There’s a panda in this picture. 

No, really. There is. A single panda, in a sea of snowmen. 

You may have spotted it right away. If so: good for you. You can stop reading. But the rest of us are going to have to find it the hard way, by scrutinizing the picture inch by inch.

The drawing is the work of Gergely Dudás, a prolific Hungarian cartoonist who also goes by “Dudolf.” 

Why is the panda so hard to find? Because our brains are not designed to find holiday-themed pandas. Or, to put it another way, because it’s just too similar to the smiling snowmen that surround it.

Human vision is very interested in changes and difference. When something new or unusual appears in your field of vision, your brain says, “Ooh! Ooh! Different! Look at that!”  But we’re really only good at noticing the big, significant differences. Our eyes take in information at an astounding rate, and we can't possibly pay attention to all of it.

The panda looks so much like the snowmen around it that our brains just do not care. So if it’s important to you to find the panda—well, just keep looking.

Image courtesy of Dudolf via Facebook