An Imgur user shared a video of someone petting an animal that people are simply not able to identify. What looks like black fur is also perceived as feathers as people are confused as to whether it's a rabbit or a bird.
Many people remember the picture of a dress with the question" is it blue and black, or white and gold" going viral on social media over four years ago. Although the actual color was eventually confirmed as blue and black, the image prompted many discussions, with users debating their opinions on the color and how they perceived the dress in the photograph as a certain color.
Now, we have a similar dilemma on our hands, but this one has to do with an animal. An Imgur user 'Horseonbike' shared a video of someone petting an animal with what looks like either black fur or feathers. Shortly after that, Daniel Quintana, a senior researcher in biological psychiatry at the University of Oslo in Norway, posted the video on Twitter on Sunday. As of Tuesday, the clip had been viewed 1.7 million times on Twitter, retweeted more than 8,000 times, and liked 33,000 times.
Rabbits love getting stroked on their nose pic.twitter.com/aYOZGAY6kP— Dan Quintana 🐰 (@dsquintana) August 18, 2019
ok so I posted this on your fb too, but gotta make sure people appreciate it here too haha pic.twitter.com/zFl1uEvmDi— Dani Crain (@DCrainium) August 18, 2019
In an email with CNET, Quintana said that “I thought it was fairly clear that the video was of a bird,” however, in his tweet prior to the mail, he did caption the video with, “Rabbits love getting stroked on their nose,”. Confused much, Daniel? Yes, we are too. A closer look at the video does seem to imply that the animal has an open beak, but one can easily perceive it to be the ears of a bunny. They look shockingly similar.
Undoubtedly, the part that's confusing most people is the positioning of the "ears" of the rabbit or the "beak" of the bird. This illusion seems to be working perfectly as the animal's eye is also situated in such a way that it could be either under its 'bunny ears' or over its 'bird beak'.
The optical illusion came to life, it's official, someone has a magic pen!!! pic.twitter.com/EDX84LTzT8— Keisha Renee (@Broadwaybandit5) August 20, 2019
You can imagine the way in which Twitter exploded soon after with users engaging in a heated debate over what animal it is. The animal in the video is very similar to the ambiguous sketch of the infamous 'Rabbit or Duck?' by psychologist Joseph Jastrow in 1899.
“The static bird/rabbit illusion is well-known within psychology and philosophy, so when I saw [the Imgur] video, I thought it would interesting to share it, ” Quintana said.
If that's a rabbit, it is one with no mouth, with ears turned the wrong way, with one ear sitting in front of the other. It's a great illusion but if you look at the component parts, it's clearly a bird.— Daniel Hart (@DanielHart2019) August 18, 2019
It goes on to demonstrate the power of suggestion where our mind immediately tends to pick up the image based on the input given to us by another person. That is to say, if someone showed us the picture and told us it was a duck, we would easily make the connection.
And if they told us it was a rabbit, we would go on to see that too in the drawing. So basically, our vision receives in the form of images what the mind does in the form of thoughts.
But the guy who posted the original video said it was a rabbit. 😆— Alex Vorkov (@AlexVorkov) August 20, 2019
A rabbit with a crow's beak growing out of it's head, no mouth or nose, and upside-down eyes. And feathers. 😄
Quintana claims that he himself was never fooled by the feathers-or-fur dilemma. So yeah, he was just trying to trick people with the caption in his tweet. "I thought it was fairly clear that the video was of a bird... as you can see the translucent nictitating membrane sweep across the eye horizontally (rabbits don't have membranes like this) and the positioning of the 'ears' are a little strange," he said.
It looks like you are stroking the head of a crow. Wild.— The Electric Agora (@ElectricAgora) August 19, 2019