Keep your eyes on the cross between the two images.
Those familiar faces became pretty unfamiliar, didn't they?
Did you notice them start to melt and contort in bizarre ways? The experience of seeing these faces mold themselves into bizarre, almost liquid shapes out of the corner of your eyes can be pretty disconcerting, especially since there's still an element of recognizability in them.
Too small? Here's a larger version. Keep your eyes on the cross.
A Redditor explains:
"These are all illustrations of how our brain processes faces.... it's not just a matter of seeing something that looks like a face. Our pattern recognition that's hardwired to recognize faces puts together the components or groups of components of a face whether upside down or right side up.
So what's happening in the OP's illusion is that the brain is selectively juxtaposing certain aspects of the individual features on the left with those on the right because you're crossing your eyes forcing your brain to have to reassemble what it's seeing. But your facial recognition is kicking in so it's combining specific facial components not just whole faces or shapes, contours, etc.
There are people whose brains are damaged in the fusiform gyrus, resulting in a disorder called prospagnosia. They can see perfectly but cannot assemble faces so what they see is a collection of edges, colors, shapes and lines that their brain doesn't put together as one object... and when asked to draw what they see, many of these patients draw a disconnected bunch of edges, colors, shapes and lines." — Snowdog74.
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