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By on February 26, 2010, with 52 Comments

Am I the only one with a problem, seeing these two images (second one can be found inside) as one continuous spiral line? In reality, both of them are constructed out of many concentric circles, yet the pattern filling their background somehow prevents us from seeing the image in it’s true nature. I wouldn’t expected anything less from great optical illusions, like these two! There were many similar examples in the past, but these are my favorites for now. Which one worked better for you? I liked the first one better, but in my belief the illusion works better with second example. If you have few more minutes, I recommend you check the Spiral Tag, and see many more where these came from!

Update: In the first image, I was referring to pink line only.

Optical Illusion Spiral - Concentric Circles 1

Optical Illusion Spiral - Concentric Circles 2

  • mastermind

    look like a tornado looking from top inside but still need a coffee

  • Mr_Victorious

    O.0 wow….. pretty colors!

  • Jeff

    The first one IS a series of spirals. I carefully followed some of the lines and, yes, they spiral.

  • wandering_goat

    I might just be tired, but I don’t see any concentric circles in the first picture – it looks like all spirals to me, following them with my finger. The second one is definitely made up of circles though.

  • http://www.google.com joe B

    the bottom one actually looks like independent circles to me, but that top one is seriously hard to see as anything but a spiral

  • k h

    I’m not sure if the first one is really a group of concentric circles or a spiral with lines that fade from one colour into another. If you pick one colour and follow it as it crosses other colours it will go in a complete circle…sort of.

  • Louie

    Both of them are definitely circles. At first, I thought the first one consisted of rainbow spirals. However, I was able to shrink the first picture down in Microsoft Word and the more I shrunk the picture, the more it became apparent that it’s rainbow colored circles. It’s the way the colors are inside the circles as well as the green spiral going the opposite direction that creates the optical illusion.

  • JR

    Jeff- you’re not following as carefully as you think. Start with the two center – and very apparent – circles.

  • Kathy

    Love the colors on the first one. BTW, if you invert the colors, the image stays the same.

  • Dusty

    I took the top and copied into MS Word and drew a circle around the pink areas. I found that they are circles not spirals. Even after doing that, I still can’t look at it without seeing the spirals. And without the cheat from the drawing tools, I can’t see the circles as they get bigger. Awesome site.

  • Rick Haviland

    Love the spirals, love the colors, love the movement, love the second one; seems to have more movement the longer I stare at it.

  • James Barron

    I think the top is either concentric circles or spirals depending on how you look at them. If you group hot colors together and cool colors together, then they are concentric circles. If you let orange blend into green and back and let pink blend into blue and back, then they are clearly spirals. I think it’s like the Einstein/Maryland Monroe illusion from way back. At the outside where you can see the blend from one color to the other, the eyes naturally follow that way. In the middle, those subtle details are no longer noticeable, and your eyes then group like colors together instead.

  • BraDRoBBo

    Vurdlak, i’m sorry but the first one IS spiral(s), the only way it isn’t is it you count the colour fade/blend/change as part of the same line – and even then that means it forks off into both a spiral and back into the same circle aswell

    and yeah i remember when you’ve posted something very similar to the bottom one before :)

  • Alex

    It’s times like this I curse being red/green colorblind.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristin-Torkelsen/1601970046 Kristin Torkelsen

    wow. check this… I could only see spirals in the first. THEN! I soft focused my eyes and looked at it like I wasn’t focusing on any one part of the picture. Then, I saw circles in the center. Little rings. It dissappeared when I focused on the actual parts of the pic again. Just look blankly at the picture and let your mind go blank… don’t focus and you will see them in the center. It didn’t work as well with further out from the center.

  • Ann Reid

    The first one really makes your eyes go crazy. I see many different spirals, size of spirals and colors of the spirals.

  • sugarplumcrush

    wow.i think im blind

  • Äxel El


  • the dirty knapkin

    the pink/red line is a circle

  • the dirty knapkin

    so are the blue/black lines

  • Kidsrock12347

    the first one i still see a spirl but, i will try what dusty did!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nished-Singhal/737991549 Nished Singhal

    i agree…..d ilusion works better wid d second 1.

  • Talia

    *******if you squint your eyes, you can totally tell that they are circles, not a spiral.

  • coolio toolio

    that axed up body is ferral discusting and willl always be rotting it’s life out

  • coolio toolio

    yck yuck yuck yuck
    i just vomited

  • Janelle McDermott

    top one is very convincing, also had to copy to Word and use Formal Picture to convince myself. Can’t help but see spirals in the pic. Blue one is much easier but still good!

  • Archana Suresh

    If you see the centre ones in the first one – you can make out the circles- however will take it in word as suggested by someone here too…
    Love your site.

  • N

    i see a spiral for the 1st one but not the 2nd

  • Sarah

    For the first image I had to shrink it down in MS word, but I found out that if you ignore the blue part of the rainbow then you can see the circles.

  • NeeL

    Top one are definitely circles. Black and blue circles and red and pink circles. As Louie mentioned, the colours in the circles are positioned so that you see a spiral.

  • http://ROFLcopter.com/flash.flv FS

    yeah i HATE two the conentric circles who makes the illusion of a spiral

  • Erick B. Coria

    HEADACHE! Hahaha, love the first one but I cannot stare at it for that long!

  • mavy

    My Photoshop analysis reveals: The top image consists of a spiral that changes color from blue to pink every 120 degree or so. You also have red concentric circles which sort of melt into the blue/pink spiral and thus are hard to see. And then of course you have the green arched lines.

  • mavy

    Ahem… the pink parts of the blue spiral are of course due to the under/overlaying red circles. ;)

  • Detective Kitty

    The first one does have circles but they’re is a spiral (the blue) entertwined with the circles, i can only see like two circles in the center. if you ignore the blue spiral you can sort of see only circles but i think for the first one it kind of breaks the rules a little with that one entertwining it…

  • Uncle Quentin

    Place your hand so that it covers one half of the image. You will then be able to discern a series of semi-circles in the exposed half. If you then move your hand away slowly, and concentrate the full circles will be revealed – no need for Photoshop – LOL.

  • vikramaditya

    i could not follow the first one, doesnt seem like perfect circles but the second one is really good.

  • Jason

    Top one I pulled into Photoshop. The blue and green ARE spirals. The red is circles.

  • Stacey

    Neither of them really worked, the bottom one its completely obvious that they are circles an the top one has used spirals but not all the colours are spirals.

  • http://fluidg.com David Morrow Guthrie

    This demonstrates one of the keys to the way nature operates between to states to create the hologram that we call “reality.” It’s like toggling a switch between two images to create a third dimension.

  • amanda

    the first one spirals, second… not so much.

    pretty colors O.o

  • mikey

    if u stare in the middle of the color full one and look up u see it on the siling

  • xaklee

    wow!!it makes ma spin…it is really dizzy..

  • Milah

    Wow. they actually are circles. even the first one. you just have to pay close attention to the first one. the circles are in groupings: red and pink; blue and green. just follow it from the origin and you will find it ;)

  • Someone

    The First Picture Is Awesome If You Have A Negative Color

  • Alex

    Where is the second part?

  • DROP3S

    just scroll the mouse wheel while pressing down the control(zoom out)

  • DROP3S

    most of them are circles but im not sure about the blue one

  • DROP3S

    oops blue and green one

  • fossda

    i have also found 2 other illusions in both pictures:

    If you stare at the center of the picture in the 1st picture, the the blue and pink lines disappear for a second, and then appear again.. Also, if you quickly switch between normal colour and negative, it looks like you are going through the circles, which looks like a spiral. `on the second picture, if you look near the the picture but not at it, and scroll up and down, it looks like the center of the picture is moving. Also, if you quickly switch between normal colour and negative, it looks like the whole picture is rotating.

    To quickly switch between normal colour and negative on a mac, press ctrl+alt+cmd.

  • Sean

    Close an eye and start at the center and look at it that way

  • james

    guys look at the bottom 1 wif ur eyes almost closed the more closer the more magical