This optical illusion is equal parts terrifying and beautiful

Optical illusions are a concept that tend to divide the Internet in two camps — the people who can see one image and the people who see something else entirely. (Remember the infamous Dress? Of course you do. The world will never forget.)

Now, the latest phenomenon making the rounds comes down to not a question of what you can see, but if you’re even able to see it at all.

The picture in question is actually a negative image — a complete inversion of a typical photograph where dark areas are swapped for light and vice versa. When you look at it initially, you see a blue-skinned woman and white hair and eyes against a black background. The image instructs the viewer to stare at the white dot on the woman’s nose for 15 seconds before glancing over to the white space next to the photo. Give it a try.

While the negative image might be a little terrifying, looking to the white space after staring at the photo for 15 seconds may actually help you catch a glimpse of a brunette woman who doesn’t look that scary at all.

The science behind this is referred to as a negative afterimage, and it’s what happens when the photoreceptors in your eyes adapt to the overstimulation caused by the negative photo and lose sensitivity. Interestingly, some people haven’t been able to view the illusion for themselves, but just take our word for it. It’s actually pretty cool. We wouldn’t recommend you stare at it for too long, though. You don’t want to end up with nightmares.

Featured image via Twitter

This photo is the new Blue Dress, and it’s totally tripping us out

And now, inevitably, Disney princesses wear THE DRESS