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Why does looking at this picture hurt your eyes? (Giz Gad Warning: Don’t click if you get headaches easy)

by on December 9, 2013


Your eyes aren’t just focusing on it with the lens, but your eye-muscles are trying to position your eyes so both images overlap. There’s some very detailed, very close diagonal lines in your picture so as your eyes try to overlap, they actually find overlapping non-lined-up parts — and probably parts that force one eye to be higher and the other lower, which is very unnatural — and try to make them focus, which won’t work, causing them to try to move further in and out of overlapping, straining your eyes in a struggle to see what’s there. It’s a lot like a Magic Eye picture, but instead of there being an actual picture there, it’s an anti-picture that makes your eyes and brain struggle even harder to make it work.

Even with one eye, the image starts to pulsate, shift color, and gets a lot of visual “static” noise.

Try this if you want to burn your retina off: Close one eye, keep your head even and still and stare at the pattern while moving your eye as little as possible for about 30 seconds. Then if you move your head in and out, or tilt side to side, you will see a Moire interference pattern between the actual image, and the afterimage on your retina.

It’s easier on the eyes when tilting the head, so the lines are perfectly vertical or horizontal.

But we wouldn’t suggest tilting your head back and forth between those two positions…