An optical illusion has created controversy on the internet lately. When looking at this puzzling picture people cannot decide whether the one in the picture is Albert Einstein or Marilyn Monroe.
It seems that it has something to do with the distance between the image and the place where you stand. The strength of your eyes also has an important impact. Experts say that if you have good eyesight you will see a different image than those with poor eyesight.
The test was developed by Aude Oliva from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the help of Philippe G. Schyns of the University of Glasgow. With just a single glance the illusion can determine the spatial frequency of your eyes and your ability to define and contrast details in a picture.
The pixels of the picture which represent Einstein intermingle with the pixels which make up Monroe’s face. People who see Monroe’s face instead of Einstein’s most probably have bad eyes. If you see Einstein’s face you can try distancing yourself from the image or squinting your eyes and if the image gets blurry enough you will be able to see Marilyn Monroe.
This image represents a special type of optical illusion which is called hybrid. Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown made the picture available on the internet though a video posted on the YouTube channel Asap Science on April 2. The video went viral and it has over 2.000.000 views.
If you see Albert Einstein, it means that your eyes have a high spatial frequency, whereas if you see Marilyn Monroe your eyes have a low spatial frequency. A high spatial frequency indicates that your eyes can focus and define details in the picture (Einstein’s wrinkles and his moustache), whereas a low spatial frequency most probably indicate that you need to have your eyes checked.
The researchers worked for over 10 years to design accurate hybrid images. Certain mechanics in the picture enable you to see Monroe if you are far enough from the picture even though you have a good eyesight. From distance your eyes can only perceive the outside characteristics of the picture. Your brain only looks for broad lines in a picture. In everyday life this helps you tell the difference between a lamppost and a tree or an elephant and a car. But when you get closer to the image you are able to see the details and distinguish the type of car or tree that you are looking at.
Image Source: Curious Cat