This image presents a special category of optical illusion called hybrid and was made available for public viewing in form of a video. The video, which is a collaborative creation of Canadians Gregory Brown and Mitchell Moffit was published on Asap Science's YouTube channel on April 2.
This 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 mustache. 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.
(NOTE: Ten seconds into this video an ad will popup in the lower half. In the ad on the right side click the X to close it.)
The picture we are discussing was created in 2007 by Dr. Aude Oliva of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At that time, Dr. Oliva was the principal investigator of MIT’s Computation Perception and Cognition Laboratory.