'Star Wars' Death Star Optical Illusion on Kitchen Counter Wows Internet

One man's discovery in his kitchen has impressed the internet this week, leaving viewers thinking...That's no moon – it's just a drinking glass.

Shared on Wednesday on the popular Reddit forum r/midlyinteresting by user pizzapost, the optical illusion has received over 28,000 upvotes and hundreds of comments. The image shows a birds-eye view of the glass on a kitchen counter, with the caption: "This kitchen counter along with an empty drinking glass sort of looks like a death star in space."

The Death Star was introduced to the world in the 1977 movie Star Wars: A New Hope. It's a huge space station armed with a planet-destroying super laser, which was used to destroy the planet of Alderaan in the movie.

Redditors were impressed with the illusion and many commented. "Best thing I saw in a while," said one user, while another wrote: "This is the most mildly interesting thing I have seen on this sub. Well done."

"So it's not a death star in space?" asked one commenter: "That's what I saw first."

Another commenter referenced a famous line from the 1977 Star Wars movie, writing: "That really is no moon," and another joked: "That's no moon, it's a drinking glass."

Joseph Brooks, Ph.D. is a senior lecturer and director of research for Psychology at Keele University in the U.K. His research interests include visual perception and attention and the neural processes that give rise to them.

Brooks told Newsweek: "A visual illusion is a perceptual experience of a visual scene that differs in some way from the physical reality of the scene. There are many examples of visual illusions. They can involve misperceptions of colour, depth, shape, orientation, and other features."

He explained that: "Visual illusions can arise from optical factors (e.g., how light is captured by the eye) but more commonly they are related to how the brain interprets the inherently ambiguous visual information that it receives.

"Notice that in the image here, there isn't much context to help determine depth in the image. This lack of contextual information presents an ambiguity that needs to be resolved through assumptions about depth and how the scene is illuminated."

One commenter on the image said: "One of those things where once you see it it's hard to see it any other way," while joking: "You could have saved Disney so much money on CGI."

"Visual illusions highlight the subjectivity of our perceptual experience which is counterintuitive due to the certainty that we feel about our visual experiences," said Brooks: "If we can misperceive these situations, how do we know that our other perceptions of the world are accurate?"

Newsweek has reached out to pizzapost for comment.

Glass and star wars
A file photo of a drinking glass in a hand, left, and the cinematic poster for 1977 movie 'Star Wars: A New Hope', right. An optical illusion of a glass that looks like the 'Star Wars' Death Star has wowed the internet. Burke/Triolo Productions/Getty Images & IMDB