As this image gets bigger, what—or rather, who—do you see?
If you see only Marilyn Monroe in this picture, you might want to go get your eyes checked. Most people with clear vision and healthy eyes will see Monroe from a distance, but as the image zooms will see Albert Einstein. People who have vision problems may not be able to see a picture of the scientist anywhere, and instead will only pick out a picture of the Hollywood bombshell.
Neuroscientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created the optical illusion by superimposing a fuzzy picture of Marilyn Monroe over a sharper picture of Albert Einstein. When combined, the two morph into a single image that changes depending on how far away the viewer is from the screen.
The MIT researchers say these images not only highlight potential vision problems, but can also reveal how the brain processes information.
Apparently, if your eyes are able to focus well and are healthy, you will only spot the sharp details, like Einstein’s mustache or wrinkles as the image gets larger. As the distance increases, unhealthy eyes will continue to see a blurred image and likely won’t be able to pick out the fine details. Instead, you’ll notice general features like Marilyn Monroe’s mouth, nose, and hair.
“Up close, we’re generally able to pick up fine details like Einstein’s mustache and wrinkles,” explained science YouTube channel, ASAPScience, in a recent video about the GIF. “But as the distance increases, or if your vision is poor and creates a more blurred image in the first place, your ability to pick up details fades away.”
Who do you see in the GIF? Let us know in the comments below.