PSYCHOLOGY

When Your Eyes Play Tricks: How Many Matchsticks Do You See?

Date May 24, 2019

Do you know that optical illusions are actually supposed to be called 'visual illusions'? That is what scientists say.

They also say that calling them optical illusions indicates that there is something wrong with your eyes when, in truth, the illusions you see are a result of how your brain interprets an image.

Hence, visual illusion is a more appropriate term.

When Your Eyes Play Tricks: How Many Matchsticks Do You See?When Your Eyes Play Tricks: How Many Matchsticks Do You See?Svetography/ Shutterstock.com

They also say that these illusions are actually just distortions of the actual properties of an object. This then makes you wonder if you are really seeing what you think you are seeing.

Oh, wait! Visual illusions have a way of putting us on edge with excitement. That is why we have one of such illusions for you right now.

Take a look at this image. How many matchsticks do you see? Are there 9, 10, 11 or 12?

When Your Eyes Play Tricks: How Many Matchsticks Do You See?When Your Eyes Play Tricks: How Many Matchsticks Do You See?

Oh yes, it will take a lot of focus to get the answer right, but it is not impossible. Your 7 seconds have started counting!

In case you are wondering how visual illusions work, you should know that scientists are still baffled by how easily our eyes get tricked.

When Your Eyes Play Tricks: How Many Matchsticks Do You See?When Your Eyes Play Tricks: How Many Matchsticks Do You See?frankie's / Shutterstock.com

One school of thought suggests that the illusions are caused by the predictive ability of the brain.

Since there is usually a split-second time lag between the moment an incident occurs and the moment we perceive it, the brain may attempt to predict what will happen next.

And, just like the predictive text auto-correct on our phones, it may be wrong sometimes.

When Your Eyes Play Tricks: How Many Matchsticks Do You See?When Your Eyes Play Tricks: How Many Matchsticks Do You See?Lia Koltyrina / Shutterstock.com

Another theory is that the illusions where a stationary object seems to be moving may be as a result of the rapid movements our eyes make when looking at something.

Usually, the brain smoothens those movements out to create one clear picture, but a few may slip through.

Do you have an answer yet? If you said '10', then you are spot on! Good job!

When Your Eyes Play Tricks: How Many Matchsticks Do You See?

For now, science is still not certain about the cause of illusions, but we know that brilliant people have designed some illusions for us all to enjoy, just like the one we have shared with you today.  

Don't forget to share it with loved ones and tell us how much you enjoyed figuring it out!

READ ALSO: A Fascinating Illusion: There Are Few Images Hidden In This Photo, Can You Spot Them All?