading glasses. The blue and yellow became almost indistinct for me and the orange and purple was greatly enhanced.

    If you do not suffer from poor eyesight, you might be able to duplicate the effect by screwing up your eyes and blurring your vision.

  • alkla

    Wow! These are good.

  • nonya

    yay first one! btw this is nuts

    • Gabe

      first what?????????? comment???? Well,there’s like 5 people who commented before you.

    • http://gmail.com Andrewpoky


    • http://czechmate@mymts.net Smartguy

      Comments, who cares who is first?

  • An’drea

    The further away you are from the screen , the better you can see the colors .
    I didn’t notice a change until I walk a few steps back .

  • Care Bear

    I wonder what my dad would have thought of this. He’s color blind. Keep ‘em coming.

  • Doax

    hahaha great!! :D

  • Gregory Padilla

    I don’t know about this one. I just see red stripes all the way through. I stared at it for a long time before reading the description. Even then, still just red- definitely not orange.

  • PromiseMe

    That’s pretty cool O.o

  • http://myfuntimesathome.blogspot.com GEM

    Good but I’ve seen it be4!!

  • CJ

    My eyes must be weird… They perceive no difference in the colors.

  • J. Kerr

    I like this illusion because multiple meanings are part of everyday life. In art especially, it would be nice to have a “UN Translator” available in one’s eyes so that all possible permutations would be visible at once. I am a bit surprised that Green is described as a “unique hue” since it is a combination of the unique hues, blue and yellow (which are also primary colors). Anyone have some information that I need to be accurate? That aside, this is a treat for the eyes.

  • Blessedarethepoor

    The green-orange-magenta is the one that works best for me.
    Try this on your color blind friends.

  • anonimo


  • Jean Delefrati

    With smaller images the illusion is even more clear.

    • Chifilly

      Now that has an effect on me, whereas the larger ones don’t

  • maria norman

    Where is the Illusion ?

    Printing machines work like that for about a century …. the silkscreen process uses this exact method for separating CMYK colors.

    I have been following this website for along time but it seems to me – youre out of material and therefore presenting us with more and more pretty ordinary concepts …..

    Really disappointed !

  • eee efff geee

    OW it hurts!

  • Moustache1020

    This one is facinating, and it plays on the usual defects of the human eye just like the ones that you look at for a long time until the colors change. It also helps if you have an artistic eye for color in the first place, and possess the ability to focus on colors or to let your eyes wander over the properties of color. And for those that can’t see it, some people won’t be able to; it’s like the scrambled pictures that only pop out if you cross your eyes. I can’t see those, but this color trick works really well for me.

  • Chifilly

    This has no effect on me…

  • super ayub

    dear doll of ayub only,i,m looking towards dr.victoria zdrok non stop with super optical waves only,

  • Cool girl

    Wow this is great I can’t stop staring at it! If you look at the first two from sort of far away at at a slight angle it looks black and white 

  • chy

    look at what haps wen u cros ur eyes

  • Oliver

    Clever! They all look different shades, when there actually the same