Maybe we watched too many horror movies as kids, or maybe it's just an evolutionary advantage to be wary of danger when it isn't necessarily there, but we can all remember that sudden feeling of terror when the shadow of a tree flashes across a window.
"Who's there!" Is our first reaction. Because we are programmed to see faces and other human features quickly, that innocent branch swaying in the wind can quickly become the sinister hand of an ax murderer. It works for other threats too. Are you afraid of spiders? Then perhaps you might begin to 'see' them everywhere until you get a closer look and realize that it's just a hairclip. Better to be safe than sorry though, am I right?
We here at Bored Panda have compiled a list of times when people got freaked out by everyday things and while some of them are understandably scary, others are just plain hilarious. Scroll down below to check these creepy photos of optical illusions out for yourself, and share your own stories in the comments!
That Paralyzing Moment When You Forget To Breathe Because You're So Darn Scared... I Forgot I Put My Hair Clip There
Optical illusions challenge our sense of reality; they make us realize that what we see is simply our brains' best interpretation of the visual cues our eyes provide. Our brains have adapted not to see what is actually there, but what we deem as useful to see.
These eye tricks occur when a visual scene unfolds that is different from what our brain has decided is the norm, and it will respond in odd and often confusing ways until finally arriving at a conclusion.
I Thought I Saw A Woman Dressed As A Handmaid About To Jump From A Building. I Called 911
I Left My Boots At The Back Door. When I Was Walking Back Outside I Nearly Had A Heart Attack
According to Exploring optical illusions, there are 3 main types of optical illusion:
Literal illusions create images that are different from the objects that make them, like most of the entries on this list. For example, if 3 birds are flying, 2 above one, it can form the illusion of a smiling face.
Physiological illusions, such as afterimages following bright lights or adapting stimuli of excessively longer alternating patterns (contingent perceptual aftereffect), are presumed to be the effects on the eyes or brain of excessive stimulation of a specific type - brightness, tilt, color, movement, etc. The theory is that stimuli have individual dedicated neural paths in the early stages of visual processing, and that repetitive stimulation of only one or a few channels causes a physiological imbalance that alters perception.
I Need To Find The Lady Who Hanged This Freak. Gave Me A Heart Attack...
Slept Over My Moms House Last Night And This Scared Me More Then I Would Like To Admit
Cognitive illusions are assumed to arise by interaction with assumptions about the world, leading to "unconscious inferences", an idea first suggested in the 19th century by Hermann Helmholtz. Cognitive illusions are commonly divided into ambiguous illusions, distorting illusions, paradox illusions, or fiction illusions.
3. Paradox illusions are generated by objects that are paradoxical or impossible, such as the Penrose triangle or impossible staircases seen, for example, in M. C. Escher's Ascending and Descending and Waterfall. The triangle is an illusion dependent on a cognitive misunderstanding that adjacent edges must join.
4. Fictional illusions are defined as the perception of objects that are genuinely not there to all but a single observer, such as those induced by schizophrenia or a hallucinogen. These are more properly called hallucinations.