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Optical Illusion Reveals 'Colour Your Eyes Have Never Seen Before'

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Optical Illusion Reveals 'Colour Your Eyes Have Never Seen Before'

An optical illusion is doing the rounds again claiming to reveal a colour our eyes have 'never seen before'.


True cyan is a shade of blue that can't be reproduced on mobile phone, TVs and computer monitors.

However, this optical illusion, which has been shared on YouTube, works by getting viewers to stare at a white dot in a large red circle for the length of a piece of music.


This, in turn, causes our eyes to see a glowing blue orb, which is true cyan.

But how does it all work?

Well, according to IFL Science, the orb is just an afterimage created by the residual activity of the nerve cells in our eyes.

Most people perceive colour via three different kinds of cone in our retina, each of which responds to a different wavelength - true cyan being 490-520 nm.


After staring at a certain colour for a prolonged period of time, however, the cones picking up that colour will become too overstimulated and therefore desensitized.

Credit: YouTube/IncognitaMundi
Credit: YouTube/IncognitaMundi

This means that when you look away from that specific colour, the cone cells that are the least depleted will overcompensate for the depleted ones, thus creating a reversal of the colours in the original.

The majority of screens we come into contact with use blue and red pixels to create the variety of shades of colour that we see.


In order to create cyan, an RGB (Red, Green, Blue) monitor will use green and blue pixels next to each other. So while it's true to say most will never have seen true cyan before, we will almost certainly have seen a shade of it.

Speaking to IFLScience, ophthalmologist Ajay Kuriyan, from the University of Rochester Medical Centre, said: "If you stare at a colour for some time, the cone cells responding to that colour become refractory for a short period of time so the other colour cone cells become stimulated.

"This is the principle that drives the afterimage."

And once you've had a go at this one, how about trying to see if you are able to hear a noise that only those under the age of 25 should be able to? Warning, though, it will make you feel seriously old.


According to the theory, oldies shouldn't be able to hear what is known as the 'mosquito tone' - or a sound of 17.4kHz.

Maylinn Storbakken, 32, and her 17-year-old niece Carmen Elisabeth Bakklund decided to test the theory out, posting the results to TikTok.

In the video, a voice says: "Only people under the age of 25 can hear this sound. Listen."

It then plays the excruciating - if you're young - sound, with Carmen appearing to be in a fair bit of discomfort while Maylinn seems none the wiser.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/IncognitaMundi

Topics: Science, Optical Illusion, World News, Entertainment, Weird, YouTube, TikTok

Dominic Smithers
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