The never-ending story…..


This is a lovely visual version of the Shepard tones illusion (from here).  You zoom in, but never get any closer to the centre (you might have to click on it to get it moving)….


Can you explain what is going on?


15 comments on “The never-ending story…..

  1. Mike Torr says:

    Two very cool things about this:

    1. That’s what the universe is doing!!

    2. If you look at it long enough and then look away at your hand, your hand is shrinking 🙂

    • eun says:

      Wow, it’s cool.
      First i thought, well….
      but, wow, it’s true.
      My hand was shringking!

  2. -M- says:

    That’s a Koch fractal

  3. I only have to look at it for about 10 seconds then look away and everything looks really weird!

  4. Dharmaruci says:

    i think the explaination is simple enough. if a GIF is sufficiently long no one on the Internet has the patients to run it to the end more. and perhaps it has a false ending, a period of stillness at say the 15 minute mark to make us assume it has stooped.

    • -M- says:


      It is a FRACTAL. A fractal is a mathematical shape that repeats itself in a smaller scale.

      Brocolli is a natural fractal

      So it’s a very short animated gif that repeats all the time.

  5. ctj says:

    is there any relation between this, which appears to be a typical fractal, and a shepherd’s tone? i thought the two are very different.

  6. Narfix says:

    I would say it doesn’t zoom but the center pulses along a 2D plane.

  7. dayuntoday says:

    Rather fascinating. I can’t get the illusion (of shrinking when I look away) that someone mentioned. I wonder why? Now off to find a Shepard tone.

  8. Zbird says:

    After watching I clcked back to my MSN home page and that shrank away from me. Wierd. Some of you have mentioned Fractal and Shepard Tone. Off to look them up, hope they make sense to me.

  9. Bob says:

    There are only 40 frames in the gif, all appearing for 40 milliseconds.

    Overall, it loops every 1.6 seconds !!!

  10. The other Matt says:

    Nope, doesnt move anything on my screen….

  11. songmistress says:

    That is hypnotising…and rather psychedelic (well, it would be, if it was in colour anyway).

  12. IrrationalRobot says:

    Neat trick- leave a mouse pointer near the center, and then follow one of the patterns as it pulses to the edge. Your mouse pointer will seem to shrink as it looks like everything else grows around it.

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