These "Orange" and "Purple" Hearts Are Actually the Same Color

Caitlin Schneider

The term "mind-blowing" gets thrown around a lot on the Internet, but here’s an optical illusion that might actually live up to the overused expression.

The video below from Bite Size Psych features a graphic that seems to show a pattern of orange and purple hearts. That’s simple enough, except the hearts are actually all the same color (a sort of fuchsia hue), and only look different because of the stripes around them. The hearts that look purple are surrounded by blue bars, and the hearts that look orange are surrounded by green bars.

If that explanation leaves you feeling a bit unsatisfied, the video helps explain things somewhat. A lot of it has to do with the so-called "biased rules" that help us process the visual world. We perceive an object’s color not based on its actual color, but on how it compares to surrounding colors, which means we can’t always trust our own eyes. Illusions like these might expose weakness in our biology, but they’re quite useful tools in helping science to better understand the brain.

For more on the tricky hearts and other optical illusions, check out the video above.

Images via Bite Size Psych // YouTube

[h/t IFL Science]