That optical illusion that deforms the divas of Hollywood

Sean Murphy, ex-student of psychology, now a student researcher at the University of Queensland, Australia, has accidentally discovered the effects of distortion: he has, for one thing, uploaded a sequence of images entitled “Ugly Face Illusion” on YouTube, placing second in the “Best Illusion of the Year” contest.

The photos are a series of pairs of photos of famous people, all belonging to the world of Hollywood, loaded in rapid succession. Amongst them one can easily identify A-list actors, for example, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, who we know and love for their uncontested beauty.

Sean Murphy saw that photographs projected in rapid succession cause a distorting effect due to an optical illusion. This mechanism causes the human eye to perceive something that is not actually there, which makes it possible, therefore, to completely fool the human optical apparatus, causing faces to become twisted.

The user need only look at the cross in the center of the screen, without removing their gaze from that point for a few minutes, and they can enjoy the show: indeed, the most famous stars don’t appear their usual perfect selves, and would not at all be considered models of beauty.

On the contrary, the actors are surprisingly ugly, unrecognizable and deformed, even, to tell the truth, transformed into real monsters: some without teeth, hair or eyebrows.

This amusing optical illusion accentuates the smallest defects and in particular those of the human face, such as rounder eyes bulging out of their sockets, a wide forehead, a scrunched up face, turning the figures into caricatures of themselves.

Considering the characteristics individually the faces could still appear attractive, but it is the differences in the pairing of the faces that cause this radical transformation: sure enough large eyes, if preceded by small eyes, appear disproportional.

Divas of Hollywood optical illusion