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Why Some People Can't See The Hidden Images In Magic Eye Pictures

Magic eye books and posters became trendy for a sec when they first came out in the mid-90s, and everyone was naturally fascinated with those strange static pictures only certain people could see.

The images look like noise fields yet "magically" contain a 3D image within, and people who have figured out how to see the hidden image love teaching others how to "look without looking" or "use deep focus".

(Image Link)

But some people can't see the hidden image no matter how hard they try, thinking Magic Eye pics are just a bunch of colored dots on the page when the real problem is with the viewer's stereo vision:

To view 3D stereo images, your peepers have to work together as a coordinated team. If they're not pulling together, you're going to have some glitches in your binocular (two-eyed) vision or stereo vision (where the two slightly different views from your eyes are combined in the brain). A number of things can cause binocular and stereo vision impairment — most commonly, deviations or misalignments of one or both eyes ("crossed eyes" or "wall eyes"), situations where one eye is dominant because visual stimulation either transmits poorly or not at all from the other, astigmatism or cataracts. If you think you have an eye problem, go see an eye doctor who can test and treat your stereo vision.

(Image Link)

And for those who are curious the top image is just waves, the second image is dolphins and beach balls, and the last and hardest one to see is puppies and a Christmas tree.

Read Why Can't Some People See Magic Eye Pictures? here


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Allivymar,
You're focusing your eyes on a point between you and the screen (cross-eyed). You need to do the opposite: focus your eyes on a point BEYOND the screen, so that the screen is now between your eyes and that far-away point. Sometimes it helps if you can focus on your own reflection on the screen.
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The images can be made the opposite way, so crossing your eyes works, which is how you would invert the more common version that expects your eyes to focus behind the image. I like the crossed eye version, because you can put two dots below the image as a guide: cross your eyes just enough to see three dots and not four, and the image just works.
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I've never been able to do this. I also cannot view stereo images of molecular structures, which are sometimes shown in textbooks and scientific journals.

It turns out that there are two kinds of stereo images made for molecules, and the one that is commonly used is the one I cannot use. The other requires the user to keep their eyes in parallel fixation, instead of focusing toward a center point beyond the plane of the image.

Mostly, I just nod my head and say: "Aah. Of course. . . . did you know that dolphins engage in rape and nectrophilia?"
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I like the last picture. It's not just puppies and an xmas tree. There are also gifts under the tree, and a window and wall behind them all. Very neat!
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I see them...inverted. I cannot get my eyes to diverge and see the pics jump out from the page, but can converge my eyes and therefore see them sort of inside out; they look pushed into the page instead. So they are 3 dimensional, but really hard to figure out! Still waiting to meet someone with the same issue; I can't be the only one.
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