Don’t Trust What You See…

By Autumn M. Birt

First off, Happy Birthday Dad!

Me, my dad, my husband, and my mom watching the lead boat brave rapids in Costa Rica. If you think those expressions are good, you should have seen us zip-lining!

Me, my dad, my husband, and my mom watching the lead boat brave rapids in Costa Rica. If you think those expressions are good, you should have seen us zip-lining!

If you are not my father, just ignore that first bit. Though it is relevant, because this post is inspired by something my father and I share. Anyone who has followed along here for some time has probably noticed I’m a fan of art and science (the left half and right half of your brain both need fed!). When the two come together, well I’m one happy camper.

So, of course, I’m a fan of illusions (which I share with my Dad). I know this is a fantasy blog, but isn’t writing, especially writing about imaginary worlds or abilities, nothing more than trying to make the impossible seem real? So what could be better than sharing some illusions that challenge what you think is real or possible in this world?

First, let me say I found all these awesome illusions on the fantastic blog Bad Astronomy. If you are a fan of seeing the wonder in the universe and on this planet (say, like being an unrepentant fan of Dr. Who), I highly recommend you pursue Phil Plait’s blog. And with that… let’s try to melt your mind a bit!

Let’s start with water spirals that defy the law of physics!

You should have guessed I’d start with water (my first released book is about people with Elemental powers!) I’ll just let you marvel at the beauty and magic of dancing water that spirals upwards… but if you MUST know the secret to this illusion, you can find it on Phil’s post.

So what is up next? How about 2D pictures that look like they are moving… but aren’t?

What is not to love about an illusion so good, it fools your cat?! This is one that you could work on at home if you are patient and know the secret (which you can find here). If you do, send me your results! 😀

This next one is one of my favorites. Even when you know how it is done… well, you still SEE the illusion. Now that is tricky…

There isn’t much more to the post by Phil on that one, except some links to other awesome illusions. You can check them out here.

This next one just frustrates me. Can our mind really be fooled so easily??? Apparently, yes.

There is a lot more to the post explaining why our mind messes with our sight, so go on and check it out!

And here is the last illusion I’ll share. Is there anything more fun than paper drawings with big teeth that follow you with their eyes?

Aren’t they cute?? If you want to see another video on how it is done or read more on it, you can find the blog post here.

And here is an added bonus: you can download and print out your own creepy watching dragon! (See this is a FANTASY blog!) Put it on your writing desk to watch you with its knowing, toothy smile whenever you procrastinate from your writing…

I will throw in one last thing that is not illusion related. Because it involves coffee grounds and zero gravity while explaining how planets form. If my science class had been this much fun…!

Again, to give credit where it is due, find the full article at Bad Astronomy! 

Now, I hope I’ve given you a new perspective and a renewed sense of wonder with which to start the new year! Welcome to 2014 everyone. Make sure it is a GREAT one!

Watching dragon illusion

– Autumn is the author of the epic fantasy series on elemental magic, the Rise of the Fifth Order. She also has lots of other WIP (read TOO MANY), but she has put them ruthlessly aside to concentrate on Spirit of Life, the final book in her current series. First draft to be finished any day! You can find her online on Twitter at @weifarer or on her Facebook page or on Goodreads. Of course, she likes illusions and disappearing acts, so you might not really be seeing what you think you’re seeing…


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