Vomit Vectors

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Look at this illusionary high. The dots appear to be moving, undulating, and animated. Stare at Vomit Vectors for at least one minute—longer if you can stomach it. Disgusting.

How It Works

Some researchers blame our reaction to Vomit Vectors on the eyes’ neurons—the brain and body’s messenger cells. When the neurons process a white area from our eyes, they send an on/off signal to our brains. Black areas generate the opposite off/on signal. The complex map of black and white areas in Vomit Vectors overloads our brains by countering on/off with off/on signals.

Usually when the brain receives countering on/off and off/on signals like this it is because either a) the area in which the eyes are focusing is flashing, such as what happens when lights turning on and off; or b) objects are in motion, such as what happens when we watch, say, an ant crawl across a white piece of paper, an area of focus once black with the ant then turns white as the ants moves forward.

OK, so our brains process Vomit Vectors as changing flashing on/off and off/on. Fine. But then we realize the illustration is not really flashing—it’s an illustration printed on a piece of paper. Our brains rule this “flashing” option out. With no other logical choice, the brain has to assume Vomit Vectors as moving. And so, just like that, these two-dimensional unanimated objects has a perception of motion.

It’s complicated, and the above is hybridized HighLab theory culled from way too many insanely detailed sources—we study all this crap so you won’t have to. Though why and how this illusionary high works is still somewhat of a mystery, where it works is not: It’s in your stomach. Because after five minutes of gazing at this most members of HighLab wanted to vomit. You can too. Give it a try.