1980—That’s Where All of It Started
When Professor Peter Thompson decided to take not just any picture, but the picture (above) of Margaret Thatcher in 1980, the world discovered something completely puzzling. The professor manipulated the eyes and mouth, turning them upside down. What was the effect, you wonder? The effect was truly a frightening and horrendous image of the former prime minster when turned right side up.
The shocking part of it all was when the image was inverted; people weren’t even able to tell if any kind of manipulation to the face had been done. Humans weren’t the only ones falling for the tricks of this illusion, but monkeys too couldn’t tell if the image was manipulated when inverted.
Scientists and people alike found the effect astonishing, and at times, unbelievable. Was the brain this gullible that it couldn’t tell an illusion, even with the obvious alterations to the face? That question left people questioning the brain’s ability to process such evident information. However, scientists were quick to come to the brain’s defense.
Scientists deduced that the brain’s inability to recognize an obvious manipulation was due to the way it’s programmed. The brain’s primary function is to recognize faces off the bat so when it sees the distorted image, it processes it has an unaltered image when the opposite is true. Therefore, your brain pieces all the parts together to form a whole, in this case the face.
When the face is turned upside down, the brain recognizes each part separately, not fitting together. For this reason, it is easier for a person to recognize the face of a celebrity, whose face has been manipulated.
This illusion is quite fascinating and even with the scientists’ theory on why this happens, there still isn’t any concrete proof of why the human brain isn’t able to perceive the distorted face. In short, one thing is for sure, the Thatcher Illusion would give anyone a good laugh.
Do You Feel Like Laughing…At Yourself?
You can also have your face manipulated by going on the personal illusion page and placing your order to see a distorted image of your face. Imagine the reactions your friends and family will have when you turn your image right side up. You can upload your image there and within twenty four hours, you will get your image “Thatcherized.”
The Thatcher Illusion is an illusion that many people have to see in order to believe that they are actually looking at an illusion.