Weird optical illusion makes you see a different number of colours

A new optical illusion is dividing folks on the internet once again.

The bar, which shows variations of the colour purple, has viewers split over how many hues they can see.

Some say they can see between 3-4 whereas others can see a whopping 21.

The image has done the rounds on social media after a Twitter user @0UTR0EG0 shared the picture.

They wrote: ‘How many colours do you see???? I see three.’

The number of shades are visible to you is actually based on the Mach Bands illusion.

This exaggerates the contrast between edges of the slightly differing shades as soon as they contact one another, by triggering edge-detection in the human visual system.

Put simply, it’s to do with how your retina captures images as well as external factors such as the brightness where you are, and the device you’re using.

So, how many colours can you see?

Twitter user @jtae0613 pointed out: ‘To all the people here being confused, it mostly has something to do with your output device (smartphone, laptop etc.), [because] the colour rendering differs a lot more between devices than you think!

‘Also if you are viewing it in dark or light mode, your surrounding light in real life etc.’

Another wrote: ‘I see 11, but computer graphics depend obviously on your GPU and your display monitor, apart from the health of your eyesight. Older people and people who have low vision probably see even fewer bands, regardless of display technology.’

An older person commented: ‘It depends on how you view it. With cataracts at 76, I saw 13.’

People had a wide range of answers, with more male users claiming to see fewer colours.

This may be due to men being more likely to be colourblind, as a result of dichromacy, the state of having two types of functioning colour receptors, called cone cells, in the eyes.

Women are more likely to have tetrachromacy where there are more than three cone cell types so even more colours can be seen.

The more you know.

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