autostereogram

(Ze) Autostereogram

Focus your vision on one small speck of the autostereogram below. Let it linger. Try to completely defocus your eyes on the rest of the picture. This sounds weird, but give it it time and you’ll see. Probably. Though this distinctly 1990s visual high is indeed legit, it doesn’t work for everyone, just the chosen ones. Find out if you’re one of the lucky many. Focus.

Warning: Unlike the other revelatory and life-changing visual and audio highs, this one is, well, pretty weak, hence us putting it at the end of the list.

How It Works

Popular in the 1990s, autostereograms are two-dimensional images of repeated patterns from which an embedded three-dimensional image appears to emerge after extended viewing. When looking at an autostereogram, the brain receives repeating 2D patterns from both eyes, but can’t match these patterns correctly. The brain tries to correct this by placing the embedded image at a depth different than the repeated two-dimensional images in the poster. When we eventually adjust our eyes to focus on both the embedded image and its surroundings, the only way for the brain to make sense of the image is to assume they are occurring in two different places, somehow separated from one another. This gives the autostereogram its three-dimensional appearance.