While at the airport on my way to Chicago last weekend I picked up the Feb issue of Scientific America. It’s always a good read and I was particularly intrigued by an article on impossible colors, colors that we are not supposed to see. Can you imagine a reddish green (greenish red) or yellowish blue (bluish yellow).
You can read about the theory here but cut to the chase and do these simple tests below to see the colors for yourself.
- Click on each of the graphics below, this will bring up a much larger image in a new browser.
- Hold a finger in front of your nose and focus intently on it. This will cross your eyes.
- Slowly remove your finger from view
- On your screen you will see three boxes. The middle box will show the impossible color, a bluish yellow or a reddish green. Make sure the crosses line up.
Can you see yellowish blue?
Can you see reddish green ?
It took me a while to master the visualization technique but it is a bit like doing the magic eye pictures. The key to seeing the colors is to hold the cross steady. They are pretty unstable and seem to flick in and out but they are definitely colors I have never seen before.
How about you, can you see them?
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