Sweden’s Top Scientists Declare Leather “Optical Illusion”

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Researchers at the famed Svensensenson Institute of Science have made a controversial and groundbreaking discovery. Using a mix of newly available instrumentation and old fashioned visual observations, plus the unexpected help of a small mammal, the research team has been able to both quantify, identify and demystify the exact composition of “Leather”.

Said team leader Hans Gundersson;  “We’re not talking about a leather bag or coat here, and yet at the same time we are. It’s all a matter of perspective. World class magicians have known about this effect for centuries. Let’s say, for instance, I wear a leather hat. To the casual observer, I look like a person wearing a hat. To any person that interacts with me, I can say ‘I’m leather’, and they will say ‘no, you are wearing a leather hat’. I can then tell them, ‘it’s not just a hat. It’s leather.’ Then they might say ‘yes, I can see it’s leather’. Now, here’s the scientific part. I would then say ‘it’s NOT leather, it’s Leather, and I am Leather.’ It’s like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, except you’re pulling the actual illusion out of the hat. We have termed this technique ‘Oblique Secondary Distraction, or OSD.”

Christen Mendelsohnn, another member of the team added; “What really surprised us that you can actually ‘see’ leather. It’s not on the visible light spectrum. Just like infrared or ultraviolet, leather is invisible to the naked eye. It’s why it so often appears black. It’s simply an absence of visible colors. However, just like bees are capable of seeing ultraviolet light, we theorized that leather may actually be visible to some other living thing on this diversely populated planet. By a stroke of luck, and a lot of hard work in the lab, we came across the North Peruvian Snail Badger, that under most conditions can identify and observe leather. We have named the color of leather as VitraLeather .It’s wavelength is approximately 285nm, far below the visible range for humans. What our team is really excited about is the ability of the snail badger to accurately see leather as it reflects from the human form. No longer will we have to rely on the hundreds if not thousands of so-called leather experts lecturing and ultimately, confusing, the masses as to what true leather is. A simple two or three second stare from the snail badger will clear up any misunderstanding as to whether an individual actually has leather emitting from them. What surprised us is the number of people that claimed to have it, yet the badger rejected them completely. They were devastated. To realize that you’ve lived a lie for so long can be quite the downer. Our first sample of one thousand subjects yielded only twenty seven leather-emitting people.”

Asked how this discovery might affect the hundreds of thousands of people who have claimed to be “Leather”, Gundersson was unapologetic; “Ok, who really believed that you could ‘be’ leather? I mean, it’s like me saying I’m infrared. I’d just get laughed at. You can’t “be” invisible. The badger was the final breakthrough we needed. What people thought they were looking at turned out to be an optical illusion, backed up by some really talented magicians. Also, it’s not like they should be upset. At the end of the day they were getting a free magic show. Have you seen the price of a ticket to see David Copperfield?

Mendelsohnn added that they were continuing to search for more animals that are capable of seeing leather, and promised regular updates on progress.

photo credit: fennfoot cc and Colby Stuart cc

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