Want to see your blind spot in action?

55

This is a wonderful demonstration.  First, can you see the large spot moving?  If so, fine.  If not, click on the image and open it up in a new window.  Now, simply close your left eye and look at the small circle with your right eye.  At some point you will see the large circle simply vanish – and that is your blind spot in action!


Did it work for you?

55 comments on “Want to see your blind spot in action?

  1. Jc dempster says:

    Sorry but no, does it depend on your monitor size?

    • M says:

      Yes it does. It does not work on a mobile phone I think, because the image would be too small. It works for me with a laptop/notebook right in front of me when the spots are about 15 cm apart.

  2. John says:

    Doesn’t work for me either.

  3. AL says:

    Good one. Can it be used in magic? One imagines it can.

    • NickC says:

      In the book “ParaLies” by Joshua Quinn there is an effect called “C.S.I.C.O.P” that uses this principle under the pretense of suggestability.

  4. pdurrant says:

    You need to be close enough to the screen for the moving sopt to move out far enough to be in your blind spot. for my monitor. no more than about a foot away from it.

  5. Joe Smith says:

    It doesn’t work for me either I’m afraid. Maybe I don’t have a blind spot. That’s good though, isn’t it? Why would I want one? Does it serve a purpose?

    Cheers

    • Erm, everyone has a blind spot. Unless you’re an cephalopod that is.

      It’s where your optic nerves come through your retina to attach to the rods and cones that have been put on backwards.

      That intelligent designer did a real botch job if you ask me. Just don’t get me started on the Recurrent laryngeal nerve.

    • M says:

      I don’t get it. Evolutionists always praise evolution for creating perfect creatures, and when something appears “botch” (which in all cases I’ve seen is actually not botch at all) it’s bad design all off a sudden. Where’s the consistency? When things are perfect it is not evidence for ID, while when things are supposedly not perfect it is evidence against ID.

      Oh well, why do I even botter… Anyway, I think this blind spot is fascinating, and it does not influence my everyday life, so where’s the problem?

    • Not quite. Evolutionists marvel at how evolution is able to create creatures that work, often in spite of, rather than thanks to brilliant “design”. In fact, these design errors are very important, and they can be seen throughout biology.

    • When has an “evolutionist” ever claimed that evolution created perfect creatures?

  6. Eoghann says:

    works for me =)

  7. Nigel says:

    Needs to be opened in it’s own window. The moving spot does disapear. Good demonstration.

  8. Geoff Coupe says:

    Works for me – and I’m amazed at how big the blind spot is…

  9. Clare says:

    No. No matter how long I looked at the small spot the larger one remained moving backwards and forwards.

  10. Timdifano says:

    Works very well for me, I opened the image in a new window, and with one eye closed observed from a distance of about 25cm (on a 17″ monitor).
    It certainly wouldn’t work if I were an octopus – and not only because my PC is not waterproof.

  11. Richard’s description is incomplete. The distance between the two spots, as well as the distance between one’s eye and the monitor, is important. If these are not right, it will not work.

    However, we all have a blind spot. It has to do with the evolutionary fact that our eyes are appallingly badly constructed. The blind spot is the spot where the optic nerve exits the eye. There are no light-sensitive cells there, and this makes it impossible for us to see anything at that spot.

    As a result, whenever we are in a situation where the blind spot completely covers something, that something will simply disappear from sight.

    • Mervulon says:

      Just the other day I was thinking about the appalling nature of the human eye, and how much better it would be without that pesky optic nerve. Who isn’t seriously inconvenienced at least 30 or 40 times a day by the sudden disappearance of objects in the blind spot? I think there ought to be a recall on these defective products, on safety grounds alone! This doesn’t even begin to address the relative vulnerability of the eyeball, and its complete lack of some type of natural safety shielding. Disgraceful.

    • Haaa, but you forget that our eyes were constructed by an all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving deity. They are not defective, it is just that we are too stupid to understand its benefits.

      Of course, that can’t be true either, since our brains were also constructed by an all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving deity. They are not defective, it is just that we don’t know how to use them effectively.

      Or maybe, just maybe, that deity isn’t quite what religionists claim it is. Or maybe, just maybe, it doesn’t exist in the first place.

      I think I am ready to be stoned now. Lovingly, I’m sure ^_^

    • M says:

      You’ve got two eyes. Yes, it would be dangerous that you might miss a traffic signal somewhere, IF YOU DRIVE WITH ONE EYE CLOSED. Oh dear, protect me from this insurmountable danger!

    • Indeed. And what about the countless people who have no stereoscopic vision, the people who only have one eye, the people who are distracted, the people who are falling asleep at the wheel, the people who are cleaning their guns while driving, the people who are reading the Bible instead of looking at traffic, the people who are relying on their deity to keep them safe instead of paying attention themselves…

      They probably all are but minimally responsible for serious injuries and deaths on the road, but altogether, they kill a small town every year in the US alone.

      And, constructing the eye backwards, making a blind spot unavoidable, still remains a very flawed construction. No engineer coming up with such a solution to a problem would keep her/his job.

      Evolution is blind. It works because it eliminates the worst mutations over long periods of time, leaving the least-bad ones that offer an immediate advantage to flourish, even if that advantage turns out to be a less-than-satisfactory design with the benefit of hindsight.

      The eye isn’t alone. We humans are filled to the brim with design errors. What about wisdom teeth, for example? Or what about sickle-cell anemia, or lower-back pain, or cancer, or hernias, or…

  12. ladymac says:

    no, did not work-sorry.

  13. Anonymous says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_spot_%28vision%29

    Do this test guys.. (it has instructions)

    It’s easier and more impressive in my opinion, because you can stop moving your head and the “object” remains at the blind spot.

  14. ruthslavid says:

    Doesn’t work for me. I think it is because a moving object is so compelling that however hard I try, my eye keeps tracking it.

  15. Dannie says:

    works for me. the effect is weird!

  16. Lazy T says:

    Has anyone seen a test where both eyes’ blind spots are involved at the same time?

    • mittfh says:

      It would be hard as you’d have to have a sheet parallel with your nose (therefore perpendicular to the test images) to stop the left eye looking at the right eye’s image and vice versa, therefore rendering the illusion useless.

  17. Jelhel says:

    OK, that’s just a little bit freaky!

  18. Mick says:

    You have to close your right en look with your left.

  19. This works well for me and is proof positive that if this was the result of Intelligent design then the designer was a fool.. especially when he went and placed the leisure centre right in the middle of the sewage plant!

  20. adorita says:

    Didn’t work for me. I tried putting my eye 4″ away from monitor and still didn’t work.
    My right eye has amblyopia, but I could see shapes, especially when they are moving. I guess you would have to be able to really focus on the small spot.

  21. That is very clever, took a while for the large spot to disappear but it certainly did.

    However, is that really blind spot or is it auto-suggestion since you’d told us that the spot would disappear and that’s what we expected?

  22. Gus says:

    Yeah, it’s all about monitor size and distance from eye to monitor. I thought it wasn’t working because of my eye just not staying on the small dot, but if you get close enough to the monitor or put it on a big enough monitor it will work if you make any effort at all to focus on the small dot. The blind spot is pretty big in terms of eye movement speed, so as long as you make some effort to keep your eye on the small dot, you’ll get back to the right place to make the big dot disappear, then reappear when it leaves the blind spot.

  23. Luisa says:

    didn’t work for me, but it works with my thumbs.

    take your thumbs and place them side by side in front of you. close your left eye and slowly move your right thumb in a straight line to your right, and it disappears.

  24. Ian says:

    That’s fascinating, Richard, thanks for that one🙂 Not at all what I expected to happen: the large spot didn’t exactly disappeared, but sort of faded for a brief moment and reappeared, at a particular spot, going in either direction, as if passing through a sort of heat haze, kind of thing. Really intriguing! Thanks again for more delightful brain fodder fodder brain🙂

  25. Dave Miles says:

    I didn’t read the directions and closed my right eye and followed the moving spot with my left. The small spot disappeared quite obediently. When I repeated the test, but following the directions, the effect worked, but it was much more sensitive to my distance to the screen and any tilt of my head.

  26. Skepdirk says:

    It worked for me when I stared exactly horizontically at the screen.

  27. Emma says:

    A bit ho hum.

  28. Gail says:

    very cool and slightly worrying as a new driver lol better watch out for that

  29. JohnLoony says:

    I knew all about the blind spot already, and it did exactly what I expected. but it is a very good demonstration of the effect anyway.

  30. Anonymous says:

    didnt work for me

  31. Zach says:

    I was confused because the wording of this makes it seems like the big dot would vanish permanently. I did see it blink out for less than a second. Now my eyes hurt from 3+ minutes of trying. Thanks.

  32. Brett says:

    You mean once an object goes far enough out of your field of vision you cease to keep seeing it? No way!

  33. AL says:

    These comments cynically judging this to be evidence of Hamhanded Design are in vain. The premise is, everything God does is for a purpose. Where would we humans be without our blind spot? That is where we safely put anything new that doesn’t fit what we already believe. That is what Faith means. Also, overcoming the blind spot is what earns people like Richard Feynman the Nobel prize. It is there for us all to learn to overcome!

  34. […] Blindspot thingy 1. Cover one eye 2. Stare at the center of the grid 3. Starting near the screen slowly move your head away 4. Eventually one of the spots will disappear! You can also try this version: https://richardwiseman.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/want-to-see-your-blind-spot-in-action/ […]

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  36. Anonymous says:

    I can still see the big dot…it does not disappear from view…

  37. Anonymous says:

    Why does it only work for the right eye????

  38. Anonymous says:

    I focused on the small dot and the larger one disappeared, so i looked harder and my blind spot half showed. Is there a way the mind could overcome something like this even with the complicated design of the human eye?

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