Mermaid or fish optical illusion: what do you see in viral image breaking Twitter?

First it was the blue and black dress versus gold and white, then it was Laurel versus Yanny – now the latest optical illusion asks: mermaid, fish, donkey or seal?

The illusion claims that, depending on what you see, you’re either left brained or right brained – this is everything you need to know.

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What’s the optical illusion?

The optical illusion comes in the form of an abstract pink drawing against a blueish background, with the caption that says: “If you’re right-brained, you’ll see a fish. If you’re left-brained, you’ll see a mermaid. “

The picture, however, has left many baffled as, to them, the answer isn’t between a fish or a mermaid, but between a donkey and a seal.

What do you see? (Photo: Twitter)

Stephen Fry even weighed in on the matter, tweeting: “Personally, donkey first, then seal – not finding a fish or a mermaid …”

Screenwriter Jane Espenson also wrote: “Honestly, it’s clearly a seal vs a donkey. There’s no fish / mermaid thing going on at all. Bunch a ‘nonsense. Grumble grumble. “

Actor Ralf Little tweeted: “Seems people either see a seal or a donkey. But surely nobody, absolutely NOBODY… sees a fish or a mermaid. Like looking at the gold / blue dress and going, “it’s a red bus”. “

It seems like everyone online has unanimously agreed that the only two acceptable answers are that of either a donkey or a seal.

It’s likely that the picture, the origin of which is unknown, was designed specifically to generate this kind of confusion, as it appears that no-one can see either the fish or the mermaid – except for one person who tweeted: “Am I f ** king schizophrenic or are you guys just pretending to answer that seal thing wrong on purpose because I see a seal, a mermaid, a fish, and a donkey. “

What’s the difference between right brained and left brained?

Many optical illusions claim that, based on your answer, you’re either left brained or right brained.

Generally speaking, the left side of our brains are more verbal, analytical and orderly than the right side, and is better at things such as reading and writing. On the other hand, the right brain is said to be more visual and intuitive and is often described as the “creative” side of our brain.

The left brained versus right brained theory is based on the idea that humans have a more dominant side of their brain, like we do a dominant hand, and that informs our personalities – artsy vs logical, imaginative vs realistic.

The idea that the left or right side of your brain can be more dominant is entirely a myth (Photo: FRED TANNEAU / AFP via Getty Images)

The theory came about in the 1960s, thanks to a psychobiologist and Nobel Prize winner Roger W Sperry, however recently a two year analysis found that there was no proof that this theory was actually true.

The researchpublished in 2013, said: “It has been conjectured that individuals may be left-brain dominant or right-brain dominant based on personality and cognitive style, but neuroimaging data has not provided clear evidence whether such phenotypic differences in the strength of left- dominant or right-dominant networks exist. “

It added: “Lateralization of brain connections appears to be a local rather than global property of brain networks, and our data are not consistent with a whole-brain phenotype of greater” left-brained “or greater” right-brained “network strength across individuals. “

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