The way our eyes work is that we see something in front of us, our brain processes the shapes and colors, and then we have our sight. Inside our eyes are lenses, which make sense of the world around us. The direct connection between the eyes and the brain have given us opportunities to improve our vision and create some amazing effects for our entertainment. Then we have the complexity of optical illusions, where we see things that don’t exist.
In the past, optical illusions were perceived to be of witchcraft and other supernatural causes. People were imprisoned and burned at the stake for creating and promoting optical illusions.
This is the ‘ambiguous cylinders’ illusion, the creation of Kokichi Sugihar, a professor of engineering at Meiji University in Japan. It’s also the second prize winner in 2016’s Best Illusion of the Year contest, a community-run competition that aims to remind us that “all perception is illusory to some extent.”
This optical illusion will blow your mind. Just HOW do these rows of squares become rows of circles (and vice versa) when reflected in a mirror?
Like this illusion, the ambiguous cylinders rely on the viewer looking at a structure from a certain angle— in addition to some judiciously placed folds that look like curves when seen back to front.
From the author:
Ever since I created the first version of this video a year ago I’ve been wanting to try it again with more water and better lighting / footage. This is a really fun project and when you first see the results, chances are your jaw will drop. The main thing to keep in mind for this project is that you need a camera that shoots 24 fps.
The effect that you are seeing can’t be seen with the naked eye. The effect only works through the camera. However, there is a version of the project you can do where the effect would be visible with the naked eye. For that project, you’d have to use a strobe light.
For this project you’ll need:
A powered speaker
Soft rubber hose
Tone generating software
24 fps camera
Run the rubber hose down past the speaker so that the hose touches the speaker. Leave about 1 or 2 inches of the hose hanging past the bottom of the speaker. Secure the hose to the speaker with tape or whatever works best for you. The goal is to make sure the hose is touching the actual speaker so that when the speaker produces sound (vibrates) it will vibrate the hose.
Set up your camera and switch it to 24 fps. The higher the shutter speed the better the results. But also keep in the mind that the higher your shutter speed, the more light you need. Run an audio cable from your computer to the speaker. Set your tone generating software to 24hz and hit play.Turn on the water. Now look through the camera and watch the magic begin. If you want the water to look like it’s moving backward set the
frequency to 23hz. If you want to look like it’s moving forward in slow motion set it to 25hz.