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Fool your eyes with this science experiment

Suitable For

Grade 3



Time Required

 <1 Hour



What’s it about?

An ‘optical illusion’ an image that is visually deceptive or misleading. Some objects trick your eyes so that objects appear to move when they are actually still, and you see objects that are not really there at all! With this science experiment, find out how a confusing background changes the shape or size of an object:

Topics covered

Optical illusion, Retina

What will I need?


Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

In this science experiment, a part of the retina of your eye does not receive any bright light when staring intensely at the black ghost. The surrounding area of your retina have to work hard to send back messages to your brain about the bright, white background around the ghost. When you then look at the archway, the area that had formed an image of the background was tired and does not respond fully to the white area of the archway and made some of the archway appear slightly grey. The area of the retina that formed the image of the ghost does work properly and made the archway, in the shape of the ghost appear white. Thus, you see a white, ghostly image in the archway. (View image in e-book version of this science experiment)

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This particular science project can be found in any of the following Experiland e-books:

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A project introduction and background, complete listing of required materials, step-by-step instructions on how to carry out the project, why it works, learn more section, as well as a science glossary with all the relevant terms make up each of the all-inclusive science project worksheets in our e-books!

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