Behold the Ingenious “Ambiguous Cylinder Illusion” (and Then Find Out How It Works)

Cre­at­ed by Kokichi Sug­i­hara, a math pro­fes­sor at Mei­ji Uni­ver­si­ty in Tokyo, the “Ambigu­ous Cylin­der Illu­sion” wowed audi­ences at “the Best Illu­sion of the Year Con­test” in 2016. Here’s the gen­er­al gist of the illu­sion:

The direct views of the objects and their mir­ror images gen­er­ate quite dif­fer­ent inter­pre­ta­tions of the 3D shapes. They look like ver­ti­cal cylin­ders, but their sec­tions appear to be dif­fer­ent; in one view they appear to be rec­tan­gles, while in the oth­er view they appear to be cir­cles. We can­not cor­rect our inter­pre­ta­tions although we log­i­cal­ly know that they come from the same objects. Even if the object is rotat­ed in front of a view­er, it is dif­fi­cult to under­stand the true shape of the object, and thus the illu­sion does not dis­ap­pear.

So how do those rec­tan­gles look like cir­cles, and vice-ver­sa? The video below–if you care to spoil the illusion–will show you. Find more videos from the Illu­sion Con­test here.

via The Kids Should See This

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon. If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.