This mind-bending optical illusion will transform how you see colour

Optical illusion
(Image credit: Akiyoshi Kitaoka on Twitter)

We've seen innumerable optical illusions here at Creative Bloq, and the best examples demonstrate just how easily our minds – and eyes – can be tricked. Here's one fascinating example that shows how we can even see something change colour, even though it remains the same hue throughout.

Created by Japanese psychologist and artist Akiyoshi Kitaoka, the animated image shows a square moving across a pink/blue gradient. As it swaps between the colours, the square appears to move from pink to blue itself – but as Kitaoka reveals, it actually does no such thing. Like all the best optical illusions, it's pretty unbelievable.

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Needless to say, Twitter is pretty perplexed. "Okay well, this is a little mindblowing," one user comments, while another adds, "Supposed to be working on a job application, but here I am trying to understand the paradoxes of the human brain instead."

This isn't the first time we've seen an illusion like this – a few month ago we saw a similar effect (opens in new tab) shared by Lenstore, who explained, "The reason we think the colour of the circle changes is because cells send information to our brain through the optic nerve and the brain from that signal tries to interpret what we see. When judging colour, the brain perceives it differently when it is compared to what is surrounding that object."

From falling people (who aren't actually falling) to that infamous rotating horse, we've seen plenty of weird and wonderful optical illusions over the last couple of years. If you're inspired to create your own, take a look at our guide on how to download Photoshop.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).