An intriguing photo has been making rounds on the internet, sparking heated debates on social media.
The photograph features a flight of stairs inside a dimly lit tunnel located in a California cave that has been a tourist attraction for over a century.
The image has left viewers scratching their heads as they try to determine whether the photo was taken from the top or the bottom of the stairs.
The perspective of the photograph can be perceived as both looking up and looking down, adding to the confusion.
Adding to the mix are the railings, which appear to be either tilting upwards before leveling off or sloping downwards before taking a steeper gradient.
Several people have weighed in on the matter, with some saying the stairs are going up and others arguing they are going down.
Despite the differing opinions, there is a correct answer. The stairs in the photo are actually going down, leading visitors to a stunning view of the sea after descending 145 uneven, slippery, and narrow steps in Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave.
The cave, which has an extremely low-hanging ceiling, was carved by Chinese laborers in 1902 under the supervision of German artist Gustav Schultz using only shovels and picks.
During Prohibition between 1920 and 1933, bootleggers used the tunnel to smuggle alcohol and opium into San Diego.
Similar optical illusions have divided the internet before, with one of the most famous being the two-toned dress in 2015.
The dress, which some people saw as blue and black and others as white and gold, went viral after it was posted on Tumblr by Caitlin McNeill.
The photo generated millions of views and shares, with people arguing over the dress’s original colors and the science behind the debate.
»The Power of Perspective: How an Optical Illusion Photo of a Staircase in a California Cave Divided the Internet«
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