@genemachine3 sent me this great animated gif – and it makes my brain hurt.  Can you figure it out?



  1. I’m not sure there’s any great mystery here. It’s a series of frames that gradually zooms into a perfect copy of the original scene to the point that the last frame in the animated gif is the natural precursor of the very first one. No doubt tricky to achieve, but hardly a mystery.

    It’s even got a name – it’s called the Droste effect.


    1. Should add there’s 50 here – they aren’t generally animated, but it’s easily done by gradually zooming in to the next smaller image down whence you can revert to the first image. Of course doing it with a 3D image and taking an apparent rotation (and apparently hiding the recursive image at one point) is rather more tricky, but the principle is straightforwards


      Of course it’s a Dutch term as there are obvious relationships to MC Escher’s work.

    2. That’s pretty much what I though, but less technically. Actually, my thought was, “What’s to figure out? Am I missing something?”

  2. Nicely done.

    I can make that too. It’s a 3D fractal of a table with objects. Render one generation of the fractal and repeat the sequence.

  3. My favorite example showing MC Escher’s “Prentententoonstelling”, where they filled in the hole in the middle at the point of recursion and animated it.

    First time I saw this was in grade school, where a classmate had a Muppets lunch box. In the picture on the box, one of the Muppets was holding the same lunchbox, which had a picture…
    Mind was blown. How many people can recall the first time they grasped the concept of infinity?

  4. After the required number of ‘rotations’, it now gives the final answer what atoms are made of. It is good to prove all those atomic scientists are wrong. All it takes is to look at Richard Wiseman’s ‘Quirky Stuff’. Will you let us know when you are offered your Nobel Prize for Science?

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