A YOUTUBER takes a closer look at the optical illusion that has puzzled people for decades.
Discovered in 1947, the Ames window (named after scientist Adelbert Ames Jr) is an image that looks like a rectangular window, but is actually a trapezoid.
According to Veritasium, which created a 16-minute YouTube video of the image, the look is essential to the illusion.
When the image is rotated, the window appears to move forward, but it actually rotates 360 degrees.
Ames originally wanted to become a visual artist, and according to Veritasium host Derek Muller, he was fascinated by the way people perceive shapes and shades.
“The key to this fantasy is that we’re all used to living in essentially rectangular boxes,” Muller said. “It’s a house and a room where every corner we see is at a 90 degree angle.”
This phenomenon is referred to as a “Carpentered Environment,” or an environment of buildings with prominent rectangles.
Unless you’re looking straight at something, the angle is
It’s not the 90 degrees you’re looking at. However, the brain uses these odd shapes to infer depth information to recognize images from the correct 90-degree angle.
To test this theory, Muller cites a 1957 study from Harvard where South African children were asked if they looked at an Ames window and perceived the image as vibrating or rotating.
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More than 60% of children who grew up in an urban environment, where rectangular structures are the norm, perceived moving images.
However, only 17.5% of rural children who grew up in villages with round huts believed that images were moving around.
To further confuse the brain, if you place a 3D object in one corner of the image and rotate the window, the object will appear to pass through the window instead of rotating.
What can you see? Does it move back and forth or rotate?
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