Get Mind-Screwed: The Grand Illusion of the Year

The Grand Illusion of the Year

The Illusion Contest of the Year recently announced their top ten finalists, and the overwhelming crowd and jury favorite is Impossible Motion: Magnet-like Slopes by Koukichi Sugihara of the Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences in Japan.

Ready? Brain-trip on this:

"In this video, wooden balls roll up the slopes just as if they are pulled by a magnet. The behavior of the balls seems impossible, because it is against the gravity. The video is not a computer graphic, but a real scene. What is actually happening is that the orientations of the slopes are perceived oppositely, and hence the descending motion is misinterpreted as ascending motion. This illusion is remarkable in that it is generated by a three-dimensional solid object and physical motion, instead of a two-dimensional picture."

Not bad, Koukichi. Physically constructed object. No computer tricks used. (Not to mention, over three million views and counting on YouTube in a month's time.)

Check out the rest of the finalists here.

6 Comments

Your very own gravity hill! How awesome is that?

i'm not buying it. watching frame buy frame you can see the center collapse. the wooden balls are only to add to the "non magnetic" part of the illusion. I believe there are magnets or just metal embedded in them. Look at the base of the board before and during the entire clip. as the platform turns. First you see a gap begin to form under the center pillar. Then you can begin to see the paper hinges that have been glued to the other pillars begin to appear as all of them move upwards as the center move down. At the tops/bottoms of the ramps gaps are non existent at the intro, but very plain to see at the end. Magnets are what make up the center support. And on all four edges of the center pillar you can see clear creases that indicate movement.

What award did this win exactly, cuz it looks like a pretty easy one to steal. "but you have to ask yourself, where did the lighter fluid come from" -Job (Arrested Development.)

The Illusion Contest of the Year, did you not watch the video? They even turned the camera to show you what the actual sculpture looks like and how it works. Magnetic is merely how the illusion is supposed to look.

That was a good one, i was going nuts for a second there.

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