Answer to confusing optical illusion

This optical illusion makes these levitating spheres appear as though they are red, purple and green at first glance, but all spheres are actually the same bland beige.

The illusion, created by Professor David Novick, engineering educator at the University of Texas, El Paso, tricks the viewer depending on how close their eyes are to the image.

The further away, the more colourful the spheres appear, but if you zoom in the effect is minimised.

The phenomenon is known as the Munker-White illusion and works because “our accuity for shape is better than our acuity for colour,” Professor Novick told Live Science.

“This means we perceive the shapes with more colour and the colours with less detail.”

The illusion relies on the horizontal coloured stripes – if they were removed, all the spheres would appear beige.

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