Colorful Text Optical Illusion


Week ago, Hussain Mohamed sent me this interesting picture, one I have overlooked by mistake. The game is simple – all you have to do is say the original colors out loud, and ignore the written word. Like Hussain pointed, for example, orange might be given in green text, and you have to read the word “green” instead. It couldn’t be more easy, could it? Now let’s play! You’ll quickly realize this isn’t as simple as you though it would be!

BTW, I’ve received bunch of cool optical illusion videos, and can’t wait to share them with you via our custom video player! Expect more cool stuff in days to come…

  • Anusha

    Idk, I’ve never thought this sorta thing was hard. *shrug*

  • I did it in one go! :)

  • T.J

    I didn’t find that too hard. Does age make a difference on these things?

  • Lili

    not so hard for a foreigner…
    (not a native English speaker)

  • My native language isn’t English so i ignore the language and just say the colors :)

  • Wow, it really is not as easy as it seems, but i suggest it could be that for some people around the world it easier than for others. The simple fact that english is not the motherlanguage makes it way easier, doesn’t it?

  • bmt

    For the people whosaid that it wasn’t difficult, the point is not that it’s too difficult to do, it just takes longer to say the colour of each word than it does to say the word. This is because cognitively, we can’t not read a word if we see it. So it takes a moment to adjust that automatic response.
    And no, age make no difference, unless a child who cannot yet read is performing the task- they would be able to do it faster than an adult.

  • Code Monkey

    Do a comparison in timing.

    Go through saying each of the words as quickly as you can and see how long it takes.

    Then try going through saying the colour of the letters instead.

    Most people will probably find that it takes significantly longer to say the colours than the words.

  • Shayna

    I got through it, but by the fourth line I had to slightly hesitate before each word and think “don’t say the word, don’t say the word!” :P

  • matt

    its a lil tricky

  • JMAN12

    It is a very easy optical illusion!!!

  • Davids

    I stumbled quite a bit trying to do it with some speed. Love this one. I’ll show it to some people!

  • Chris

    THey put the first 2 rows the same color as the word to confuse you even further.
    i cant read it at all! its so frustrating >:O

  • NeeL

    You cant do this without thinking this over continuously.

    And for everybody who is going to say it wasn’t hard at all, say the colours out loud in English!

  • DaEgg

    I messed up a few times in the first line, but once you go further it’s easier.

  • Just squint your eyes until you can’t read the letters anymore ;)

    And for people who can’t speak English very well it’s easier of course :P

  • Allen

    First time through.

  • Dave

    one try simple!

  • A.D.M

    No for something like this age makes no difference, it is left side of the brain vs right side of the brain, another example of this is to pat your head while stroking your stomach in a circular motion, you can actually train your brain to do these things. The right hemisphere of the brain recognises the colour of the text but the more worked left side of the brain recognises the word and will dominate as we are more used to reading the word and not saying what the colour of the text is.

  • Anyone

    Wanna Cookie?

  • gennia11

    wat dat duppose 2 mean, T.j.? u tryin 2 ruin da fun? i thought it was pretty neat! fun indeed ;D

  • Brooks

    This variation on the STROOP effect is , in my mind, vary strong. It took me more than twice as long to read the conflicted words ( colour different than word) as to read the non conflicted words. Strong readers who are sight based have particulare difficultey while weak readers have less difficulte with this as their not so tied a sight approch and strong fluency.

  • Brent

    It’s Stroop Interference. It’s not so much “hard” as it is “harder”… you can’t go quite as fast when the colours and words don’t match up. Age matters only in that kids are slower than young adults. But not having any effect would simply mean that you can’t read the underlying language.

  • bbb

    i did’nt find it hard, eather

  • ky

    If you cross eyed, its a whole lot easier. Haha. This one was pretty good, I’ve seen it a lot of times before though.

  • ali

    I have a very hard time with these. I pretty much have to pause, think, and say each one individually. The problem for me is that I tend to look at the entire word as a block, I think, and so I automatically read it.

    I’m female, early 30s, and I read a LOT – words on the computer all day long, books for entertainment otherwise. So those of you that DON’T have a problem with these, I wonder if there is an age/gender/something reason.

  • It isn’t really that hard to read. I did it without a problem

  • psb

    The longer I went the worster I got, LOL

  • Cynt

    Took me, about, 1/4 a minute

  • Cynt

    I did it in 1/4 a minute. Go me!

  • Jacob

    …this is supposed to be hard…?!??!?!?

  • Korahn

    I can’t do it, being a little colourblind.

  • Care Bear

    Imagine the confusion for someone who is both illiterate and color blind. Boggles the brain.

  • Bah

    The previous posters are morons. It’s much harder. First time yourself reading the text, then try and do the colours in the same amount of time with no mistakes. You will fail.

  • JOJO

    idk bout u guys out there but for me this wuz a nice simply easy piece of cake. wish life were more like dis.

  • Michelle

    A local bar I used to frequent has exactly this hanging on a bulletin board inside the door. Its just printed on white paper, inside a sheet protector. It used to give us endless entertainment when we’d try to read it after a few. =)

  • Suzanne

    Its actually harder if you ignore the word and read the colour.

  • peace-angel

    Not the kinda thing you do with speed after a few drinks :)

  • Dolphin

    It was easy for me.Now to try it on my older brother…

  • Freddy

    All I did was blur my eyes until I couldn’t read the words.

  • Talia


  • Talia


  • Trancis

    That was easy as easy can be … one star !

  • Maryann Dionisio

    i got a chuckle and i’m 56 so maybe it is an age thing…

  • wasnt that had only one mistake

  • I kinda felt like I did this thing where I only concentrated on the colours and not the words and it was really easy. Maybe the ability to do that says something about you, right brained or something I dont know.

  • Janelle McDermott

    mmm, I didn’t find this easy at all! Maybe age does have something to do with it

  • Gregory Padilla

    Just squint. Makes it real simple.

    • WilSki97

      nope. i still fail

    • vinegar

      be quite show off

  • qwertyuiop

    i didnt find i too hard
    but, if i tried going any faster, then i would probably stuff up big time

  • Find this very hard but also very fun.

  • Fredrik

    This is known as the Stroop effect.

  • Brian

    try reading the words as words, then read the words as the color of the text. I was able to read the words without a hitch, but reading the color of the text, while easy, took twice as long.

  • Whitney N. Ollivierre

    lol it wasn’t hard… but it’s interesting for sure.

  • Jilly

    wonderful ;DD simply wonderful

  • Kum

    just a trick can make everyone read out the colors without any confusion with text, i.e just squint ur eyes so that only colors are visible and not the text… :)

  • G.G

    It wasn’t too hard for me, as I’m near sighted. All I need to do is take off my glasses and play the game. =)

  • N

    i saw this on saturday in camera obscura!

  • base8

    I dont really see the optical “illusion” in this.

  • Timmi Kaye Creer

    Guess i’m blonde… i screwed up once cuz ya…lol

  • Nikolai Scheel

    if you don’t pay attention to the words, it makes it a little easier. (For me, not by much.)

  • Anomo

    That was to easy. I did what the explanation said before I even read it :S

  • Josh

    I found myself saying “purple” while looking at the word “red” written in green.

    I guess not being a native speaker (or: thinker) helps a lot in doing it right.

  • C.C

    I have a lite trouble with these things. :P oh well, cool illusion! (s it an illusion…? meh, tomato, tomahto)

  • Ruud

    Hmmmm, right and left brainhalf get confused…..Nice!

  • alijaya

    squint your eyes and make it blur…
    you will read it easily :p

  • tony

    Kinda simple I’m afraid… though nearly stumbled on second to last blue.

  • Gwalchgwn

    If you can’t beat the game because you see the words, try watching in a blur. It’ll help a lot

  • Zade

    this is called the stroop effect, and it is well documented in cognitive science research. the point is not that it is impossible, but rather that it is much harder. if you were to compare this with your performance reading colored, non-color words (like “dog” written in red, etc.) you would notice it takes significantly less time when the words are not color words.

    t.j., as for the age question, there is some debate, but many studies have shown that the stroop effect increases with age. so, older folks seem have an even harder time reading colored color words compared to colored non-color words.

  • Rath

    Hhhmmm: Considering I had to focus for a moment to get it right, I do think age does matter ;)

  • How can anyone say they have done it correctly without someone else checking them? It seems easy but you can still slow down and stumble as you go through…

  • @ T.J

    Yeah. It’s easier for little kids because they can’t read so babang, they know their colors and win it in one go!

  • Isabel

    Easy peasy!!

  • Tasta

    My guess is it depends also your native language.

    I’m french and it’s easy to read color names in English without mixing up…

  • rd

    Cool. This is called the Stroop effect, after the guy who discovered it. This is one of the most researched phenomenon in cognitive psychology.

  • gomonkey

    so easy

  • gomonkey

    im 11

  • B.W.

    That was so easy! And I don’t really get why this is an illusion either – it’s just coloured words.

  • Dave

    It is definitely tricky for me, maybe due to being old and the brain not as flexible for this 45 year old.

  • Hussain

    That’s awesome,Stuti! I never managed to do so!! I always go to the fourth line and I always get stuck :)

  • I’ve seen this before where you have to ignore the color of the word, so I did that, but I admit it took some hesitation before I could “read” the color of the word. My girl got it after looking at it for a little bit.

  • It confused Took me a couple of tries but I got it in the end.

  • Pankaj

    There is a very easy trick to get this done in ONE GO!!! Blur out the image, defocus your eyes so that you can see the color and not read the words, that way you can immediately recognise the correct color and say it….try this SIMPLE trick.

  • Matt

    I found it real easy when I said “orange” when “orange” was typed. But I found it really hard the other way when I said “blue” when the word was typed “orange” in blue ink. Are the people above sure they did it right?

  • Flying purple people eater

    Sinchamicaded, wtf is the point of it :L
    BTW people i am the NUMBER 1 DOG LOVER

  • uiegugq

    That was ezpz.

  • Scott

    The instructions are unclear. What are the “original colors” you are supposed to say?

    Did you mean say the displayed color??

  • Sheetal

    got it in one go :-)

  • Stargirl101

    WAY WAY WAY TOO EASY! And I’M ONLY 12! HA! Y do u lot think it’s THAT hard?

  • George Beckingham

    I find it gets easier as you go. By the last line, I was reading as fast as the first line.

  • whatplot

    well.. not that hard, but probably because English isn’t my native language ;)

  • ……???…….

    if u sorta cross your eyes and make all the words blury, its easier :D

  • DaEgg

    Squint til you can’t read it and it’s easy!


    the best way to do it is to lose focus or cross your eyes so its blurred, then the colours are easy to see

  • it didnt squint of nothin’. i didnt mess up.

  • Grace

    I can read the words, but not say the color.

  • Kavon Jackson

    I consecutively said all of them with no problem

  • Bunny

    To easy. I can read both color and world without stumbling on either.

  • Dan

    I only stuffed up on the last one. pretty easy.

  • Zeb



  • kate

    i kept getting stuck on the “purple” ones cause i wasn’t sure if i should say purple pink or fuchsia….

  • Desiree

    WOO HOO!!! I did it on the first try, like a bause!

  • the colors didn’t mess me up

  • Eponine

    I don’t see why this is an illusion. You’ll slow down in color naming, but your eyes aren’t fooled. It’s stroop effect:

  • Mike Affronte

    See you can make your brain do more than one thing at a time.

  • FranHaki

    I think it’s because you start with the words and the colors match then suddenly the word red is in color green

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