Optical illusion revealing hidden number goes viral with everyone seeing it differently

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Social media users have been debating over which numbers can be seen in the image

In the great tradition of ‘laurel or yanny’ and ‘the dress’, yet another illusion has hit social media and users can’t agree on an answer.

Twitter user @benonwine posted the optical illusion to his page on 16 February, asking his followers what number they saw within the image.

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This was enough to spark a muddle of responses, with over 5,300 responses and wildly varying answers.

But what do you see in the image?

Numerical optical illusion causes confusion

The image shows a circle with a black and white zig-zag patterns with numbers hidden within the circle.

The alternating zig-zag gives the impression that the image is moving, which leads to the optical illusion.

User Benonwine asked his followers: “Do you see a number?

“If so, what number?”

‘Should I book an appointment with my GP?’

The images has sparked a lively debate on Twitter, with some users about their eyesight as a result of the challenge.

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They said: “45 283… and what’s the catch? Should I book an appointment with my GP?”

Another said: “I can only see 528. Does that mean anything about my eyesight?”

Former Olympian Sharron Davies MBE also got involved in the debate, stating that she could see 15283

Alongside these answers, other say that the number in the image is 3452839.

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This answer looks to be the correct one - if you change the contrast on the image the numbers 3452839 are shown much clearer.

Users have also used method such as slowly scrolling down their notification centre on their phone to blur to the image to see the numbers.

How does an optical illusion work?

The numerical image is just one of many optical illusions that has set social media raving in the past few years.

The most famous viral image was the infamous dress - which saw people argue over whether the garment was blue and black or white and gold.

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Queensland Brain Institute say that confusion stemming from images such as these are a result of a disconnect between the brain and our eyes.

They said: “Optical illusions happen when our brain and eyes try to speak to each other in simple language but the interpretation gets a bit mixed-up.

“For example, it thinks our eyes told it something is moving but that’s not what the eyes meant to say to the brain.”

This means that static images can often look as through they are moving.

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However, it is not clear why this miscommunication happens, with the institute adding: “A lot of scientists have worked very hard for many years trying to understand how optical illusions work.

“But the truth is, in many cases, we still don’t know for sure exactly how our brain and eyes work together to create these illusions.

“We know that information that our eyes gather goes on a long, complicated journey as it travels to the brain. Some of the confusion happens early in that journey. Other optical illusions can only be explained by really complicated processes way down the line in that journey.”

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