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By on February 5, 2012, with 16 Comments

G. Sarcone really makes great optical illusions. If you don’t believe me, just check some of his stuff we featured earlier. Take his “Neon Heart illusion” for example – can you see the faint glow surrounding the heart? It might help if you squint your eyes a little. Well, I’m afraid the neon glow you perceived is just an illusion, and that the yellow unicolor background is same for each box in the grid. It’s just the part of the grid painted black that’s responsible for this. I think it has something to do with contrasts, but don’t take me for granted. BTW, the effect gets much stronger the more you shrink the image. If you wish, you can download our desktop widget (if you haven’t already) and see how it looks in the “Illusion of The Day” widget.

Neon Heart Optical Illusion


16 Responses
  1. Vurdlak says:

    ..forgot to mention – if you really concentrate on the middle of the picture above, you might even get the heart to completely disappear! Didn’t expect we had a double optical illusion in here. How about that!

  2. breandan says:

    I had to squint a bit then I saw it. After that I couldn’t not see it. I could even see it from across a 15ft room.

  3. erin8ball says:


  4. Ngan says:

    i kinda walk some feet away then i saw it!

  5. Kristy says:

    this one hurts my eyes

  6. plmethvin says:

    I failed to see any glowing, but I did stare at the center of the heart and managed to make it disappear.

  7. Drew says:

    You could barely see it!
    Sweet Illusion though!
    Squinting really does help! :)

  8. z2d4th says:

    Yes the effect truly seen in 16 million colors but if you could reduced it to only 16 colors the effect also lessen.

  9. Scott says:

    Very nice effect. And yes, it disappears. Nice “double illusion”.

  10. Mitchell Silverman says:

    The easiest way to shrink the Image is using the control key and the – key. Do it 4-5 times and the heart image becomes much clearer.

  11. Phaeton99 says:

    Interesting enough, if one does resample the image to a lower resolution, the yellow adjacent to the dark lines *does* actually get lighter.

    This may say something about the colorimetric mechanisms at work in addition to any behavior of the retina.


  12. Robert says:

    The use of the color blue is common in optical illusions because our eyes can’t focus on it very well – thus the perception that the neighboring boxes have a slight bluish tint. We mostly focus on green and red content. Blue content tends to be out of focus when there are other colors nearby, and that’s why this illusion works so easily. That’s not to say it couldn’t be done with other color combinations, but with blue it’s more easily achieved.

  13. JacLan says:

    This is very cool.

    Nice and simple.

  14. mb says:

    cross your eyes

  15. Dave says:

    When I first read the post I thought it was going to be more neon, so I concentrated on not concentrating, then it disappeared, but now that I understand the effect I can’t make it disappear anymore. Cool illusion though – love your work Vurdlak!

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