Hard to imagine, but six years ago millions of Internet users asked themselves just one question: Is this dress blue with black stripes, or is it white with gold stripes?
Even influencer Kim Kardashian and pop star Taylor Swift discussed the severely overexposed photo that tricked our eyes.
The dress was actually black and blue, by the way.
Since then, optical illusions have fascinated us again and again and have achieved millions of clicks on social media.
So also the short clip by Kate Bacon, who has so far drawn more than three million viewers under its spell: The TikTok user promises that you will see a color that you have never seen before.
If you stare at a white point in the middle of a red circle for at least 30 seconds and then close your eyes tightly, you will see true cyan blue.
A color that most monitors, cell phone, laptop and tablet screens cannot display correctly.
With this video you can try it out for yourself - it works best when you watch the clip in full screen mode:
The phenomenon is not new, but a classic among optical illusions.
In a way, your eyes are being tricked.
If you first look for a long time and concentrate on the red circle with the white center and then close your eyes, an afterimage is created.
It comes about because the nerve cells on the retina are still active for a while, although the visual stimulus, i.e. the image that you have looked at, is no longer visible to you.
We humans perceive colors through three so-called color cones, light-sensitive cells in the retina, which react to different wavelengths of light.
For example, if you stare at red for a while, the red cone will be overstimulated.
If you then look away, as in this case, close your eyes, the red cone is not yet ready to process a visual stimulus again.
The human eye then briefly activates another color cone.
In the case of the color red, those that make blue visible.
Therefore you then see the blue circle in front of your inner eye.
Why is the viral post claiming you're seeing a color you've never seen before?
Source: Unsplash.com/Amanda Dalbjorn
You probably also wondered why the post on TikTok as well as many similar clips on YouTube and other platforms talk about it, you see a blue that you have never seen before. That is not the truth. Of course, you've actually seen what is referred to as “true cyan” here before. In nature, on a flower meadow, a water bottle or other object.
In fact, most flat screen televisions, screens of smartphones and tablets as well as computer monitors cannot display this color in its pure form.
This is due to the technology they use.
Common screens put together an image of green, red, and blue pixels.
This is called the RGB color model (
R for red, G for green and B for blue
If the screen tries to display cyan, it mixes two green and two blue color pixels.
From this point of view, the color you see on a screen is not “real color” in its purest form: An orange object that you see on an RGB monitor, for example, consists of many red pixels with some green ones.
If we had cleared that up too.