Marilyn Monroe Einstein Puzzle: Has it confused you too?

Have you seen the latest optical illusion that has left internet users spell bound? Yes, we are talking about the Monroe-Einstein puzzle. Have a look at it and we bet you’ll have a tough time deciding whether it’s the genius scientist or the mystery woman of the 50s.

Experts say that it’s the distance between you and the image that decides what you will see, Einstein or Monroe. The next important factor is the strength of your eyes. It’s said that if you have good eyes you’ll see a different version of the image than those with bad eyes.

This image presents a special category of optical illusion called hybrid; it was made available for public viewing in form of a video. The said video, which is a collaborative creation of Canadians Gregory Brown and Mitchell Moffit, was published on Asap Science’s YouTube channel on April 2.

You’ll not need to know rocket science to predict that a video like this would get a lot of hits. This video too went viral quite rapidly. Right now, it has as many as 1,572,226 views and it’s just a little over two days since the video was uploaded by Asap Science; so, you can expect the number to become twice of what it’s now pretty soon.

So, what exactly does the video offer? The video illustrates an extremely interesting feature of human vision. It puts light on our ability to view fine details in an image when we are closer to it.

According to the video, when we are near the Monroe-Einstein hybrid, we are more likely to view the fine details such as the wrinkles on Einstein’s face and his moustache. However, when we move away from the image, our ability of picking those details diminishes and instead of seeing Einstein we see Marilyn Monroe. The same thing happens even to people who don’t have a good near vision.

Here, it must be mentioned that the picture that we are discussing about for so long was created around seven years back, in 2007 to be more precise, by Dr. Aude Oliva of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At that time, Dr. Oliva used to operate as the principal investigator of MIT’s Computation Perception and Cognition Laboratory.

This is not the first time the image has found place in the media. It has previously appeared in the New Scientist magazine and was also a topic of discussion at a BBC program.


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