What's Going On Here?: Trippy Eye Color Optical Illusion

April 10, 2017


What color are the girl's eyes? SPOILER: The exact same shade of gray. The left one just appears turquoise due to your eyes playing tricks on you. *waving sharp pencil at eyes* I warned you two about that!

The girl's right eye only looks the same as the turquoise hair clip because of the reddish context. Part of the process of seeing color is that three different kinds of photoreceptors in the eye are tuned to three overlapping families of color: red, green and blue (which are activated by visible light of long, medium and short wavelengths). These signals are then instantaneously compared with signals from nearby regions in the same scene. As the signals are passed along to higher and higher processing centers in the brain, they continue to be compared with larger and larger swaths of the surrounding scene. This "opponent process," as scientists call it, means that color and brightness are always relative.

I mean, neat, but who cares about the girl's eyes? Just look at those fingers, clearly this girl is a vampire and needs a good wooden staking through the heart. You do it though, blood makes me squeamish. Plus, you know, maybe she's just a regular girl who misplaced her nail clippers.

Thanks to Sarah, who doesn't believe in colors. Me neither, or smells.

  • iofo61

    The eye is a lie.

  • Deksam

    In Photoshop I changed the Hugh and Saturation for the red to turquoise and the eye appeared reddish.

  • The_Wretched

    Hrm...if this is the context/brightness color issue (like the blue-black-gold-white dress) then it'd be difficult to match the eye to the hair bauble. People would see them differently and that'd come off as a visual color difference.

  • Guesticle

    gw lies

  • Guesticle

    majenta is your eyes going "I don't know what color this is, but it's not green"

  • thePantz

    Ha! Jokes in you, I'm colorblind!

  • Frédéric Purenne

    Right eye RGB : 124,124,124
    Left eye RGB : 132,129,130

    Not the same color.

  • Jenness

    When I put this in Photoshop it's not the same color at all; in fact the grey eye to the right is almost the same number no matter where you click on the right iris w only a very small 1 to -2 differentiation when you look at the HSB,RGB, CYMK (etc) makeup. Clicking on the turquoise appearing iris you get many different variables depending on where you click and none even come close to matching the consistent right eye.. It appears different because it is different and our our eyes are discerning the many other infinitesimal tone variations of the several different gray pixels (some have green, some blue, some magenta, etc) found on the left side.

  • Haha I did the exact same thing and noticed that most of the pixels sway towards a blue/teal/green hue. Glad I'm not the only one doing whatever it takes to find the truth.

  • Jenness


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