So you’re telling me that these two sets of chess are the same color?

If you’re new to Creative Bloq, you might not know that we’re obsessed with a good old optical illusion. We’ve seen all the spinning horses, upside-down Elon Musk, and floating ships there is to be seen in the Wonderful World of Illusions, and today’s jaw-dropping find is a great addition to the pile.

Everyone knows the basics of chess, right? There are two sets of 16 pieces used in the game – one in white and one in black. At first glance, the image below looks like your standard monochrome chess set, but what if we told you they were the exact same color? If you love this optical illusion and fancy delving into more stunning designs, then be sure to check out our roundup of the best optical illusions.

A picture of two identical chess sets

How are the two sets the same color? (Image credit: @TomChivers via Twitter/Astral Codex Ten)

The stunner was shared on Twitter by Tom Chivers, who captioned the design, “Top and bottom chess sets are the same color.” it is hard to believe that these sets are exactly the same, but the illusion uses the phenomenon of assimilation to make our brain believe that they are contrasting colors. And if you don’t believe they’re identical, Chivers also shared a video showing the sets to be exactly the same (see below).

No idea what assimilation is? Well, according to Oxford Compendium of Visual Illusions (opens in a new tab)is the phenomenon “in which the perceived color of a region changes towards that of its neighbour”. It’s not the first optical illusion we’ve seen that uses assimilation – last March, a Twitter user shared a series of head-frazzlers that were all the same color , even though they look totally different .

If you love all this optical illusion talk and feel inspired to create your own, then why not download Photoshop and give it a try? And if you need a few more designs to get you started, then maybe our roundup of the best trompe l’oeil illusions will help.

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