The Sciences

Ba? Fa!

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitSep 19, 2011 10:30 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Via MadArtLab comes this amazing optical/aural illusion that you have to see and hear to believe!

[embed width="610"][/embed]

Cool, isn't it? I've heard (haha) of this illusion before -- it's called the McGurk effect -- but it's still fun to see it done this way. When the man is shown side-by-side saying it, switch your attention back and forth between them with each syllable. Even knowing it's an illusion, it's still overwhelming. I can't not hear it. I would venture to guess that this is related to the audio version of pareidolia; seeing patterns in random shapes. This sort of thing is why people think they hear words when songs are played backwards

, but that's completely wrong, just like seeing Elvis in a bit of reflected light

. If you don't think this is possible, then simply watch this video of Carmina Burana

and prepare to laugh your head off. As always, the lesson here is that while we think our senses give us a clear view of the world, they not only don't, they can really screw it up. You can't always trust your what you see or hear! In fact, you rarely can. That's why we invented science.

Related posts: - Carmina Buraneidolia - ?eb ecneicsitna nac yfoog woH - The Hallmark of a black hole - Cosmically creepy chords

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.