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March 02, 2017

There are countless things in life that are strange and tough to explain. But being able to see red in a strawberry photo that doesn't actually have any red in it? We just can't let that one go.

There is a reason that this happens. First, take a moment to revel in the fact that the reason you see red in the photo above is a sneaky little trick your own brain is playing on you—it's called color constancy. What it means: We all have a perceived image of various items we come into contact with on a regular basis, and your brain will project this assumed palette even if the color isn't actually present in the actual product or thing.

Here's the original photo that started the situation that blew minds across the Internet:

Motherboard first caught wind of the image, and the rest is history. Akiyoshi Kitaoka, the person responsible for making the image, is a master of optical illusions (his Twitter feed has the power to suck hours out of your day). By day, he's a psychology professor at Japan's Ritsumeikan University. But he's quickly becoming known for his mind-boggling graphics on social media.

To make even more of an example out of color constancy, a fellow Twitter user decided to pull out the "red" pigments you're seeing in the photo to prove just how neat your brain is:

Color constancy helps make navigating the world a bit easier, considering you're always being exposed to different types of light. The varying light types would make a strawberry look like a different color every time if it weren't for your handy dandy brain taking the reins.

File this under: useful trivia night knowledge and first date conversation starters.

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