# Amazing optical test

Doesn’t matter how much I look at this picture, I can’t figure it out.

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rf
11 years ago

If you blur your vision (as you did for those hidden picture illusions that were popular a few years back) they separte into parallel or concentric circles.

11 years ago

I agree they’re parallel.

I didn’t have to blur my vision. I just followed the circles around and they didn’t cross paths/spiral. My eyes did attempt to blur them so they crossed paths/spiralled but I recognised it was a trick of the mind and didn’t fall for it.

aidan
11 years ago

But did you win the apple product Nicholas?! A nice tasty Braeburn? A crisp, sweet Royal Gala perchance?

Pedro
11 years ago

If you stand about a metre back from the screen they look more like rays.

FDB
11 years ago

What we’re looking at is a picture of concentric circular arrangements of small squares in various different orientations.

However the correct answer to the question asked is C – ‘Both’.

JM
11 years ago

They are ‘parallel’ without being concentric.

Concentric means – having a common center. These don’t, they are slightly offset and therefore exist in a distorted, or curved space. Within the ‘metric’ of the space where they exist they are ‘parallel’.

Actually the word parallel gives it away. Lines in Euclidean space are only parallel if they never meet. Curved lines like this have to be occupying a curved space, therefore ‘parallel’ is the right word.

But they don’t share a common center.

11 years ago

They do not intersect but I had to check that. I think they are parallel.

If you hadn’t posed the question as you did I’d have said they intersect.

Incurious and Unread (aka Dave)
11 years ago

None of you have attempted to answer the question, which is how do the circles appear.

My answer would be “neither”.

FDB
11 years ago

JM – for each ring of little squares, the distance between the centre of each little square and the centre of the whole diagram is the same. Therefore the rings are concentric.

I&U – that’s exactly what I said, only I think ‘both’ works just as well as ‘neither’, and has the advantage of being one of the available options.

Incurious and Unread (aka Dave)
11 years ago

FDB,

Yes, sorry, you picked the question but not (IMHO) the answer.

Wherever one’s eye looks on the picture, one sees two curves converging but never crossing. They do not appear to cross, but simply appear that they should cross at some point. That is the paradox: that they appear neither parallel (using the term rather loosely) nor intersecting.

I guess not having the correct answer as one of the multiple-choice options makes it rather hard to win the Apple product, which is perhaps the point.

JM
11 years ago

FDB, I had to check but you’re right. Yes they are concentric.

I guess it has something to do with the orientation of the squares in each circle which rotate as you go around the circle, but which are not aligned from one circle to another.