Not sure what's so notable about this that it gets 3rd place in an illusion contest. It's just simple false perspective. They lay the images out in one configuration such that the two different shapes appear to converge at the same vanishing point.
When they change the configuration, the vanishing point disappears and we no longer see a false perspective, but rather we see the flat shapes as shapes.
The second place one doesn't fool me; I see gradients in all the situations it thinks I should be seeing solid colors. I am slightly colorblind though, so that might change things.
I've watched this several times and I can honestly say: ummmmm. what?
I like the pigeon one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69HFTdTtbz8
And I like this one with the physical model: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69HFTdTtbz8
What's supposed to be going on in the McThatcher thing?
You've got the same link twice.
What's supposed to be happening in it? I'm not seeing anything.
See their web page for explanations:-
But this guy has thousands of illusions, many of which are far better than these. And they are all categorised:-
There's an explanation on the page, but if that still has you stumped:
They combined two effects. The first is the McGurk effect, and has to do with how we hear vs. how we lipread. The sound being made is 'ba' not 'va', but because the face we see looks like it's saying 'va' - we tend to hear that. Here's a clearer example of just that effect:
The second effect is called the Thatcher effect, and it has to do with how well programmed we are to see faces correctly. In the original effect, Margaret Thatcher's face was displayed upside down, and her lips and eyes in the photo were reversed to be left right side up (the way they normally look). In this position, the photo looks normal, but right the face and suddenly it's Monster Maggie!
The new illusion combines the two effects, with lips out of sync with the upright face. The idea presented is that, with the face fully inverted the McGurk effect is still strong (we still hear 'va'), but when the lips are blatantly wrong and the face is upright, the effect is reduced (we should hear 'ba'). It didn't work as well as intended on me, and I think the rotation of the image was unnecessary. A better display might have been several different faces, shown sequentially, all just flipping between the upside down and upright positions.
Focus on the fence, not the moving objects. If you do it right, they will appear to wobble instead of moving smoothly. The pigeons are built so their head wobbles separately from the body.
Now I get it!
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