I bet this optical illusion will fool you

I’m sure most, if not all, of us have come across an optical illusion or two in our lives. I recently came across a new but old (it is from the 90s — 1995 to be exact — but I just discovered it) optical illusion and instantly thought to myself: “If it fooled me I must fool others with it so I can feel better about myself for being a fool Let’s share on dotTech”.

Look at the following and decide if squares A and B are the same color or not:

If you decided A and B are not the same color then you are indeed… a fool wrong. A and B actually are the same color. If you don’t believe me, check out the following image which proves they are the same color by connecting them:

Still not convinced? The following animated GIF shows you the whole illusion as it is put together, starting with A and B:


Pretty cool, huh? For those that are curious, this is called the “same color illusion” and was invented (for the lack of a better word) by Edward H. Adelson from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995.

[via Wikipedia]

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  • The letters themselves are different colors – B is darker than A, which makes it harder.

    I guess it boils down to how we define color: If we interpret it the image as an actual physical object, then the colors are different. To look at it as a 2 dimensional flat image, the colors happen to be the same and obviously the image was tweaked to make it so.

    Seeing it as different colors implies that our brain is interpreting the image correctly. These are the sort of difficulties image recognition programs have to struggle with, and it would take some effort to make it correctly recognize the colors as different, even though the RGB values happen to be the same.

  • I did some research on this sort of thing back in the ’70s. If you’re being “picky” (which I am!) it’s not an optical illusion, it’s a visual illusion. The term “optical” implies that it has something to do wirh the mechanics of the way the eye works, where as “visual” is to do with the way the brain interprets the signals it is getting from the eye. As implied earlier in these posts, it is the brain’s interpretation that is at fault! (Lecture over ;) ). It;s still pretty cool tho’.

  • Jyo

    @Prema: That explanation makes a lot of sense, thanks for sharing that!

  • Prema

    my psych class ruined this for me. A is surrounded by lighter colors which makes it darker, and B is surrounded by darker colors which makes it lighter… sigh i dont think i can ever enjoy an optical illusion again :(

  • mukhi

    this is hell of cool
    trust me, this is no bull…
    [spoiler] don’t tell anybody that i am fool…

  • Bull

    Lies! All lies!

    They are not the same color. This is a reversal optical illsion that makes you believe that there is an illusion and that the authors whant you you to believe the opposite of what is true.

    Just kidding.

    I remember this in art class way, way, waaaaay back in high School. I think it had to do with the contrasting colors and how our brain percieves/ makes them stand out. Somethign like that… Hey dont blame me it had been a long time since H.S.

  • @kentkitty:
    Yeah, you cannot believe because people usally believe only to what they see.

    Eyes and brain isn’t everything, sometimes the truth is beyond what we see and feel.

    You are right, you see different colors, because THEY ARE DIFFERENT colors for the human eye.

    But, the TRUTH is that they are the same.

    What we can’t see doesn’t mean doesn’t exist…

  • kentkitty

    @miky computers:
    I just simply cannot still believe they are the same color and do not understand this. Call me dumb but i am not seeing it.

  • Actually A and B are 118-120 RGB, it’s graded.

    other blocks are all kind of colors:
    204 RGB, 180 RGB. 60 RGB….

  • tom

    what colors are the other blocks?

  • Color Blind

    Yep, Look at them with a color picker and they’re both RGB 120.

  • That’s thing is neat!

    If you still don’t believe this ! !
    I’ve made a picture using a “color picker” that show what’s the color in each square have a look:


  • Eric989

    I used Pipette, a color picker, and found both squares to have the same rgb values of 120 120 120. It is still hard to believe, though. I’ve seen stuff like this before, but every time I still think no way this one can’t be real.

  • RobCr

    I just (in the last week) watched a documentary on a one hour TV show, demonstrating how the human brain is constantly monitoring what we see (and other senses), and then deciding what image we will see in our mind’s eye.
    The brain decides based on the input, and the ‘schemes’ stored in it’s memory, what ‘reality’ illusion we will be shown in our mind’s eye.
    Quite a large portion of the illusions demonstrated in the TV show, were based on colors, and the presence of a shadow. The presence of the shadow, then triggers the brain’s decision to change / correct / distort what we will be shown in our mind’s eye.
    Semi related topic. Saw a TV show a while back where a hypnotist. instructed a person (when he was hypnotized), that he would not be able to see the hypnotist, when he was ‘awake’. There were about 4 people sitting/standing around a coffee table, and the subject could not see the hypnotist as he moved things off and on to the table. The subject saw the items moving, and did not know how they were being moved.

  • And if you’re *still* not convinced, do what I did (a few years ago!) and PRINT the image. It’s even better when you have it on paper, and demonstrate (by folding) that the two squares are actually the same colour :-)