April 19, 2016

Can you see what this is a drawing of?

I think you can either see it or you can't. I looked and looked and could not see. I asked Meade, and he took one look, said — in one word — what it was and then I immediately saw what it was — quite clearly — and now find it hard to relive my mystification.

Via Metafilter, where some people are making some good jokes like "Seriously people? It's BLUE" and "Who is this Rorschach guy and why does he draw so many pictures of my parents having sex?"

42 comments:

MisterBuddwing said...

Humph. I thought it was a penguin with wings.

vicari valdez said...

i didn't see it at first. it took some straining, but i eventually saw it.

Nonapod said...

Took me a good 15 - 20 seconds to see it.

Fernandinande said...

The image filename spills the baked beans.

tim in vermont said...

I did not think I would ever get it and was looking for a spoiler when it came to me like a map unrolling.

Amanda said...

Immediatly saw it. Yippe eye oh.

tim in vermont said...

Part of the issue is that it is more asymmetrical than it should be.

virgil xenophon said...

Did you ever read the book on the interpretation of Rorschach Tests, Althouse? Turns out the more numerous and fanciful one's interpretations of any given figure is, the more intelligent and creative one is supposed to be. And there are also "standard answers" that are more "correct" and "intelligent" than others, all-tho there is no "right" ans to any of them..

Big Mike said...

Spoiler alert! It's a cowboy.

Curious George said...

"I looked and looked and could not see. one word — what it was and then I immediately saw what it was — quite clearly — and now find it hard to relive my mystification.""I looked and looked and could not see. one word — what it was and then I immediately saw what it was — quite clearly — and now find it hard to relive my mystification."

Me too.

john said...

A dead yin yang, of course. Been hit with an ax.

Sydney said...

I only saw a screaming moth.

Will Cate said...

cowboy in hat. Took me about... one second to see it.

rehajm said...

ELAINE: (pointing at 3-D picture) Look, there's a spaceship! That is so cool!

MR. PITT: Where is it?

ELAINE: (pointing) Right here.

MR. PITT: I'm looking there!

ELAINE: No, no, unfocus.

MR. PITT: I am unfocused!

Laslo Spatula said...

It's like the first time in his life a man sees a vagina: "Heck -- what in the Hell is THAT?"

Then you recognize them all the time: "HEY! Vagina!"

Then you see the Horrific Beasts that the Vagina can morph into. Teeth, etc.

Pretty soon you can't see a picture of a cowboy without recognizing the inner Vagina.

I am Laslo.

virgil xenophon said...

@Will/

Same here..but what is the "other" thing you see as well?

epador said...

Kinda like folks looking at DT or HC and no matter how much they stare they can't see what they really stand for; while others take a quick glance and see them for what they are right away.

StephenFearby said...

Sometimes a drawing of an ambiguous winged cigar that might be a mutated lobster is really only a cigar.

Bob Boyd said...

The problem is, you tend to look at the big dark parts and you don't recognize them.
When I started looking at the little squiggly lines on the right, suddenly I saw an eye, then the rest became clear instantly. Overall, about half a minute.

richlb said...

Was it originally drawn upside down? Look at the hatchet hanging UP on the wall beside it.

bwebster said...

For about the first five seconds, I thought it looked like a stylized cockroach. And then suddenly it snapped in. Interesting, because I can't tell you what changed my perspective.

Bob Boyd said...

@richlb

The ax is likely hanging from a nail by its handle which has a hole in it for that purpose.

eddie willers said...

Part of the issue is that it is more asymmetrical than it should be

What you said.

It still took me quite a while to see it even after being given the caption. All I can say is, "You call THAT a hat?!"

Must be one of those Brokeback Cowboys.

Limited blogger said...

Didn't see it right away. Stared for a while, nothing. Looked away, and when I looked back, I finally saw it.

MadisonMan said...

Cockroach. Splatted. But then I read the answer.

I've been wrong before, too.

YoungHegelian said...

Part of the issue is that it is more asymmetrical than it should be.

Yep, & the other discombobulating feature is that the facial shadow is on the right, not the left, which is perceived as "unnatural" by the eye. If the right was lighted & as you scanned from right to left, you'd perceive the shadow as a boundary, & you'd see it immediately. It's just like when in horror movies they want a face to look "spooky" they light it on the left from beneath, rather than the "natural" on the right from above.

Char Char Binks said...

I see lots of things in it, and the overall gestalt, the forest AND the trees.

Bill Peschel said...

Saw a plummeting raven at first, then the cowboy. Only took a few seconds.

Like Ann, I can't mystify myself again.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Wing-ed lobster, then Dwight Yokam. I take half points...like most of these the key for me was looking at the negative space first.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Got it right away. Donald Trump's penis.

Freeman Hunt said...

At first I saw a Life of Fred moth, but after a short moment, I saw the actual thing.

Xmas said...

Mi-Go, also known as "Fungi from Yuggoth".

(Also, you know, what it actually is.)

traditionalguy said...

I am afraid to admit that I can see either one at will to the total exclusion of the other one. I suppose that comes from being a trained lawyer.

wildswan said...

Gombrich did a study of these kinds of pictures trying to find someone who could see both at once. But it can't be done, he reported. I spent a good amount of time in college when I read Gombrich trying to see both sides such pictures at once (I was then a liberal, of course). No luck. But it prepared me to be a hard-core pro-lifer. I know what the other side sees and I know why they can't see the unborn as humans that matter at the same time. Still we can chose our focus, we do have that amount of freewill.

Birches said...

The bottom black part looks like Godzilla upside down.

Portlandmermaid said...

I crossed my eyes slightly (the magic eye trick) and saw it, finally.

Theranter said...

I was certain it was a bat hanging upside down.

amielalune said...

I went to the original site.....it has the picture twice. I examined the first one and went through "bird, bug, flower?" then gave up and started to scroll down to see the answer. As I scrolled past the second picture of it without really looking at it, I immediately saw the cowboy.

Bay Area Guy said...

My very first impulsive thought -- was an upside down flying dragon.

Now, I will stare at it again.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Couldn't figure it out. I wonder if describing it with the word "doodle" rather than "picture" or "painting" had some psychological blocking effect...

Craig said...

It's Lee Marvin in The Big Heat.