Optical Illusions: 3 We’re Loving Right Now

As devoted optical illusion enthusiasts, we are always scouring the internet for the best of the best. Discovering brand new optical illusions or being reminded of “oldies but goodies” is our happy place. What can we say, we’re obsessed? Today we thought we would bring you a round-up of 3 of our favorite optical illusions that you may or may not know. They amazed us when we first saw them. We think you’ll love them, too.

Check out these three optical illusions that blew our minds. Then, when you’re done head over to Instagram and share your favorite optical illusions with us. Who knows, you might even stump the experts!

Wundt Illusion

The Wundt Illusion is what some would call an “oldie but goodie.” In fact, it was discovered by Wilhelm Wundt over 100 years ago in 1898! Regardless, we still hold it near and dear to our hearts. Take a look at the Wundt Illusion, pictured below.

The Wundt Illusion - one of the optical illusions used for the MOI NYC blog.
The Wundt Illusion

The Wundt illusion is a classic in that there are a lot of other illusions that take the same form. The shapes behind the two red lines cause the red lines to appear curved. The general theory behind why this happens has to do with the acute angles in the back. Scientists believe that our brains have the tendency to “expand” acute angles, or see them as bigger than they are. This tendency to expand them causes the lines in front of them to appear warped.

The McGurk Effect

The McGurk Effect is a really fun one, and part of the world of multi-sensory illusions that we have barely touched on here on the Museum of Illusions NYC blog. Discovered by Harry McGurk and John McDonald in 1976, the McGurk effect illustrates how what you see affects what you hear. Check it out in the video below.

Pretty trippy, right? You can probably guess what we’re going to say in regards to an explanation. That’s right, your brain is filling in the gaps. Or, more correctly, trying to help you make an informed decision based on what it sees and what it hears.

The Necker Cube

The Necker Cube is one of those seemingly simple optical illusions that we could spend forever staring at. Take a look at the image below, and tell us which side you see as the face of the cube.

The Necker Cube - one of the optical illusions used for the MOI NYC blog.
The Necker Cube

As you probably noticed, the cube appears to switch back and forth between facing up and right, and facing down and left. This is an example of a classic ambiguous figure illusion, which you already know we love. Besides the fact that it’s impossible to determine the true “face” of the cube, did you also notice something even more strange? It’s not a cube at all. It’s a two-dimensional figure on your computer screen, yet it’s almost impossible for our brains to perceive it that way.

Your Favorite Optical Illusions

Has your favorite illusion been featured on the Museum of Illusions NYC blog? If not, feel free to reach out to us on Instagram. We’ll give you a special shoutout over here on the blog if we talk about your favorite.

Or, if you want to see some of the world’s most popular optical illusions in person, give us a visit! You can click here to book your tickets. Just make sure to bring your mask and vaccine card with you!