Pets & Animals

Dragon follows your every move in trippy optical illusion

It's a piece of inanimate cardboard, but this dragon is not going to let you out of its sight.

A video posted by an Imgur user of a cutout dragon that serves as a fun optical illusion shows how a change in perspective makes it look like the dragon is turning its head, keeping its gaze right on you.

The dragon illusion has bounced around the Internet for several years, but the Imgur video shows an actual structure at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. You can even make your own version at home from the original created by illusion-maker Jerry Andrus, as shown by astronomer Phil Plait.

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The way it works is using the way your brain sees convex and concave shapes, according to Plait. Your brain sees faces as convex, meaning the sides curve away from you, but the dragon's head is concave.

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That mixes up the cues from your brain as you move around the dragon, making it look like the dragon's gaze is following you because your brain wants to interpret it as a face. So don't worry, the dragon isn't going to follow you home, it's just another case of your brain getting tricked.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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