Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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This eye-catching optical illusion will leave your head spinning

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It’ll spin your head right round, right round.

This head-spinning optical illusion will have you second guessing your own sanity.

It shows two rotating rings made up of six ovals. One is all black while the other flashes between black and white on the gray background.

The rings appear to be moving at different speeds. Right?

“The right ring appears to rotate faster than the left one, though the velocity is the same,” wrote Akiyoshi Kitaoka, an experimental psychologist and illusion artist, on Twitter last week.

But if you take a closer look at the image is actually playing a trick on your brain making it seem like one ring is spinning faster when they are in fact moving at the same pace.

[Warning: Spoiler below.]

The mind-bending puzzle tricks viewers with the rings rotating counterclockwise as the ovals making up the ring on the right flash from black to white giving the illusion that the ring is moving at a different speed.

The trick of the eye only works when both rings are seen next to each other. To crack the code, viewers can cover the left ring with their hand to see the right ring slow down.

While it all may seem like fun and games, the National Eye Institute announced that “optical illusions teach us how our eyes and brain work together to see” and teach viewers about “depth, shading, lighting, and position to help you interpret what you see.”

The rotating pattern shared by Kitaoka, who teaches at the Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, utilizes the phi phenomena, an illusion of movement that occurs when stationary objects are placed side by side and illuminated in rapid succession.

This phenomenon is commonly seen in flip books to make characters move across the page or added to make marque lights appear to be flashing.

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