The Ebbinghaus Illusion is a well-known optical illusion related to our perception of relative size. Named after the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, it highlights how our perception of an object’s size can be influenced by the context and the size of surrounding objects.

In this version of this illusion, there are two orange circles placed near each other. Around each of these circles, there is a set of additional gray circles. The orange circle on the left is surrounded by larger gray circles, while the orange circle on the right is surrounded by smaller gray circles.

Even though the two orange circles are the same size, the orange circle on the right appears larger than the circle on the left. This is due to the way our visual system processes relative size and distance. The smaller circles make the central circle they surround look larger by comparison, while the larger circles make the central circle they surround look smaller.

Interestingly, the Ebbinghaus Illusion doesn’t fool everyone. Some studies have found that young children and people from certain cultures (such as some Indigenous peoples) are not as susceptible to the illusion, which may suggest that our visual perception is influenced by cultural and environmental factors as well as the physical properties of what we’re looking at.

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