Sep 02 2013

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Trompe l’oeil

Look closely at that leafy wing.


Then watch the video.

(via Real Monstrosities)


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  1. 1

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhh. So beautiful. Wow. Thank you.

  2. 2

    Wow. That is amazing. I was watching this wondering how it was going to unroll its wing but then the illusion was revealed!

  3. 3
    A. R

    Here’s a photo of a mounted specimen almost a more amazing view than the photo here: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ad/Uropyia_meticulodina.jpg

  4. 4

    That’s awesome!

    Sorry; I don’t have much to say other than oooooooooo

  5. 5


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  7. 7

    What a beautiful moth!

  8. 8
    Eamon Knight

    I find it almost impossible to perceive the wing as flat, with everything being done by markings and shading. My mind absolutely insists that it is curled at the edges.

  9. 9

    If it weren’t for the video, I’d ask: why isn’t it a wingy-leaf? A leaf and flower that has evolved to look like a moth so that other moths spread its pollen while trying to procreate?

    Amazing though. The shading on that wing is just amazing.

  10. 10

    Almost makes me see the appeal of ID!

  11. 11

    I’m with Eamon Knight. No matter how many times I watch the video or look at A.R.’s photo, I go back to the photo here and my brain simply refuses to perceive that wing as flat. Can’t do it. This is one of the strongest illusions I’ve ever seen. Amazing.

  12. 12

    What a lovely creature! Aside from the eye-boggling illusion — !! — the colors themselves are so wonderful.

    I watched and looked, and watched and looked again, and still struggled to see the flat wings. I was able to really see it only through the head-on perspective.

    And the clever title of the post is just right.

    The earwig was cute, too.

  13. 13
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    I can’t watch it without my brain inserting auditory effects when it starts moving. The whine of a turbine, or that running-in-place noise from a cartoon.

  14. 14

    Okay, I stare at moth wings for a living, and all I can see when I look at that notodontid is the pain and frustration of spreading those wings with minimal scale loss. Is there an optical illusion I’m missing?

  15. 15

    Wow, it’s like a photorealistic painting, but completely nature-generated!

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