Kw-logo-smaller

How Magic Eye Pictures Work

Can you see the image hiding in this stereogram?
Stereogram

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!

Related Stories

readers voted!

Comments

there are 0 comments

Please login or register to add comments


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like it!

latest videos

F1094057323109

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.

related stories

Micro_magician_micro
To celebrate the recent release of one of our all-time fave movies, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, on...
Katsa is a Graced killer who works for the King, torturing those who’ve wronged him. But when Kat...
Wizards of Waverly Place is a new series on Disney Channel. Kidzworld checks out this magical show.

Random in the forums

arthi
arthi posted in Say Anything:
9
reply 6 minutes
CubistCat
CubistCat posted in General:
No, just wanna know what people think.
reply 17 minutes
Malora
Malora posted in Say Anything:
9
reply 43 minutes
-aloneforever-
7
reply 44 minutes
won123
won123 posted in Say Anything:
I dont like fake friends i like ride a die friends THESE ARE YOUR REAL FRIENDS                                 [s:p/zxl]                                                                  [s:p/oaq]
reply about 1 hour

play online games

Valantine-day-crossword-thumb

Valentine's Day is almost here! Time for candy, hearts, flowers, love and, of co...

Goodgameempire-thumb

Goodgame Empire is a great strategy title by Goodgame Studios. Build your own ca...

Black-history-month-crossword-pre

Black History Month is a time to celebrate the amazing contributions of African ...

Big-farm-thumb

Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

Candy-cash-thumb

Candy's got her candies into a terrible mess, can you help her to sort them out?

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

_thumb_100x100

Bloons 2 is here! A worthy and awesome sequel at last to our original Bloons gam...

Frostbox_100x100

Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...