You may have noticed that a certain royal is celebrating 70 years on the throne this weekend. People across the United Kingdom are celebrating in all kinds of ways, decorating their houses with bunting, hosting street parties or simply enjoying a bit of a lie-in – and for two days! But there's no time off for those that like to baffle us with mind-bending optical illusions, so what better way to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee than with an optical illusion featuring her Majesty herself.
It's not easy to get an audience with the Queen, but the makers of this Queen's Jubillee optical illusion claim that if you stare at the picture of Queen Elizabeth II below for a whole 60 seconds and then look away at a plain white background, the Queen will appear right before your eyes (if you're looking for more amazement this Jubilee weekend, make sure you check out our pick of the best optical illusions of the year so far, we're sure the Queen herself would like the magic rotating horse).
The people at illusions.org (opens in new tab) reckon that if you stare at the picture for long enough without looking away, and then look at a blank white wall or piece of paper, you'll see an image of the Queen's face floating in front of you (you might need to squint a bit). What's more, she appears in colour with brown hair, a string of white pearls and a dark dress.
So does it work for you? Personally, I find that after looking at the image for 60 seconds, it no longer resembles the Queen but more like an image from a Rorschach test, but the image does appear when I then look away. How does it work? Well, it's perhaps not surprising that an image will imprint itself on our eyes if we stare at it for long enough.
The microscopic cones in our eyes become overworked when forced to stare at a single object and when we look away, the tired cells take a while to catch up, especially if we look at a plain background that doesn't send the brain a strong new signal. But the most interesting part is that the image that appears may seem to be more accurate than the original black and white negative. According to the site, "Your brain transplants the negative image with positive light, in effect reversing the negative image."
Looking for more ways to kill time this jubilee weekend? Then see if you can spot the crown in this jubilee illustration. The celebrations have had their fair share of design gaffs and controversies too, from a bungled poster design to a questionable decision to project the Queen onto Stonehenge.
If you have more time on your hands, you could even get creative making your own optical illusions or illustrations. See below for the best current prices on Adobe's Creative Cloud suite of apps.