For most people staring into a mirror is just one of those things you do every morning in your daily routine, what people don’t know though is that sometimes it can become a terrifying experience, especially when your brain decides to show you some monsters.
Known as the Troxler effect, this is a phenomenon experienced when your brain becomes a little bored of staring into a mirror so decides to have some fun. Of course, most of these experiences have been chalked off to folklore and superstitions such as “Bloody Mary” but a scientific article published in 2010 in the journal Perceptions has actually found some truth in these monster visions.
The results actually confirmed that over 66% of participants did experience a huge deformation of their own face and over 48% claimed to see a fantastical beast. So how could simply stare into a mirror cause these visions? Scientist set out to find out. And the answer lies in the brain’s inability to process too much information at a time, which caused deformations to happen. Your brain decides to give up and turns a blind eye to what is really going on, so your mind inserts something to just keep going.
It is the same when you are reading this article, do you hear the sounds around you? Or feel your clothes on your skin, most likely you do not. This is your brain deciding to tune out what is currently not needed. It is, of course, the Troxler effect that causes this to happen.
The effect is shared among many of the popular internet illusion like staring at a red dot for about 20 seconds, which causes your vision to simply blur. Staring into the mirror does the same thing, the edge features of your face will start to blend into the mirror: which is what we have for many years mistaken as monsters!