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)….

moving

Can you explain what is going on?

15 comments

  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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.

    1. Nah…

      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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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