Want to see something mind-bending? Here’s a simple optical illusion that will literally change the way you see famous photos.
Stare at the center of the following animated image and count to 10 (or 20 if 10 doesn’t cut it), then immediately scroll down and look at the next photo.
Trippy, eh? Ansel Adams’ famous “The Tetons and the Snake River” suddenly looks like it’s animated and bubbling. Try the same thing on some other famous photos:
“The Blue Marble” by NASA
Captured by the crew of NASA’s Apollo 17 mission 28,000 miles from Earth.
“View from the Window at Le Gras” by Nicéphore Niépce
The oldest surviving photograph of a real world scene.
“Bliss” by Charles O’Rear
The default Windows XP wallpaper photo, considered to be the most viewed photo of all time.
This optical illusion is called the motion aftereffect. When the human eye stares at a moving image for a period of time (in this case 10-20 seconds) and then stares at a non-moving image, the non-moving image appears to move in an opposite direction to the moving one.
You can do the same thing while you’re out photographing a waterfall: just stare at the waterfall for 20 or 30 seconds, and then switch your gaze to the rocks to the side. The rocks will appear to be moving in the opposite direction.
We’ve shared some other interesting optical illusions in the past as well, including one that lets you develop a negative with your brain and one that changes a black-and-white photo to a color one with your brain.