Photo via Bruce Guenter/Flickr

Can you figure out the optical illusion caused by these toy train tracks?


Feb 29, 2020, 9:02 am*

Internet Culture


Gabe Bergado

Nothing is what it seems. And that applies children’s toys.

While cleaning up his son’s wooden train tracks, BBC Academy trainer Marc Settle came across an optical illusion that had his noggin tripping.

With the two tracks sitting right next to each other, one definitely looks longer than the other. But when you stack the longer one on top, they become the same size. Settle tweeted out a video of the illusion.

Weird, right? But there’s a fairly easy answer to why this it’s happening: perspective. It’s called the Jastrow Illusion, and Settle later tweeted a link to an explanation of the concept.

The two tracks are the same size, but their curve is what tricks the eye into thinking they aren’t. Each track’s top curve is longer than its bottom arch.

But as Mashable writes, “the angle of their placement the top segment of track appears bigger when it’s lined up in a certain way with the bottom segment.” And it all makes sense now.

Now we can go back to worrying about everything else. 

H/T Mashable 

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*First Published: Apr 7, 2016, 1:58 pm