Thursday, June 28, 2018

Escher... in real life?

There's a freaky set of stairs called "the Escherian Stairwell," apparently at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), in a campus building called Gannett Hall. Below is a documentary about these mind-bending stairs:

I have to spoil the fun, though, and note that the stairs don't actually exist. Sorry. You'll see many claims of "fake!" in the comments below the video. Snopes has this to say:

The video was a bit of trickery created through the use of deceptive camera angles, careful editing, and digital effects, produced in conjunction with a (failed) Kickstarter campaign (“The Stairwell Project: Building a Modern Myth”) intended to help fund the creation of videos, articles, web pages, and other material establishing a backstory for the mythical stairway in time for Imagine RIT, the school’s annual Innovation & Creativity Festival[.]

You'll have noted that the video's title is misleading: no "answer" is provided as to how the illusion works. But as you now know, that's because the stairwell doesn't exist.

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