This is a great illusion.  Look at the animated gif below.  You should see a rotating blue grid (if it is still, click on it to open the image in another window).  Next, simply stare at the flashing green dot.  All being well, some or all of the yellow dots will vanish!

Did it work for you?

17 comments

  1. Yes it’s awesome. The yellow dots vanish, then come back briefly, then are gone again, etc.
    But for some of us with red-green weak vision, the flashing dot is exactly the same color as the ones that vanish – my perception is that all four are “yellow”. Doesn’t matter, “Stare at the flashing dot in the center” works just as well.

  2. Even weirder: after staring for a while I moved my gaze to the edge of the window, and it curled around slightly into an “S” shape.

  3. And if you put the mouse cursor near the green flashing dot and look at it, the yellow dots also disappear. If the cursor is near a yellow dot, it disappears last. What a versatile illusion. Thanks, Richard.

  4. CiaraMK, Our eyes detect changes in light intensity, and if the scene does not change, our eyes jiggle a bit to stimulate the light sensitive cells (look up saccadic). The rotating background and flashing green dot supply the movement, so our eyes don’t need to jiggle. Without movement of the yellow dots, they seem to fade.

    1. My computer says:

      We’re sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee. It is run commercially by BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, the profits made from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes.

      What crap !

  5. Thanks for another fascinating one, Richard and, yep, one particular yellow dot occasionally disappeared and reappeared; and, interestingly enough, after a while, there seemed to be a subliminal broad black grid within the background, formed by the patterns between the grid itself: it’s intriguing, how the mind seems to form patterns wherever it can 🙂

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