The tendency of art to deceive, hide and obscure meaning has been known for a long time; there are examples of “hidden” Christians in Rome-occupied Britain obscuring the initials “chi” and “rho”, Greek alphabets for “ch”/”K” and “R” in their paintings as plain frame motifs.
Obscuring meaning comes with the added mental exercise of finding said meaning too, which again is one of the purposes of art. That is, it makes one think in general.
And this mental exercise, on the other hand, helps one know themselves.
Some further examples of this would be the very famous “duck-rabbit”, which Wittgenstein later used to illustrate the differences between “seeing as” and “seeing that”.
So it is no wonder that art has been used by psychologists to study personalities.
This particular picture is also an illusion that went viral on social media a few months ago. The people who reposted it (again, and again) claimed that only 1% of the population was able to spot the animal in the picture within the first two minutes.
Now ostensibly speaking, it looks like an old man with a Scottish hat on. He has a sad-bordering-on-annoyed facial thing going on.
But is that all?
Take your time.
Here are some things that might just help you.
- Look at the nose. Who on Earth has a nose like that?
- Look at the old man’s left ear. Ears don’t look that way; other organs, not found in humans do look that way though.
- Look at the old man’s eyes, very, very carefully. Can eyes be THAT symmetric?
- Also, try and look at the weird symmetry in his hairline.
If you still don’t see it, there is something absolutely elementary that you have to do to find it.
That is, simply, turn the picture upside-down and ta-da!
The big reveal:
It is a cute little puppy chewing on a bone, sitting on a carpet that’s striped diagonally.
If you saw that right away, it would mean two things:
- That you are attentive and discerning and your eyes are in good shape.
- You are still in touch with your childish side. After all, this reminded me of all the Where’s Waldo? books I read as a child.
In fact, children, in general, are much more attentive to patterns and fractals and not to mention far sharper at spotting things even a little bit out of the ordinary.
If you had fun doing this, make sure to share it with your friends and family.