How this trippy illusion will make you see an “expanding black hole”

How this trippy illusion will make you see an “expanding black hole”

This “expanding hole” illusion can trick your brain into thinking you’re entering a cave or tunnel. (Image credit: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience)

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A brand new optical illusion tricks most people into believing that a dark “black hole” region in the center of a stationary image is rapidly expanding, as if the observer is heading towards it. Researchers now suspect that the image literally tricks the brain into thinking the viewer is moving through a dark space, such as a cave or tunnel.

The illusion consists of a large black ellipse surrounded by a dark halo on a white background filled with smaller black ellipses. Typically, when a person looks at the image, the dark elliptical region appears to expand outward for a few seconds, which is why the design has been dubbed the “expanding hole”.

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