This Optical Illusion Disappears When You Stare At It, How Long Does It Take You?

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Did you know that your eyes could be your greatest enemy? They can deceive you and completely distort your reality….or in this case completely make it disappear. We tend to select focus and lose sight of the rest of the details in our environment. We miss what’s important because we are too preoccupied with what’s within direct sight. But why?

The longer you stare at the picture below, the more it will disappear right in front of your eyes like a magic trick! See for yourself.

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A Viral Illusion

An eye-care practice in Horsham, Pennsylvania, shared an optical illusion on their Twitter account that’s likely making lots of people wonder if they should be booking an appointment.

close up of green eye dilated
Bruno Henrique / Pexels
Bruno Henrique / Pexels

The entire image disappears after about 30 seconds if you focus on just one fixed point. For optimal results, you might want to turn your brightness up. The photo is raising questions on what makes perception and if perception and reality are the same things. it seems like we’re all living in our own little world, with blinders that only allow us to see what we’re fixated on at that moment.

Try It For Yourself

Take a good look at the image above. Really focus on its center and stay there for a couple of seconds. The longer that you stare at one fixed point, the more you’ll notice the white space around the image expanding and the colors fading into it until they completely disappear.

Colorful Illusion with pastel colors
NightBreeze13 / Reddit
NightBreeze13 / Reddit

The exposure to the colors and the shapes leave your peripherary vision until they sort of melt. The moment you blink, the images restores and the process restarts. That’s because when you blink, you shift your attention.

The Troxler Effect

So why does this happen? It’s called The Troxler effect and it was discovered in 1804 by Ignaz Troxler, a Swiss physician, and philosopher. Troxler realized that our eyes, and by extension our brain, filter information if it’s constantly in our field of vision and deems it irrelevant.

woman-in-white-knitted-sweater- blurred illusion
Cottonbro: / Pexels
Cottonbro: / Pexels

So if an image or stimuli is in your peripheral vision for too long, eventually you’ll stop noticing it and it’ll disappear. The details become blurry and vanish faster and faster over time.

Think of how often you look out the window and don’t take in the vibrant scenery because your gaze is constantly jumping from one detail to the next without fullyy processing it or its surroundings. This tends to be the way we go through life.

Selective Processing

It’s not that the image actually fully goes away. All it takes is a blink to bring it back. Rather this shows how our brain copes with the overwhelming number of sensations that it’s constantly being exposed to. Because it can’t process all of it at once, it selects focal points. This is called selective process.

lose-up-of-woman-with-green-contact-lenses-
Ron Lach / Pexels
Ron Lach / Pexels

On a subconscious level, our brain filters all the information in our environment and only focus on what it thinks is important. This is important because we have the power to rewire what our brain thinks is important. For example, if you’re waiting for a text from someone you like, you might not notice anything but your phone even if you’re about to hit a car.

Focus Your Attention

This focus shift is something we’re constantly experiencing on a small and big scale. For example, when we put on a shirt in the morning, we feel the fabric touch our skin for a split second before our focus shifts again to the next task we need to get through. Are we ever actually taking the time to live in the moment and appreciate it?

person-holding-magnifying-glass-to buildings
MaurĂ­cio Mascaro/ Pexels
MaurĂ­cio Mascaro/ Pexels

The problem is our brain is trained to tune out the stimuli that is constant, such as the colors that fade in the image. This is why we stop appreciating the little things or get comfortable with the privilege we live with so we don’t even notice it till we lose it.

The Troxler Effect In Real Life

The illusion here is unusual because it’s rare that we fix our attention on any one thing for so long. However, it’s a great example of our philosophy in how we go through the motions of life. We let our surroundings disappear into the background if we don’t focus on the bigger picture.

man-s-face focusing
Bahaa A. Shawqi / Pexels
Bahaa A. Shawqi / Pexels

You’ll notice The Troxler Effect in everything you see, especially when it’s combined with your other senses. Notice how your focus quickly shifts from the way your skin feels to the smells around you. We can only focus on one thought at once, it’s up to us to choose which thought to give attention to.

What Else Are You Missing

Imagine what else is going out of sight because you’re giving focus to all the wrong things and losing sight of your environment. There is so much detail around you that is worthy of being acknowledged.

an-wearing-black-cap-with-eyes-closed-under-cloudy-sky
Kelvin Valerio / Pexels
Kelvin Valerio / Pexels

Rather than quickly shift your focus from one thing to the other, or focus too long on the wrong things that you don’t even notice the rest, chose wisely what you give your attention to. This has the power to completely shift your mood, behavior, thought pattern, and life experience!

If you’re looking for more information on how your perception filters through mind especially, then you’ll need your own zodiac reading. We’re each on our own unique path and what some struggle with this season, might not be applicable to you too.

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Aria Misty

Aria Misty is a recent university grad. She did her undergrad in media, information & technoculture with a Master in Journalism & Communications in 2018.

Aria has a particular interest in all things astrology and spirituality. This is driven by her desire to create healing. In fact, Aria went back to school for A master’s in counseling p[…]