Food

What color are these strawberries? This illusion will have you seeing red

Almost exactly two years after the debate over the color of "The Dress" set the internet ablaze, a picture of a bowl of strawberries has everyone seeing red — even though it's not there.

This latest visual brainteaser comes from Akiyoshi Kitaoka, a professor at psychology at Ritsumeikan University in Japan who posted a photo of what looks like red strawberries tinted with a blue sheen.

However, as Kitaoka notes, there are no red pixels in the photo despite the strawberries appearing to be that color. The pixels are actually gray with some green thrown in.

It has to do with the concept of color constancy, which is when your brain corrects what you see when it is rendered under different types of light.

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"If you imagine walking around outside under a blue sky, that blueness is, in some sense, color-contaminating everything you see," Bevil Conway, an expert on visual perception from the National Eye Institute, told Motherboard. "If you take a red apple outside under a blue sky, there are more blue wavelengths entering your eye. If you take the apple inside under a fluorescent or incandescent light without that same bias, the pigments in the apple are exactly the same but because the spectral content of the light source is different, the spectrum entering your eye that's reflected off the object is different."

The strawberries are one of many illusions that Kitaoka has posted on his Twitter account that will have you rubbing your eyes and wondering how you're seeing what you're seeing.

And don't worry, you won't be asked to determine whether something is white and gold, or blue and black.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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