Green Tanuki Optical Illusion

What I love most about professor Kitaoka’s homegrown illusions, is their simplicity. Just look at the color-adapting sample he came up with all the way back in 2005. Even though the central square appears to be greenish, in reality it’s monochromatic. Meaning, the central square actually lacks color and its pattern is composed in gray-scale. If you wonder what “Tanuki” means, well it’s a wild animal that looks like a dog.

There are bunch more similar examples. Just check our archives, or see some of the older posts in this category. Once you zoom in the picture (and ignore the surrounding colors), you’ll be convinced the square is monochromatic. The hard part is zooming out again, and convincing yourself what you have just realized still holds.

23 Replies to “Green Tanuki Optical Illusion”

  1. Woah! Nice. But I needn’t zoom in. :D
    Once you said, ‘it’s monochromatic, meaning it’s grayscale,’ snap! Boom! Blah blah! I could see it was grayscale. Nice.

  2. Is it strange that I saw the colour as grey right from the beginning? It’s weird, I had to force my brain to see the green. :O

    1. I had the same experience as Dustin & a few others. I did not see the color green until I read the word “green” in the opening introduction. It took a few seconds before I could see the black and grey as green!

  3. That’s cool! I love illusions like these that mess with our perception of colors! I get into conflicts with people sometimes about color…so this is right up my alley.


  4. I am not convinced. Central square is not monochromotic. I saved this picture by right clicking and open in PictureViewer. Full Zoomed and it still looks greenish.

  5. it’s not the first time we see this kind of “illusion” here.

    open the file in an image editing tool.
    check the color value.

    a green field that appears to be green.
    fantastic illusion!! :-(

  6. Monochromatic means ONE colour. Since it is gradient, it is most definitelly NOT monochromatic. I think you meant grey-scale.

    1. Actually Kimon, gradient images can still be monochromatic. monochromatic simply means one color, it does not mean one shade of one color. When someone refers to greyscale, they are refering to something that has been created using only the color gray with all shades of gray included. A gray color of diferent “shades” does not make it a different color, it just makes it less or more intense. Look up the definition. just like Red and light red are one color just shaded differently. For instance gray and black are technically the same color, just gray is a light form of blakc, but we dont say that is “light black” White is the abscence of all colors. So mixing white with black will make the black color lighter without changing the actual color formation of the black color. So to conclude, everything from black to white is made of the same colors, equal parts of red green and blue. the only thing is you can make it darker or lighter without actually changing the color of it, just the visual perception.

  7. After analyzing the image, it appears that the artifacts of jpeg compression may have actually altered the right side of the greyscale box, making it measurably greenish.

    In a high resolution, clean version, the illusion *will* work as claimed.

  8. If you read the title first before looking at the image, you’ll most probably see the center square green. But a closer look will show it’s actually gray.

  9. I’m afraid that I didn’t see the green until i read the word ‘green’, but it’s still a pretty funky illusion ^_^

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *