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By on March 9, 2009, with 98 Comments

Disappearing Surfaces Optical IllusionAs you can imagine, it becomes harder and harder for me to find quality optical illusions, and continue posting them regularly. Often I wonder will a day come, when there is no fresh material left for me to post. Fortunately, there are still few hundred never before published illusions sitting on my computer, but I still highly depend on you guys and gals, and your regular quality submissions. So keep ‘em coming – please! Before you send you submission, ask yourself these questions first: Was my illusion already published on MOI? Is the picture interesting enough? Is the effect good enough? Is the quality of the picture good enough?

For today I picked this tremendous, yet simple example of Disappearing surfaces. Although, you may think this illusion isn’t as complex as you are used to, I promise the effect it holds justifies its presence. Loyal visitors may already experienced this effect through our “Disappearing Act” category, but will probably enjoy this as much as all of our newcomers. What you should do, is simply concentrate on the center black dot, until both of the blue rectangles disappear. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. It usually takes around 30 seconds or more for the effect to happen. That’s all folks, enjoy!


98 Responses
  1. Anonymous says:


    Your doing a great job, keep it up!

  2. CareBear says:

    I love the illusions that mess with my perception. Things are not always what they appear to be.synesi

  3. Sazzy-Jane says:


  4. Tamira says:

    Great! Even though I only manage to make the blue boxes fade, not totally dissapear…

  5. Anonymous says:

    That’s so cool! I love stuff like this! Love the site!

  6. Anonymous says:

    awesome! i love these types of illusions! keep up the good work!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hope you keep posting during the march break,you should look into some books, theres one I have called Masters of Deception, its all categories but different authors, there all great illusions. Anyways, about todays illusion, I don’t think they quite dissapear but they fade out. Keep up the good work!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I blink too much with my eyes, so they didn’t totally disappear, but there was some effect.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow!! loved it. What happened to the rectangles? they dissapeared for about 3 seconds.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wow, it really works. What is strange is that, even though i saw them dissapear, i saw the dots duplicate and the boxes become larger. But anyways, great work. Keep it up.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Nice, but I think it was Photoshopped :)

  12. Holzi says:

    HELP! The blue rectangles disappeared, but now I see pink rectangles – crazy!

  13. Anonymous says:

    this hurts my eyes; but its awesome :D

  14. tresornancy says:

    great illusion, keep up with this great work !!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes only one would disappear and it took a while for me, but finally both boxes disappeared! Wonder if this is ‘easier’ for some?

  16. Nebbit says:

    cool illusion. keep up the good work. I think (this could be a spoiler?) that they dissapear because theyre not in motion and your eyes are focused on the dot, so your brain kind of “forgets” about the rectangles. im not tring to be scientific or anything but in other illusions like this one, the dot in the middle or something like that are usually moving to draw more attention from your brain (or something like that). This is what ive heard from other sites…

  17. NYCgirl says:

    Cool! Does anyone know what it is that causes us to see that disappearing effect?

  18. Edgar says:

    It took about 3 seconds for them to disappear on me.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Great, they really did disappear. After moving my eyes I saw them again with a red shape around them. Does anybody recognize this effect?

  20. Anonymous says:

    I think its really cool. when u 1st look at it your mind tells u – “yeah, right” this isnt gonna work. and then it does. the mind/brain-are they one of the same? these type of illusions shows us the capacities of chamilians (did i spell that right?) that are among us right in our “sight”.?

  21. zigyzigger says:

    didn’t work for me i just got red hazes round the edges that made them look 3d

  22. rosa says:

    amazing,your illusions are always great,strange,interesting,funny.rosa

  23. Dakota86 says:

    While daydreaming (dazed staring), I discovered that I can see things others can’t see – or do. I can see a color and it’s opposite at the SAME time. I can see the color of a person’s energy around them. Because I’ve been doing this for some time, staring at that black dot does NOT make the rectangles disappear. What I see is both the light green and it’s opposite color (red/ pink) around the edges of each box.

  24. FaQ says:

    I think it works because the colors are so light. If the squares were darker, it might not work.

  25. Anonymous says:

    whoa dude !!!

  26. Anonymous says:

    this is so obviously fake. You can see some photoshopped it. You guys are idiots.

  27. pattykins says:

    it happened pretty quickly for me….like 5-10 seconds. one block at a time. then i broke concentration for a second n the edges of the block came back but only like a pinkish highlight around them. then actual pink blocks in a diff spot than the originals.

    maybe ive done too much acid in the past lol

    very nice tho

  28. Barnabasje says:

    14 seconds!

  29. rubinho_152 says:

    OAHHH, THAT’S COOL, it’s one of the best you have published.

  30. scottie2hottie says:

    Excellent Illusion! It worked in about 10 seconds for me!

  31. OuRaNoS says:

    It was like… The edges faded away then the rest of the driangles dissapeared!! COOL!!!

    Ur illusions were nice so far
    Don’t worry about ur computer, and those people, they’ll send great stuff to you…

  32. Craig says:

    This is an example of Stabilized Fading

  33. bleurgh says:

    I love this illusion… Its really weird.

    And it hasnt been photoshopped… At least i dont think it has been.

  34. Anonymous says:

    it works but as soon as my head moves i see the boxes again

  35. Anonymous says:

    how this works: the blue light from the boxes hits your retina and triggers what-ever parts make you see blue. these parts of your retina get tired and you can’t see blue in that part of your eye.

  36. Craig says:

    The gradual change between the box and the background is a poor stimulus for sustaining visual perception. However, if you allow your eyes to freely move over the stimulus (the boxes) the perception of it will be sustained.

    If for example the were a dark border around each box, or even one that would be enough to sustain the stimulus and thus the boxes (or box) would not disappear.

    When the stimulus is a gradual change, the change in stimulation is so slight as to approach that encountered by the steady state condition of a stabilized image. As a result the boxes fade, or dissolve into the background.

  37. AngelicTies25 says:

    very cool ;)

  38. JP says:

    Surely great! I think this happens because of the light!

  39. Anonymous says:

    It wasn’t really 30 seconds, they were gone in 3!

  40. Anonymous says:

    Google “Troxler fading”. This is what the illusion is demonstrating. In short, the photoreceptors in the periphery become desensitized to the stimulus due to image stabilization on the retina. A good real life example is the blood vessels at the back of your eye. You don’t see them normally because they are stable on the retina however if you shine a light into the eye and cast a shadow of the vessels on the retina then it is sometimes possible to see them for a short period of time.

  41. Anonymous says:

    WOW it works and sort of looks like a door with windows :D…

  42. Anonymous says:

    i agree it only fades or at least one completely dissapears and the other doesnt

  43. Anonymous says:

    took 7 seconds, then i tried it again and it took 2 seconds,, after that i could look at the black dot and the boxes would disappear right away!!!

    p.s.(to the dumbies who have something against photoshop) what does it matter if it was photoshopped??? its still an optical illusion…the impssible truangle thing is usually photoshopped too!!!

    anyways…i <3 this site and have it on my desktop so that i can see a new illusion everyday!!!

    keep up the good work!!!

    <3 M.

  44. Anonymous says:

    For those of you who asked how this is possible. Its preception with the eyes and how your brain processes the image.

    HINT: the squares are lightly coloured compared to the dark dot

  45. slide says:

    it´s great, how do you do that??

  46. naph says:

    this amazing, I wish I had found this site years ago

  47. b.f says:

    WOOOAAAHHH! thats so cool tell me how it works!

  48. Abraham says:

    That is AWSOME!

  49. me says:

    WTF anonomys! how is it Photoshoped? it just messes with your perception.

  50. PaperMoon says:

    Wow cool! They really did disappear! Hahah! :)

  51. Kizza Ezra says:

    I am really just happy with this I burst out into laughters

  52. Derek says:


  53. thenewitgurl says:

    b4 it disappeared i saw some red alike brushes in each side of the rectangles then it disappear. Nice illusion!

  54. theEgg says:

    After about ten seconds the blue rectangles started to blur, then disappeared completely.

  55. agantz says:

    it worked but it kept fading in and out

  56. Nathialia says:

    I have been watching several of these images of “dissapearance”, and, I don’t know why, but even if I look at the images for a minute, it does not work with me, I still see the rest of the rest of the image (not just this one). It just does not work. ???

  57. Mirta says:

    haha, i started smiling when it disappeared :D
    awesome illusion. it started to blur slowly and then disappeared.

  58. Anonimous says:

    You have to focus your eyes on the black dot throughly. Even if you do, when you blink it will come back.

  59. DX D4N DX says:

    wtf nothing like even happened…u have way to much time on ur hands

  60. mikayla says:

    i did it too

  61. KuroSeishin says:

    They started blurring out on me, but then I ended up with two black dots. O.o

    • Stanleyyay says:

      yeah that happens to me couple of times too just keep trying or whatever…………… IMA FIRIN MAH LAZOR!!!!!!!

  62. oldephart says:

    Nathialia.. DX D4N DX.. The problem is, your LOOKING at it (the dot).. Have you ever stared at something long enough that it eventually looked like a tunnel? Thing is, you wasn’t looking at it but instead your were studying something entirely different in your mind as you stared at the object.. THAT’S what you have to do here if it’s that difficult to envision. Works good for me.

  63. awesom says:

    wow this is really awesome if u squint the rectangles come back and u have to start over

  64. usman khan says:

    it was amazing.It taken only 10 sec for me to see this amazing stuff.

  65. Stanleyyay says:

    OMG it actually worked for me :))

  66. jenny LOL! says:

    wew my eyes start hurtin but than the blues dissapear wow!! 5 stars :D

  67. jenny LOL! says:

    pokemon hi

  68. billybfree says:

    If you continue to stare at the dot after the rectangles disappear, the black dot develops a white halo that flares out as the black dot gets smaller. Very freaky…loved it!

  69. KLB says:

    took 10 seconds to disappear then there was the outline of the rectangle came back with the top and left blue and the bottom and right red. Finally red rectangles ones appeared with the blue rectangles

  70. sheryl says:

    The blue gets dimmer but does not disappear. In fact I see pink come up and surround the blue surround the blue sections and change size. I guess that’s another optical illusion.

  71. ricel says:

    wooow… very nice

  72. lilywazhere says:


  73. nico says:

    haha i fooled my mind and sight yay!!!! i looked at the whole picture first but after a while i looked at the black dot thinking there really are those rectangles then after almost like 30 secs they didnt disappear but then i tried it again it seem i wasnt thinking that there is rectangles there the poof its gone

  74. stuart says:

    The blue faded but never completely disappeared. It would be interesting to create almost the same illusion with less sharp boundaries on the rectangles, blue fading into grey. I believe it would work better for me.

  75. awseomeness says:

    it actually worked 4 me! the blue did dissapere!

  76. malakian says:


  77. Gabe says:

    I got it to disappear in 5 sec

  78. lee says:

    It’s easy. You’re brain stops replaying the information that it thinks is there. You never really “see” the blue squares because it becomes in your peripheral, and you start only seeing grey.

  79. Rubyshoes says:

    As I stared at the dot it became two dots and the blue boxes disappeared. Normal or should I have my eyes checked???

  80. Illy says:

    I saw a white dot behind the black dot and then coming out and the blue boxes starting to disappear.

  81. Hippie says:

    Nothing is as important as the single black dot!
    All hail the ever present black dot!

  82. Donna m says:

    Wow that’s great

  83. MM says:

    Great. 10 seconds and it disappeared.

  84. Jan - Paul says:

    O I forgot the details you focus on only one spot and see what happens…………. wow now there’s only 2 colors wait now thers only blue and only certain parts wooowwwwwwwww mei brain?

  85. Jan - Paul says:

    It is looking dum because I drawn it but design it on a computer and the effects will be asome cool unbelievable mind blowing (if and wen you see it after I show/send it to you)

  86. wolfwoman says:

    It worked for me. I also found out that if I stare at the dot awhile then quickly back away, a pink haze appears and fills the entire top third and bottom third of the space.

  87. Swag says:

    I’ve seen this before
    the rectangles always stay there, they disappear only a little

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