Awesome natural optical illusion/effect
June 9, 2012 2:15 PM Subscribe
Is there a name for the strong optical effect/illusion that we experienced today, when looking elsewhere after watching a waterfall (165m height) from about 100m distance for about 20 seconds: that afterwards everything we looked at seemed to strongly contract vertically?
posted by progosk to science & nature (11 answers total)
It was very surprising, and worked repeatedly; the area of vision affected pretty much corresponded to the body of falling/expanding water previously focussed-on. My guess is this has something to do with saccades(?). Also: the vertical shrinking was bi-directional, towards the center of vision - which would indicate there's some compensation at play, coming off watching something that, as it moved, also stretched out vertically? (But how/where/why would this compensation be taking place?)
I can't imagine this hasn't been experienced/described before, so I'm expecting there's a precise name for the effect - I just don't know how I would go about finding it.