Monday 18 December 2017

The internet is collectively freaking out over this incredible Cafe Wall optical illusion

Are the lines sloped? No, they are not.

(Victoria Skye)
(Victoria Skye)

By Edd Dracott and Nilima Marshall

The internet loves a good old mind-boggling optical illusion and the latest one to cause a stir on social media is an artist’s take on the famous Cafe Wall illusion.

The artwork by Victoria Skye features alternating black and light blue “bricks” which appear to be sloped.

But here’s the thing – the bricks aren’t sloped. They are parallel straight dividing lines and your eyes are actually deceiving you.

And of course, no-one can get their head around this.

The Cafe Wall was made famous by British psychologist Richard Gregory in 1973 – inspired by a tiled wall of a cafe in Bristol.

“The illusion works because the light and dark contrasting edges interact in opposite directions along the straight edge, therefore tricking the brain into thinking there is a slant in the line,” Skye explained.

“If you blur the image, or look at it from the side at eye level, the effect disappears because you cannot resolve the tiny white-black interactions once they are blurred, so the brain is no longer tricked.”

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Skye, who is a professional magician and illusion artist, created her artwork using Photoshop.

“I have hundreds of variations that I have created by way of experimentation with shapes, colours and by using the influence of other illusions or illusion artists before me,” she said.

“This particular one is a combination of variations used by a brilliant illusion creator named Akiyoshi Kitaoka and the Cafe Wall made famous by Richard Gregory.

“Other versions of this effect were later discovered and in my version I have summed two very strong versions of this effect to heighten the illusion even more.”

To see more examples of Skye’s incredible illusion art, check out her work here.

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