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04.03.13

A very weird way your brain deceives you
A very weird way your brain deceives you

Have you ever looked up at the sky only to see a terrifyingly huge Moon hanging like a dinner plate near the horizon? This very, very weird effect is called the Moon Illusion. It's been recognised since ancient times, but no one really knows what causes it. The most popular theory at the moment seems to be that when there are objects to compare the moon to, it looks much bigger. So when it's low, we can see little buildings, streetlamps etc near to it, and it looks much bigger by comparison. Another really interesting theory is that it looks bigger to us because our brains assume it's further away – as in this great little diagram:

And just in case you doubt the existence of the illusion altogether, check out these amazing photos: