These levitating spheres may appear red, purple or green at first glance, but in actuality, all 12 orbs are the same bland shade of beige.
Shrinking the image exaggerates this illusion, while zooming in minimizes the effect, according to David Novick, the creator of the image and a professor of engineering education and leadership at the University of Texas at El Paso. But why do we perceive the spheres as anything but their true color, beige?
This skewed perception stems from a phenomenon known as the Munker-White illusion, Novick told Live Science. In essence, the illusion works because “our acuity for shape is better than our acuity for color, which means that we perceive the shapes with more detail and the colors with less detail,” Novick said.