Are you ready to be freaked out by simple pictures of the street?
The latest optical illusion going viral on Imgur is two identical pictures of the street side-by-side, which look like different camera angles.
It's hard to believe that these photos are indeed identical, but the original poster has evidence to prove it.
Firstly, check out this GIF of the pictures being swapped around. They definitely are interchangeable.
Now check out how the pictures look stacked on top of one another. The illusion even carries when the pictures are paired vertically, not just horizontally.
A doubled-up version is twice as trippy.
A commenter on Imgur was gracious enough to explain what's going on here. Our brains are trying to tell us that this is one image, insisting it's a fork in the road.
Indy100 reports that the illusion was created by French illusion artist Daniel Picon in 2010.
It mirrors the "Leaning Tower Illusion" effect, in which our brain warps our perspective and makes the Leaning Tower look even leaning-er.
A 2007 paper on the Leaning Tower Illusion writes:
Our knowledge of perspective however compensates for this and leads us to perceive the inclinations of the two towers veridically.
It follows that if the corresponding outlines of a pair of physically identical, receding objects are parallel in the two-dimensional projection, the objects cannot be physically parallel but, instead, must be diverging as they recede from view.
Insane in the brain.