We are so completely dependent on our five senses every moment of the day that we totally forget how full of shit they can be. Your reality is cobbled together from a bunch of different parts of your brain working in conjunction, and often it's like a bickering conference room full of uncooperative co-workers. In fact, we're pretty sure the thing your brain does best is convince you that it works.
But it doesn't take much to spot the bizarre little flaws in your gray matter. For example ...
5 Your Eyes Can Make You Hear Different Words
When you hear someone talk, the whole process is pretty straightforward, right? The sound comes out of the other person's mouth, it travels into your ears, and voila! -- you just heard what they said. Congratulations. If your hearing works fine, what could possibly go wrong?
Short answer: your eyes. They can butt in and mess everything up. You see, vision is the most dominant sense in humans, and that means that what your eyes are seeing will sometimes override what your ears are hearing. If you want to experience this right now, check out this video:
In the clip, you see (and hear) a guy saying "bah bah bah" over and over. Afterward, he changes his tune to "fah fah fah" ... or so your eyes would have you believe. In reality, the audio never changed, only the picture did. That is, the voice is still saying "bah," but since it's now dubbed over a picture of the same guy pronouncing "fah," your brain actually changes what you're hearing so that it doesn't conflict with what you're seeing. If you close your eyes or look away, "fah" automatically goes back to being "bah."
Your brain also gave the "fah" version a tan, for unknown reasons.
This illusion is called the McGurk effect, and the creepiest part is that, even knowing know full well what's going on, you can't get your ears to hear the correct sound. Scientists who have been studying this shit for decades are still fooled.
The McGurk effect tends to be minimized when you're interacting with familiar faces, but it gets worse if you're dealing with strangers. Things like the way the person is dressed or even what they're carrying can influence the words you think you hear them say. For instance, in one study, people confused the phrase "He's got your boot" with "He's gonna shoot" when viewing a staged video of a man chasing after a woman. This proved that you're more likely to hear (or believe you hear) someone say the word "boot" if they're carrying a boot, and you're more likely to hear (or believe you hear) someone say the word "shoot" if they're carrying a gun.
It's still not advisable to wave footwear threateningly at police officers.
But it's just "boot" for "shoot" -- who could possibly be affected by such a small misunderstanding? Other than, you know, people being tried for murder.
So basically, think of all your senses as the "yes men" to the CEO that is your eyes. Even when your ears are pretty sure your eyes are wrong, they're too timid to protest and will just go along with whatever your eyes dictate.
But that's not the only time your eyes screw you over ...