The Dragon: a wonderful optical illusion

***** To understand the reason why our eyes [or rather our brain] misinterpret what we see when we look at such things, visit my post titled "Charlie Chaplin Mask: A Visual Illusion" at *****

This is a wonderful optical illusion. This little dragon is made out of paper - you simply cut it out and stick it together, and stand it on a table or window ledge. But when you move around, the dragon's head seems to follow you around the room. Have a look at the video, to see what we mean. The effect is really uncanny.

Someone who bought this toy shared his thoughts, "I cannot help but stare at it in amazement... the veracity of the illusion is unsettling; You have turned a dull weekend at the office into an exploration of the wonders of the visual centers of the brain."

How does it work? If we move around when viewing a solid object, our brain knows how the object we are looking at should behave. However the dragon gives us the wrong clues, because we mis-interpret what its shape is. We assume that the nose of the dragon is pointing out towards us, but in fact the dragon's head is concave.

The dragon is reproduced in Great Britain with the permission of the American company Binary Arts, which sells a wide range of optical illusions and fun toys.