What are the rainbow colors you see in dim lighting?


If you stare at one spot in a dimly lit room, everything around it starts looking like it has rainbow outlines and is overly processed like an HDR photo, and the brightness of everything fluctuates heavily. What is this phenomenon?

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This is a common phenomenon called the Purkinje effect, which occurs in low-light conditions. It happens because the cones in our eyes, which help us see color, become less sensitive, while the rods, which help us see in low-light, become more sensitive. As a result, we perceive the world around us with less color and more brightness contrast, which can create the rainbow outlines and fluctuations in brightness.