Rainbow Ghost Optical Illusion

You might remember back in 2007, when John Shadowsky introduced us for the first time to the new kind of optical illusion he invented. I’m talking about one that gave us ability to see black and white photos in full color! This is the closest you get to having super-hero powers. It was really an extraordinary value added to the optical illusions field, but also an interesting phenomena brought to attention of those studying visual sciences. The below rainbow is just one of many emerging samples, based on John’s discovery.

To see this optical illusion in it’s full capacity, wait for the animated .gif to loop to its start. You’ll know you’re there when you see a full colored rainbow appear. Now stare at the center dot for few seconds, and at one time the animation will switch. But don’t move your eyes from central dot just yet! What do you see? If you followed my procedure precisely, sooner or later you’ll find out that the animation below consists of two similar images. Only difference between them, is that one is in color, and the other is black and white. After staring at the color rainbow’s central dot, negative colors burnt in your retina, and you were able to see the black and white photo in full color!

ghostly rainbow optical illusion

50 Replies to “Rainbow Ghost Optical Illusion”

  1. Not the best of these kind of illusions. I got a better effect by looking at a blank wall instead of the black & white image.

  2. I don’t quite remember the physiology here … perhaps someone can fill us in … but this has to do with the rods and cones in the retina … rods see only black and white, and fatigue quickly, so the input from the cones (which is color only) lasts longer … something like that … cool, anyhow

  3. This is very cool, but I dont even need the color bit. My eyes just change it into color its freaky but they have always done that with black and white photos.

  4. Nice explanation I think a lot of people weren’t getting it the first couple of times you posted this type of illusion.

  5. loved it very strong effect. i wonder how something like this can be used for testing colour blindness and other eye abnormalities.

  6. i stumbled across this via a igoogle.com widget and i love optical illusions and tis one is really cool! I also like the skull one which i found when i hit next random illusion. Very cool i like this site.

  7. I’m very sorry to see that’s a trick. I downloaded the image and opened it with “The Gimp”. It’s a two layer gif, the coloured one and the gray one. This is an animated gif!! Not an illusion.

  8. Priya, read the description. It’s supposed to. By staring at the colored rainbow, the image is burned into your retinas, and when the image changes to black and white, you should be able to see a full color rainbow.

    And if you stare at it long enough, you could almost make the entire rainbow disappear!

  9. That’s great the walmart ad is so big it opened up and covered up half of the information at the top so I can not read it and of course I clicked on the ad’s x at the top right and it won’t close.

  10. YOU CAN ALSO LOOK AT ON YOUR WALL IF YOU HAVE A WHITE ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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