These Auditory Illusions Are Absolutely Bewildering

The latest installment of AsapSCIENCE opens with a demonstration of the McGurk Effect, a powerful auditory illusion that demonstrates how what we see influences what we hear. But even more baffling is the Shepard tone illusion – a sort of sonic barber's pole that seems to continually ascend in pitch, without actually… » 5/29/14 4:16pm 5/29/14 4:16pm

How often does speech turn into song?

You can make any person's regular speaking voice seem to burst into song with a fairly simple trick. It's called the Speech-to-Song illusion. But can you do it if they're speaking another language? Or if you deliberately tweak their voice? Find out how to make people sing on your iPhone, and how they can make you stop. » 3/03/14 9:20am 3/03/14 9:20am

Attending a masquerade ball? Consider wearing your own face!

We're big fans of Sandra Holmbom's work. The Swedish makeup artist can do blood and gore with the best of them, but it's her uncanny turns of visual trickery that really set her apart. And when the two combine? Well, that's when you get masterpieces like this. (Fair warning: this is some pretty graphic costume gore.) » 2/16/14 11:00am 2/16/14 11:00am

Welcome to Elgin Park, an old fashioned town with a giant for mayor

The man in the photo is Michael Paul Smith, but he is no giant. For 25 years he's been building remarkably lifelike dioramas of a fictional, mid-20th-Century American town called Elgin Park using meticulously crafted model cars, a card table and a $200 point-and-shoot camera. That's right – the cars in this photo are… » 10/18/13 12:00pm 10/18/13 12:00pm

Can animals see optical illusions? Kitty says YES.

Youtuber rasmusab has posted a video that's as adorable as it is thought provoking. In it, a small orange kitten with white feet appears transfixed by an 8.5 x 11 printout of the famous "rotating snakes" illusion (just one variation on the "peripheral drift illusion" — see an example for yourself below). The kitten… » 3/07/13 6:40am 3/07/13 6:40am