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Scarlett Johansson's mom 'vanishing' from red carpet in weird optical illusion, explained

It really does look like she just *poof* disappears.

scarlett johansson being interviewed at an event

The woman behind Scarlett Johansson appears to disappear into thin air.

Optical illusions never fail to fascinate us, whether they're purposeful mind tricks or accidental photos that make something look like something it's not.

Video optical illusions are trickier than images because anyone can edit a video to make something appear to be something it's not. But occasionally a genuine video illusion comes along that forces our brains to stretch beyond what our eyes are perceiving, which is exactly what happened at a red carpet even in 2006.

In the video, Scarlett Johansson is stopped by a reporter and begins chatting about her dress and the highlight of the awards show. As Johansson speaks, people are seen milling about behind her. A woman in a strapless black dress walks behind her and then seems to disappear completely, as the man who was following the woman reappears on the other side of Johansson, but the woman doesn't.

Even the woman's shadow disappears, and slowing down the video doesn't make it any less wild to witness.

Watch:

Johannson, who apparently hadn't seen the video before, explained to Jimmy Fallon in November of 2023 that the woman in the video is actually her mother.

"I've been looking for her for the past 15 years!" she joked.

So what's the deal? Did ScarJo's mom slip into some kind of vortex or portal to an alternate universe or something?

As with every optical illusion, there's an explanation. For this one, the easiest way to understand it is by looking at the scene from a different angle.

Johansson's mom just happened to stop at exactly the right spot to be hidden by her daughter and at just the right depth where it's hard to see that the man following her actually walked right past her.

It seems so clear from this other perspective, but even knowing that's what happened, it's still hard to watch the original video and not feel like it's a magic trick of some sort. That's what makes optical illusions so much fun, though. Our brains create a reality based on what our eyes perceive, not on what is actually happening.

This could be the guest house.


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