@JohnnyMcQuade sent me this great illusion yesterday – basically, look at this and then blink – what did you see?  It might take a few moments to load because it is a 2mb file.



  1. I think you have to blink repeatedly…? Then you get continuous appearance and disappearance of some circles, a bit like rain landing on a puddle. Illusory contours I think.

  2. it took me only one moment to load. How long are your moments? and I see some circles, but I see them even without blinking

  3. Blinking is unnecessary. I can see circles appearing & fading away in the image with one very definite circle centred on the centre of the square image.

    Also it’s not a motion illusion. I took random screen shots & some of them show the main circle clearly. Here’s a crop image of the area containing a circle at the moment the circle is clearest:-

    1. I’m sorry but there must be more to this than the easily visible circles. Trouble is no one’s saying what it is.

  4. ok, I’m not sure if I’m imagining it, but after blinking a few times, I *think* I can also sort of see a pentagram in there

  5. I faintly see the (moving) concentric circles but when blinking the one in the middle becomes more distinctive as if by blinking it forces me to focus more in the middle of the image.

  6. When blinking think more of fluttering your eyelids, like a stroboscope. A different pattern appears with each blink. Kind of cool.

  7. I see circles and lines. The same circles and lines I see without blinking. Not sure I’m getting it. I’ve tried rapid blinking, slow blinking, blinking once, blinking repeatedly.

  8. I think this is cool. Yes, it’s moving, and no, it’s probably not technically an illusion, because it actually is reorganizing into various different designs. BUT blinking has the effect of giving you a momentary still shot, so that the images show up more clearly. It’s just kind of a fun phenomena.

  9. After watching this for awhile, I’m intrigued by all the variety. Yes, circles pop up here and there, but the lines in the negative spaces are especially interesting. Sometimes they form stars, sometimes parallelograms, sometimes trapezoids or triangles. Very cool.

  10. Every time I blink I see the larger circle in the centre. If I’m not blinking it comes and goes yet every time I blink the circle is there. It doesn’t matter how much time I wait between blinks.
    I assume this is what is supposed to happen.

    1. Not for me. Sometimes after blinking I see the large circle in the centre, and sometimes not.

      Basically it makes no difference whether I blink or not. If I just stare at it without blinking, I see circles and straight lines appearing and disappearing. If I blink, I see the same. It makes no difference how quickly or how often I blink.

      If there’s a point to this illusion (or at least a point to the instruction “then blink”), I fail to see it.

  11. Ok it’s crazy. If I stare sometime at the center and then look somewhere else (preferably a white wall) I see a small square. When I blink it becomes a bigger rectangle. The next time I blink it changes back to the square, then the rectangle, then the square … Well, you get the idea.

  12. The entire image seems to be drifting to the left, and light and dark interesting lines appear and disappear along with two concentric circles.

  13. with one eye closed and my hand operating my other eyelid to open and close as quick as possible, I almost get to see the circle in the middle solid with the pentagram rotating around it

    1. “my hand operating my other eyelid” has to be one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while.

  14. At first, I saw the random ‘cells’ moving sort of diagonally to the lower left. Then I inadvertently blinked, and then immediately started seeing the circles. I can’t say for sure I DIDN’T see the circles, as I didn’t look very long without blinking.

    I do see other patterns, but the circles are the most obvious as they fade in and out.

    == John ==

  15. The animation repeats every second or so but if you stare at it different lines appear over several seconds depending on how your eyes interpret it.

  16. Wow! How cool! It’s motion illusion. I didn’t see anything strange at first. I scrolled down then up then saw it.

  17. I agree with edwardv – there seems to be an illusion that it’s moving to the left, though it probably isn’t, because I tried to make my eyes follow the movement and I didn’t end up falling off the left hand edge…

    I’m really bewildered as to what blinking has to do with this, apart from allowing one to freeze-frame the animation; but that would be true of many animations. That said, I do like this one. It is fascinating to watch the lines and circles appearing, sometimes black and sometimes white…

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