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How Magic Eye Pictures Work

We've all seen those funny pictures at the mall or on the web - those ones that look like a cross between a bad 80s outfit and a fuzzy TV screen. They're the ones that show you a 3-D picture when cross- your eyes, blur your while they look at them. What's the deal?

Magic Eye - Seeing the Surface Squiggles

When you glance at a Magic Eye (or a stereogram, technically speaking) it looks like a fuzzy abstract picture. However, if you view it stereoscopically (meaning your eyes focused behind the actual picture), a three-dimensional image forms. That's because your subconscious decodes differences in the repeating pattern of the fuzzy lines. When your eyes focus normally, the line of vision from each eye meets in the same place on the page. Your brain then works out how far away the picture is from by comparing the different views from each eye.

Magic Eye -

Seeing the Illusion When you force yourself to focus behind the image, you force your eyes to each look at different squiggles instead of the same one. Because the squiggles are identical your brain doesn't register that each eye is looking at a different one but instead perceives a non-existent (fake) depth to the picture. Your brain solves discrepancies between what each eye sees by allowing for some points of the pattern to seem nearer to you than others are. To sum it up: your brain is constantly trying to make sense of the things you experience - so in this case it allows your brain to disregard the squiggley lines themselves and concentrate on the image behind them. Your brain sees the image in 3-D because your brain thinks your eyes are looking at the same thing when they're actually looking at identical squiggles in slightly different places.

Viewing a Magic Eye

Now the question remains, how do you actually see the hidden image? Here are a few tips:

  • Relax your gaze on the pattern and allow your eyes to drift out of focus.
  • Give the image time to form and then try to look around it without snapping back into normal focus.
  • It might be easier to trick your eyes by bringing the picture to your nose and easing it away without refocusing your eyes. Good luck!

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Can You See Magic Eyes?

  • I can always see the hidden image.
  • I can never figure out how to make them work.
  • I think I can see something but I can't make out what it is.
  • I don't know, I've never tried.

Random In The Forums

Pink_Cool_Girl
Yes. They actually are. 
reply about 2 hours
rainbowpoptart
"Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote:Anyways, I know girls are into cleaning and dolls, and you have a very good point there. But your also missing it.  I feel like I addressed everything.. Which part of your point am I missing?   "Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote:ANOTHER thing is the computer for boys and girls. One computer is $12.99. 50 functions. Blue and white. AKA for boys.    Girls: -White and pink -9 dollars -25 DAMN FUNCTIONS I suppose that does look a bit problematic. Are they the same brand?
reply about 3 hours
Pink_Cool_Girl
Oh Rainbowpoptart. Where were you. Anyways, I know girls are into cleaning and dolls, and you have a very good point there. But your also missing it. ANOTHER thing is the computer for boys and girls. One computer is $12.99. 50 functions. Blue and white. AKA for boys. Girls:-White and pink-9 dollars-25 DAMN FUNCTIONSProve anything to you yet? 
reply about 3 hours
Pink_Cool_Girl
"Powerslave" wrote:Generally boys are more into things that are more competitive, violent etc. and girls are generally into beauty, dolls and things of that nature. These toys reflect that idea.Yes, but new feminists are being born each day. See, I hate pink, beauty, and I cringe at the name "Shopping". I know others don't, but most do. Speaking of which, I was on ROBLOX today when someone said "Girls are noobs".  I was extremely offended by this. I know this got off topic, but still. Girls shouldn't be influenced by toys and gender roles. 
reply about 3 hours
rainbowpoptart
Companies create products targeted towards a specific audience.     Toys specifically targeted towards girls are pink and frilly or about professions mostly girls have aren't that way because it's sexist, they're that way because girls generally like the colour pink, pretending to cook (because cooking is really fun), and enjoy taking care of their stuffed animals or baby dolls as if they were actual living things. (These things also teach them skill sets that will be helpful to them in the future, such as how to raise a child if you have any and how to cook so you don't starve to death.)      Toys specifically targeted towards boys are blue or green and/or related to guns and cars and gross bugs/animals because that's what guys are generally into. (And I haven't heard of any science kits targeted specifically towards boys..? Every science kit advert I've seen has had both males and females in it, and I've seen a rather nice amount of them.) That's just the way we are. Nothing will change that. I don't think toys [and other things] should be specifically gendered. Anyone can do and play with anything. Just because it's targeted towards girls or because girls generally have this job more than boys do, doesn't mean a boy can't play with that toy or have that job and vice versa. A product being for this one gender shouldn't stop people of the other gender from buying it. This probably wasn't as coherent as I'd like for it to be, but today's science lesson completely fried my brain, and I don't think I can properly do anything except breathe for the next few hours.
reply about 3 hours