Bunny or Bird? An optical illusion for the internet age

In life, we all see what we want to see — the result is up for debate.

Take this video of a hand petting a shiny black — and obviously very pleased — critter.

But what is it? Bunny or bird?

It’s a raven, but take a look for yourself.


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Currently 🖤 #mischieftheraven #whiteneckedraven #raven

A post shared by Paige Davis (@pythonpaige) on

Paige Davis, curator of bird training at the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park, Missouri posted the mesmerizing video two years go of Mischief the raven.

But the internet has suddenly breathed new life — and debate — into the amazing video.

The Norway-based scientist at the University of Oslo spotted the video a week ago on an Imgur twitter account, and then reposted it.

“As a psychological scientist, I knew that this video and comment alluded to the famous bird/rabbit illusion, first popularised by psychologist Joseph Jastrow, but originally published in 1982,” he blogged Thursday.

This is that image.

It’s very easy to trick the brain.

But it’s definitely tougher to convince your friends who’s right.

Is it a bird or a bunny? Paige Davis/Instagram

Now, Quintana has been hit with some regret for sharing the Imgur video without proper sourcing.

“As I’m writing this, the video in the tweet has been viewed almost 8 million times,” he wrote.

As a scientist, he added, he knows the “importance of acknowledging people’s work.”

“Only later did I discover that this video was originally posted over two years ago by Paige Davis, who is the curator of bird training at the World Bird Sanctuary. When I discovered this, I added a clarification to the original tweet thread, acknowledging the original source,” he explained.

The World Bird Sanctuary seems okay with everything.

The interest has been pretty great.

Davis, and Mischief, also seem happy with the attention.

“Mischief is quite the talk on Twitter today!” Davis posted on Instagram Thursday. “I can assure you that he is in fact a raven. And a talented raven at that! Here’s one of my favorite clips of him saying ‘hi.'”

She also points out how incredibly smart they are.

“They can make and use tools, solve puzzles, recognize faces, and mimic sounds with great accuracy,” Davis added.

Mischief is also an artist.

And importantly, a teacher.


Photo Paige Davis/Instagram

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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