If you've always been scared to try mind-altering substances (or "drugs," as they're called by the cool among us) but you've always wanted to kinda know what they're maybe sorta like, a little bit — you're in luck!
A study by Italian psychologist Giovanni Caputo has found that by merely making direct eye contact with somebody in a dimly lit room for 10 minutes, people began to experience freaky hallucinations, an altered mental state, and generally had a pretty trippy time:
The participants in the eye-staring group said they'd had a compelling experience unlike anything they'd felt before. They also scored higher on all three questionnaires than the control group. On the dissociative states test, they gave the strongest ratings to items related to reduced colour intensity, sounds seeming quieter or louder than expected, becoming spaced out, and time seeming to drag on. On the strange-face questionnaire, 90 per cent of the eye-staring group agreed that they'd seen some deformed facial traits, 75 per cent said they'd seen a monster, 50 per cent said they saw aspects of their own face in their partner's face, and 15 per cent said they'd seen a relative's face.
Make sense? Maybe this is what Shia LaBeouf was getting at with his performance art. Forward-thinking Redditor xssi compared the effect to the following optical illusion:
Which makes sense, because it's really just a combination of this optical trick:
I'll tell you what: I just feel bad for the control group.