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optical illusion - two lines, one height

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Uploaded on Apr 14, 2006

the two black vertical lines are actually the same size. this was originally a single still frame (the first frame of the video), and from that it's hard to see that the lines are the same height (though print this out and use a ruler and you'll see they are). i created this quicktime to illustrate just how the illusion works. all i do in the video is slowly take away the other elements in the picture.

i never alter the lines as i erase other parts of the image. both lines are exactly the same height, but the other diagonal lines around them give the illusion of one being smaller than the other because our brains perceive the horizontal lines coming together as moving away from us into the distance, thus interpreting the "rear" black line as larger.

note: although i made this quicktime, i did not create the original art. the quicktime is an extraction of a single jpeg (originally a slightly larger and colorized version of the first frame of this vid). unfortunately i do not know where the original frame came from.

update: thanks to commenter mckack i've learned this is known as the ponzo illusion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzo_il...

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