This Bizarre Paper Mirror Trick Is Blowing Minds on TikTok
A brain-bending mirror trick is going viral on TikTok, and many people are baffled by the science behind it.
In the original viral video, a TikTok creator holds up a pack of gum to a mirror blocked by a piece of paper. The gum is reflected on the side despite the paper between the gum and the mirror.
"How does the mirror know that [the object] is there? That's creepy!" the TikToker asks.
Stitching the original video, another creator decided to test the trick using a similar pack of gum and a magazine.
"What? Are you serious?" he gasps when it works.
"This just [blew] my mind ... I still don't understand," he captioned the clip. Watch below:
In the comments section, viewers expressed their own bewilderment but also dropped some jokes about the optical trick.
"Maybe it's because we can pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars," one person quipped in the comments, randomly referencing B.o.B.'s 2010 hit featuring Paramore.
"It's just perspective. A mirror is simply a reflection of the perspective you are looking from," another explained.
"Tell me you're American without telling me you're American," someone else joked.
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In a follow-up video, the man explained how the paper mirror trick actually works according to science.
"So what's happening is that the light from the gum box is reflected in the mirror, which is what you're seeing," he says.
"If I were to put this paper right here, you can't see the gum box," he continues, demonstrating how holding a piece of paper up to the side of the gum blocks it from the mirror's reflection.
Another video by an astrophysicist explained the phenomenon as a "really cool optical illusion."
"It's straightforward physics. When you're seeing a reflection, you're seeing light coming from an object bouncing off the mirror and coming back to your eye. If you're looking directly into the mirror, you'll see the reflection right in front of you," the scientist revealed.
"As you start to go to an angle, you see the reflection off to the side. It's gonna bounce off the mirror at the same angle into your eye. And then your eye will kind of project that image back, and you'll see it hiding behind the paper," she continued.
"Or, hear me out, WITCHCRAFT," one person joked in the comments.
Nope, it's just science!