Why does this diamond appear to be moving?
  • Researchers at American University created the "Perpetual Diamond" illusion. 
  • In the optical illusion, a stationary, purple diamond appears to be moving up, down, left, and right.
  • The diamond appears to be moving because the edges of the shape are changing colours in correlation with the changing background.
  • For more, go to Business Insider SA

The internet has another optical illusion to obsess over this week.

This time, Professor Shapiro of American University created the "Perpetual Diamond," which is an optical illusion that causes a stationary diamond to appear to be moving. The purple diamond initially sits in the center of a grey background, but when the illusion begins, it looks like it is moving up, down, left, and right.

Check out the illusion for yourself below.

Shapiro and his fellow researchers say the trick is in the finest details. If you look closely, you will see that the edges of the diamond are different colors. When the edges change colors in correlation with the changing background, the diamond appears to move.

In other words, when the top two edges change colors before the background changes, the diamond looks like it's moving upwards. If the bottom two edges change before the background does, then the diamond appears to move downward.

All of this is happening within seconds, so it's hard to catch with the naked eye. To make up for it, your mind tricks your eyes into thinking the diamond is on the move.

"If an illusion is thought to be the result of the brain trying to construct a perceptual reality out of potentially contradictory information, then the Perpetual Diamond is an illusion as one source of stimulus information (the motion energy) conflicts with another source of information (the stationary location of the diamond)," the researchers wrote in their findings. "The best perceptual story seems to be that the diamond moves yet remains in the same location."

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: