Ugly Celebrities Illusion

Miscellaneous, Video 28 May 2012 0 Comments

If you stare directly at the faces in this video, they will look completely normal.  If you stare at the cross, however, you will notice that the faces begin to look ugly and distorted.

This illusion is known as the flashed face distortion effect and recently won second prize at the 2012 Best Illusion of the Year Contest.  It was discovered by accident by a student working on face photographs for a different experiment.  You can imagine that he was very surprised when the faces appeared to be deformed when he knew they were certainly not.

Dr Jason Tangen, Mr Sean Murphy and Mr Matthew Thompson at The University of Queensland describe how this illusion works as follows:

“The effect seems to depend on processing each face in light of the others. By aligning the faces at the eyes and presenting them quickly, it becomes much easier to compare them, so the differences between the faces are more extreme. If someone has a large jaw, it looks almost ogre-like. If they have an especially large forehead, then it looks particularly bulbous.”

Kind of creepy, isn’t it?

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