The mind can play tricks on the best of us, and this particularly evident when viewing optical illusions. Take a look at these five incredible optical illusions, and then read on to see why optical illusions have anything to do with being skeptical… Click on the images to see larger versions.

1) Stare at the optical illusion below. Do you see the center portion of it moving?
optical illusion

2) Sit at a comfortable distance and then move forward and back toward the center of the figure. You should perceive a notable change in brightness. As you move your head forward and back, the brightness will “change”…
optical illusion

3) In the image below, the dancers are the exact same color, even though one appears to be more black and one appears to be more white…
optical illusion

4) Do you see the face in the beans? Once you find it, you won’t be able to not see it!
optical illusion

5) Although this image is comprised of simple purple and green squares outlined in black, it looks like it is bulging out in the center…
optical illusion

How do optical illusions have anything to do with critical thought and skepticism?

They teach us that even the most critical of minds can be fooled. Verify the images above – they are static – there’s no animation going on, but in all cases, most people will see things that aren’t really there. Human beings are pattern-seeking – we have evolved this way so that we can understand the world around us. But just because we are good at identifying patterns, it doesn’t mean there’s always a real patter there.
For more incredible optical illusions, visit

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