Optical Illusion Challenge: You’re Considered a Genius If You Can Spot the Dolphin Within 6 Seconds

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Jul. 21 2023, Published 1:56 p.m. ET

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Animal lovers are sure to be wowed by this optical illusion.

An optical illusion is an image that can be misinterpreted by the brain, helping us see things that aren't actually there or allowing us to see something hidden that's actually right under our nose.

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optical illusion

In the below image of a red rose, a dolphin can also be seen if your eyes and brain are up to the challenge. If you're able to detect the mammal within six seconds — congrats, you're as sharp as they come!

If not, scroll down to see the hidden dolphin revealed.

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optical illusion
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The idea of optical illusions is difficult to comprehend, but the American Museum of Natural History gave a simple explanation.

"What you see and what you think you see are different things. Your senses gather information and send it to your brain. But your brain does not simply receive this information — it creates your perception of the world," their website shared. "This means that sometimes your brain fills in gaps when there is incomplete information, or creates an image that isn’t even there."

That process is a result of evolution. "Survival depends on fast reactions," the museum noted. "Your brain has evolved to work quickly to piece together whatever bits and fragments it can get—and to do its best to figure out the rest."

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According to, there are three different kinds of optical illusions: literal, physiological and cognitive.

A literal illusion is "when two images seamlessly look like one image. The brain will try to interpret it as one while the eyes send communication to the brain to analyze it as two."

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Physiological illusions "are images formed due to the overuse of the brain’s senses as the brain is susceptible to movement. They occur when the eye perceives too much light, movement, and color, confusing the brain."

Cognitive illusions "are the most complex. They use the subconscious part of the brain and how well the brain relates to the image. The brain is responsible for giving depth to your thoughts and whatever the eyes see." shared the optical illusion of the rose.


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