'Illusion' photos of Adele, Kanye West and Barack Obama have a horrifying secret – can you spot it? | The Sun

A STRANGE visual trick using photos of Adele, Kanye West and Barack Obama is boggling people's minds.

The trio are seen with their faces upside down – but everything turns a bit weird once you flip your phone around.

Their eyes, mouth and nose become amusingly distorted.

Psychologist Dr Julie Smith, who's appeared on shows like This Morning and Lorraine, revealed the odd test on TikTok.

"Check out these photos – you're about to experience something called the Thatcher Effect," she explained.

"Noticed anything strange?

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"Now flip your phone upside down, have another look."

People in the comments were blown away by the apparent illusion.

"I almost dropped my phone," one user said.

"omg what the heck??," another said.

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As Dr Julie explains, it is because of a phenomenon known as the Thatcher Effect – aka the Thatcher Illusion.

What is the Thatcher Effect?

The term was coined back in the '80s when a scientist demonstrated it for the first time using a photo of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

"It's a phenomenon where it becomes more difficult to detect changes in facial features when that face is rotated upside down," Dr Julie continued.

"The Thatcher Effect reveals to us something about how face perception works.

"Across the world there are billions of faces that are very similar but have subtle differences that make them unique.

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"Now it's thought that our brains are fine-tuned to differentiate between all of those subtle features and differences but those processes rely on the structural configuration and the relationship between the position of different features.

"We're so well practised at mapping those individual features on a face that's upright but when that face is upside down we're unlikely to have that same mental mapping available to us and so we focus on the individual features but in the Thatcher Effect, in the upside down face the individual features look fine."

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