Mind Bomb 31: Why illusions are mesmerising

Mind Bomb 31: Why illusions are mesmerising
Photo Credit: OKJ Photography

Photo Credit: OKJ Photography

Love illusions? So do I! But ever wondered why we see them? Is it because we simply feel reality is too boring and you cant do drugs, so illusions are a great substitute? Or because it's an awesome experience, and that in itself is enough?

Truthfully, its both - plus the fact that your brain assumes way too much.

Studies.. TOO MUCH for your brain to handle.

Studies.. TOO MUCH for your brain to handle.

There is a saying that "assume is making an ass out of you and me". Well in this particular case, it is all you! So what do I mean by assume. Basically, the world is too much for your brain to handle.

Remember how your teacher keeps telling you that there is no shortcut in life? Your brain sure didn't listen, just like you, haha!

As you view the world, your brain has to rely on past experiences to predict the future. This is so that you can actually cope with living in the moment! Think about it, it takes time for you to view an object and your surrounding and have your mind interpret what your eyes had seen.

This is the speed of thought, described as faster than a bird and slower than sound. Whatever it may be, one thing is certain - in reality, what is happening at that moment is not what you see but what your brain has predicted.

How your brain predicts what happens in that next few milliseconds is by picking up visual cues almost instantly, and relying on past experiences to predict what happens before actual information from reality is processed to confirm what your brain as predicted. 

I highly recommend watching this Ted-ed Talk to give you more on this topic.

Your brain may continue on to confirm if its prediction is correct, but during this pocket of assumption and reality lies vulnerability, and those who understand it knows how to exploit it (a.k.a. Magicians, filmmakers, scammers)

While all this may sound logicial, it is still only a theory that requires more studies to be done. As of now, science is only beginning to peak beyond our all powerful yet vulnerable mind. Understanding it will unlock much more wonders hiding in plain sight, as like the creation of illusions once were.


Stimulating, logic defying, mind-blowing - Illusions are exciting, and one place in Singapore where you can experience this for yourself is the Trick Eye Museum at Resorts World Sentosa.

I've been through them before (you can see the pictures on the right), and that inspired me to write this article to share what I had learnt about illusions and why we experience it.

Thanks to their generosity, a pair of tickets are up for grabs this September holidays for you and a loved one to experience illusions for yourself!

At Trick Eye Museum, you will get to experience numerous illusions through 6 zones!

Some of these illusions are uniquely Singaporean, so you got to go to find out for yourself!

To stand a chance to win, head over to my Facebook page to answer a simple question and stand a chance to win a memorable experience this September holidays!