Homeschooling Teen

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Optical Illusions: What Do You See?

This brain teaser is more than 100 years old, but it just recently went viral on social media:

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What do you see – a rabbit? or a duck?

Some see a rabbit and others see a duck – but are you able to see both alternately?

American psychologist Joseph Jastrow first used the duck-rabbit drawing in 1899 to make the point that perception is not only what one sees but is also a mental activity.

Jastrow’s research was based on how quickly one can see the second animal and how fast individuals can change their perception to switch between the two animals.

The faster you can do this, the quicker your brain works and the more creative you are.


Here is another famous perceptual illusion:

(click here to enlarge)

What do you see – a young girl? or an old woman?

Hint: The chin of the young woman becomes the nose of the old lady.

How fast can your brain switch back and forth between them?

British cartoonist W. E. Hill published this one in a 1915 Puck humor magazine. He most likely adapted the figure from a similar illustration that was popular on Victorian puzzle cards.

If you like these illusions, head over to Wolfram’s Mathworld, the web’s most extensive mathematical resource, where you can find over 50 more!

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