No One Could Agree On The Color Of These Viral Photos, So The Science Stepped Up To Explain Why

Remember the great viral debate surrounding “The Dress”? What colors did you see – white and gold, or blue and black? A similar discussion cropped up when a user shared a snap of a sneaker on social media as well. Gray and green, or white and pink? But you may not know the scientific reason behind why we spot totally different shades compared to say, our family and friends.

Now of course, optical illusions aren’t anything new. Brain-twisting images that put you to the test have been around for a long time, whether they’re in books or on paper. And one such example is actually hanging in London, England, right now, and it’s sure to blow your mind.

It’s a painting called “The Ambassadors.” Germany’s Hans Holbein the Younger completed this work of art back in 1533, but something seems a little off. Namely, that weird distorted shape in the lower section. What’s going on? Well, if you examine the picture from a different slant it all becomes clearer.

The shape is actually a skull – crazy right? An analyst named Phillip Kent noted that Holbein’s work was an illustration of “anamorphosis in art.” And it’d left people scratching their heads for hundreds of years, before a debate about it suddenly went viral in 2018, boosting its profile yet again.

The internet just can’t seem to get enough of optical illusions, you see. And thanks to its global reach, anyone with a social media account or working computer can look at them. The dress and the sneaker are arguably two of the most famous examples from recent times, but they’re not the only viral sensations.