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So you're telling me these two chess sets are the same colour?

If you're new to Creative Bloq, then you might not know that we are obsessed with a good old optical illusion. We've seen every rotating horse, upside down Elon Musk and floating ship there is to see from the wonderful world of illusions, and today's mind-boggling find makes a great addition to the pile. 

Everyone knows the basis of chess, right? There are two 16 piece sets used in the game – one in white, and one in black. At first glance, the picture below looks just like your bog-standard monochrome chess set, but what if we told you they were exactly the same colour? If you're loving this optical illusion and fancy sinking your teeth into some more brain-frazzling designs, then make sure you check out our roundup of the best optical illusions

A photo of two identical chess sets

How are the two sets the same colour? (Image credit: @TomChivers via Twitter/Astral Codex Ten)

The mind-boggler was shared on Twitter by Tom Chivers, who captioned the design, "the top and bottom chess sets are the same colour". it's hard to believe that these sets are exactly the same, but the illusion uses the assimilation phenomenon to trick our brain into thinking they're contrasting colours. And if you don't believe that they are the same, Chivers also shared a video demonstrating that the sets were exactly the same (see below). 

No idea what assimilation is? Well, according to The Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions (opens in new tab), is the phenomenon "in which the perceived colour of a region shifts toward that of its neighbour". This isn't the first optical illusion we've seen that uses assimilation – back in March, a user on Twitter shared a series of head-frazzlers that were all the same colour, even though they look totally different. 

If you're loving all this optical illusion talk, and feel inspired to make your own, then why not download Photoshop and have a go? And if you need a few more designs to help you get started, then perhaps our roundup of the best trompe l'oeil illusion will come in handy. 

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Amelia Bamsey
Amelia Bamsey

Amelia is Creative Bloq’s Staff Writer. After completing a degree in Popular Music and a Master’s in Song Writing, Amelia began designing posters, logos, album covers and websites for musicians. She now enjoys covering a range of topics on Creative Bloq, including posters, optical illusions, logos (she's a particular fan of logo Easter eggs), gaming and illustration. In her free time, she relishes in the likes of art (especially the Pre-Raphaelites), photography and literature. Amelia prides herself on her unorthodox creative methods, her Animal Crossing island and her extensive music library.