The Blindly Obvious? Magic Eye!


I adore Magic Eye images. They are mysterious, absorbing, oddly relaxing and exciting. They are also, I think, an excellent metaphor for our tendency as human beings to focus only on the obvious!

The interesting thing is this: Some people are completely unable to see anything other than the surface pattern in these pictorial conundrums. It doesn’t matter how long they stare at the image above. Give them a week, a month, a year – and they will still only see patterns of reds, greens and whites.

It is a knack. A knack, like rolling one’s tongue, very hard to explain: Either you can do it or you cannot! So I am not going to tell you the how. I am just going to let YOU find out if you can see beyond the obvious!

And I have deliberately structured this so that the ‘Ali Blathering On’ bit comes after the immediacy of the picture itself!


I am not for one moment claiming there is any correlation between our ability to see beyond the obvious in a game, and the more serious business of doing so in ‘real’ life…

…but it’s an interesting hypothesis, isn’t it?


10 thoughts on “The Blindly Obvious? Magic Eye!

    1. You must have been well bitten by the barn-weasel/tight as an owl/rat-***ed, in that case!!! Interesting fact: P.G.Wodehouse had about ninety different expressions for getting/being drunk; the three above are part of my ludicrously small collection!

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      1. P.G. WODEHOUSE!! God, I love that guy. And by extension, you for referencing him.

        Speaking of extensions, demon rum had nothing to do with mine. At that age I was basically just a 2-legged hormone factory. Even the crack of dawn wasn’t safe. Drunk or sober, with sylph or slattern, it was all the same to me.

        Of course, women at that age were/are similarly afflicted (or so I recall…or at least like to delude myself by thinking they were). Many seemed to emulate the woman Wodehouse described as looking “as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say ‘when’.”

        Yay! Learning the classics is so enriching!

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        1. Aha, a fellow Plum (as he was known!) admirer – how lovely! I still read ‘The Code of the Woosters’ at least once a year – and it makes me laugh as much aged 58 as it did when I was twelve! Oh yes, I adore that quote about women. I can remember how desolated I felt when he popped his clogs in 1975; I felt as if I had lost a friend almost! Love your ‘crack of dawn’ (nice girl, that Dawn!) – jolly witty!

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    1. There’s a scientific reason why you can’t, Ruth – unfortunately, if you have any kind of binocular or stereo vision impairment, it’s not possible to see ”Magic eye’ images. I’m long-sighted in one eye, and I can’t see them, either.

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  1. It’s the spine of a giant space whale, the one that swims in the Oort Cloud and heards comets in neat circular orbits. It’s a chain of Betty Boop dolls sitting unsold on a dusty shelf in a long closed hypermarket. It’s the DNA chain that binds us all together as a species, molecules holding hands. It’s the wallpaper clinging to the damp wall of a bedsit I had in 1975… Bugger I can normally do these but all I see is Betty Boop… Endlessly waiting.. x

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    1. Damn good images though, Ted! It’s probably all of the above and whatever it is I see and God alone knows what – and, perhaps, illustrates the magical principle that we create our own reality. xxx


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