These 3 Cars Are Same in Size!

Psychologist Richard Wiseman posted this Ponzo illusion, telling us all three cars are of the same size. Ponzo illusion, first demonstrated by Italian psychologist Mario Ponzo in 1911., suggests that the way we judge an object’s size is highly dependent on its background. Just browse this site’s #Relative Sizes category and you’ll see many examples of Ponzo illusion in use. By looking at the below photo, our mind stubbornly tells us that the car on top is much larger – perhaps even twice the size of the car at the bottom.

But check what happens if you take a ruler and measure the heights of the three cars. Even better, look at this solution animation (gif) made by Neatorama blog! Still, it’s funny how even after you comprehend the cars are same in size, your brain simply refuses to believe it.

9 Replies to “These 3 Cars Are Same in Size!”

  1. I have known for years that everyone has a different view of the world. This is easy to show. Professional musicians see and feel the actual position of musical notes. The majority of us only have degrees of this. The “real” world is probably quite different than we perceive.

  2. The actual images may be the same size, but in the context of the picture, your brain expects perceptive. In a real photo of 3 equal size cars, the distant car would have a smaller image, but your brain correctly interprets them as being the same size. and correctly .
    So if the distant image is the same size, the brain would interpret this as a larger car. This is correct in the sense that you really don’t know the actual cars sizes. You have to take it on faith. The fact that the images are the same size does not dissuade that part of the brain that does this, as it knows that in the real word, equal images does mean a larger distant object.

  3. Nice. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this done with a photo before. With drawings, it’s easier to see past the illusion and see that the objects are the same size. It’s much more difficult with this one.

  4. If the cars had not been expanded (ie photoshopped) would the licenses be visible? Unless there is enough clearance between cars the license plates should be blocked from vision.

  5. Why always 3 ? Someday I’ll try it with the Dalton brothers with 4 Joes (will the furthest look as dumb as Avarell?)

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