A SILENT animation that tricks the brain into “hearing” a sound has caused a stir on TikTok.
The short clip shows a power pole jumping over power lines like a skipping rope, causing the screen to “tremble” every time it lands.
Some people report hearing the sound as the pylon hits the ground – a dull or booming sound.
But the noise isn’t really there, and experts say it’s actually caused by a weird auditory illusion.
The enigmatic GIF has been around for years but regained prominence earlier this year after it was posted on TikTok.
User Paranormal Princess shared it with her 2.5 million followers on May 25th.
“It’s so freaky,” she says in the clip, which has racked up more than 60,000 views. “It will make you hear things that aren’t really there.”
The illusion created by Twitter users @IAmHappyToastfirst went viral in 2017 after it was shared by a psychology expert at the University of Glasgow.
dr Lisa DeBruine tweeted the animation and asked, “In visual perception, does anyone know why you can hear this GIF?”
She created a poll asking her followers whether or not they heard a sound while watching the animation.
75 percent – around 15,000 respondents – said they heard “a dull noise”.
14 percent of those surveyed, almost 3,000 in total, stated that they had not heard a sound.
One of the 20,000 respondents said they heard “something different”.
Experts believe the “noise” is imagined by the brain because it expects a loud noise to accompany the sight of a collision.
dr Gustav Khun, a psychologist and human perception expert at Goldsmiths University in London, told MailOnline in 2017: “Perception is not an exact science and in most cases our brain makes an educated guess.
“We use past experiences and expectations to gauge how the world really is based on the information our senses provide.
“This illusion works because you’ve learned that larger objects make a thumping sound when they hit the ground.
“Some viewers will actually hear the audio simply because they expect it to happen.”
Professor Fiona Macpherson, an expert on the University of Glasgow’s Illusion Index, added: “It’s the expectation that makes some people hear the beats.
“In the GIF of the jumping pylon, a cross-modal expectation effect (i.e. involving more than one sense such as sight and hearing) takes place.
“What people see affects what they seem to hear.”
Optical illusions are often just a bit of fun, but they also have real value for scientists.
The brain puzzles help researchers shed light on the inner workings of the mind and how it reacts to its environment.
Speaking to The Sun earlier this month, Dr. Kuhn that illusions are important to our understanding of the brain.
“We usually take perception for granted and rarely think about the hard work that underpins everyday tasks, like seeing a cup of coffee in front of you,” he said.
“Visual illusions highlight perceptual errors and provide important insights into the hidden neural processes that allow us to see the world around us.”
It follows the release earlier this month of a spooky illusion that makes viewers feel like they’re falling into a black hole.
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5605967/illusion-hear-sound-silent-images-only-cant/ The overwhelming illusion allows you to hear sound on SILENT pictures – only 1% cannot