Image via Shutterstock

Halloween is long over, but spooks are given away for free all year round. An optical illusion of a pair of skulls is making internet users wonder if it’s the work of nature or something sinister.

First published by science blog Popular Science and reshared on subreddit ‘illusionporn’, the illustrations appear purple and orange but are neither or those hues.

Isolate the two graphics from the trippy stripes that overlay them, and you’ll find that the skulls are actually red in color.

So, what is this sorcery? Popular Science details that it’s an example of the ‘Munker-White’ illusion which alters and “averages” the perception of two colors against surrounding hues.

It’s akin to how a gray object appears lighter if it has white stripes, and darker when accompanied with black stripes.

The two skulls aren’t identical in hue, though—Redditor ‘strussie’ dissected the objects from their background, shown below, and found that they’re colored in two separate shades; so if you’re wondering why they look different, it’s because they are.

These skulls look purple and orange. They are both red. from r/illusionporn

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[via Popular Science, images via various sources]

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