You might be surprised when you look at the pictures below. But perhaps you’ll be more surprised to learn that there isn’t any kind of photo manipulation or VFX done here. So what’s going on here?
In fact, what you’re seeing is an optical illusion triggered by the Ames room, named after its inventor, American ophthalmologist Adelbert Ames, Jr.
The Ames Room is a distorted space that can cause objects to change size and shape as they move into different locations in the room.
The Ames Room is a type of visual illusion that uses a distorted room to deceive the viewer.
The illusion of the Ames room was born through a deliberate arrangement and perspective. It tricks your brain into thinking that the objects in the room will get bigger or smaller when moving.
There are actually two illusions associated with the Ames room. First of all, the room looks square when viewed from a particular vantage point, but in reality it is built with a trapezoid, as you can see in the diagram below. Person A’s position is farther from the end of the room, so they will look smaller according to the law of near and far, but we think they are standing in a closer position.
In fact, this room is not rectangular like we imagine but has a trapezoidal shape. Person A’s position is farther from the end of the room, so they will look smaller according to the law of near and far, but we think they are standing in a closer position.
To experience this particular optical illusion, the room can only be viewed through a small hole, and it is constructed so that from the front, it appears to be an ordinary cubic room; it’s a trick of perception.
When you stand in the corner of a room, you are closer to one wall than the other. Your brain automatically assumes that the wall closest to you is smaller and farther away, while the wall opposite is larger and closer. However, both walls are about the same distance from you, and will therefore be the same size. The distorted shape of the room, combined with the angle you’re looking at, creates an illusion that tricks your brain.
The second illusion is that in the Ames room, people or objects can grow or shrink when moving from one corner to another. This trick also involves the specific shape of the room. The ceiling and floor are also designed to have certain inclinations in each position, but to the viewer, it appears straight, so the person standing at an angle looks like a giant, while the person standing at the other corner looks like a dwarf even though both are the same height. This effect is called the illusion of constant size and is what makes the Ames room so appealing.
The original design of the Ames room also featured a groove positioned so that a ball placed inside would create the illusion of moving in the direction of rolling uphill, against gravity. Richard Gregory, a British psychologist and Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology at the University of Bristol, considers this apparent “anti-gravity” effect even more astonishing than the change in size. , although today it is not usually found in Ames rooms.
The Ames Room Illusion is more than just a visual trick. It also challenges our understanding of how the brain processes visual information. Our brains use a process called constant size to help us perceive objects at a constant size, regardless of their distance from us. This is why distant objects appear smaller, but we still assume they are the same size. A car traveling on the road at a distance may be the size of a pebble, but we can determine its actual size from other objects around it, such as buildings and Traffic signs are reduced.
The Ames Room Illusion works by manipulating the signals our brains use to determine the distance and size of an object. The unusual shape of the room and the oblique angles create a distorted image that our brains have to try to interpret. It must reconcile what it is seeing with its understanding of what the world should look like. This mismatch results in the brain perceiving objects in the room as having a different size than they actually are.
The Ames Room was first built in 1934 by psychologist Adelbert Ames Jr. Most notably, the Ames room was used in the filming of The Lord of the Rings – to adjust the size of the Hobbit relative to Gandalf. The Ames Room was also depicted in the 1971 film adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Source: Esploaioni Geografiche; Earthlymission; OggiScienza