Social media has revived a 124-year-old drawing that’s got everyone asking: Is it a duck or a rabbit? And your answer just might determine your creative abilities.
The image — which depicts either a rabbit or duck, depending on how you look at it — has been spreading like wildfire lately, according to the Daily Mail. Which animal stands out first has fueled many arguments reminiscent of the “What color is the dress?” debate that almost tore the Internet apart last year.
More important than the first impression, it seems the real test is what you do next. How quickly can you spot the second animal?
While the image first appeared in a German magazine in 1892, it became famous seven years later when American psychologist Joseph Jastrow used the drawing to show that perception goes beyond simply seeing something and is a mental activity as well.
Apparently, how easily you switch between observing the two animals speaks to your creativity. Jastrow’s study participants who could easily flip between rabbit and duck reportedly found an average of almost five novel uses for an everyday item. Participants who were slow to switch from rabbit to duck, or at all, came up with fewer than two novel uses.
Jastrow also believed that emotional state and environment affected how people perceived the optical illusion (and, well, everything else). So take a deep breath, go to your happy place, then look at the picture and find out for yourself.