Honestly, this optical illusion doesn't change colour

The TikTok optical illusion
(Image credit: @Beatonthebeeb via TikTok)

Who doesn't love an optical illusion? And sometimes even the most simple of images can have an uncanny effect. Today's optical illusion is no different. A new TikTok video is blowing minds, and you'll soon see why. 

The video was posted by famous optical illusion TikToker, Beatonthebeeb. He shares a black and white photo of the Brooklyn Bridge – all very simple. But he then causes it to appear to spring to life with colour. How? Read on to find out. And if you love this design and fancy sinking your teeth into some more mesmerising brain-bogglers, make sure you check out our roundup of the best optical illusions


♬ original sound - Dean Jackson

After showing the original black and white image of the beach, Beatonthebeeb then asks viewers to stare directly into the middle of a version that has been edited with garish neon colours. He then invites viewers to go back to the beginning of the video again, and lo and behold the original black and white image now appears to have colour. 

How does it work? Well, Beatonthebeeb explains that the bright colours tire certain receptors in the retina. When they vanish at the end of the video and viewers go back to the black and white image, only the colours needed to bring the black and white photo to life are stimulated, hence why we see it in full colour. 

This isn't the first illusion we have covered from Beatonthebeeb. Last September, we were left baffled by the three cars optical illusion that he shared, which made three identical cars look completely different sizes. However, this colour-oriented mind-bender reminds me a little of a black and white photo illusion we saw a while back, which made a black and white image look like it was fully coloured. 

A seemingly colour photo of a group of teenagers.

Believe it or not, this photo it totally monochrome.  (Image credit: Chuwa Francis)

Beatonthebeeb latest perplexing optical illusion has racked up an incredible 27.8M views on TikTok. And with figures like that, anyone might think that making TikTok optical illusions sounds like a good idea! See our guide to all things TikTok to get started!

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Amelia Bamsey
Staff Writer

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.