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By on December 13, 2010, with 57 Comments

Here’s an incredible optical illusion David D. Dario D. created and submitted for our consideration. You’ll need to wait few seconds before the .gif file fully loads, but when it does I promise you’ll love it! Once the animation has started, you’ll quickly notice how outer-rim dots begin shifting themselves up and down. But what is so cool here, is that this is actually an illusion! Our little dots haven’t changed their starting position one bit! The only thing changing here is their color; from white to black and vice-versa!

Shifting Dots Optical Illusion


57 Responses
  1. climber59 says:

    I only see the .gif animate in the sidebar gadget and if I go to the url the pic is at, but not on this page.

  2. Jake O'Neill says:

    I can tell that they are moving, i checked.

  3. Care Bear says:

    Don’t people see enough goofyness at this time of year as it is? Now you throw this at them? BTW, it’s grrrreat.

  4. qwertyuiop says:

    cool illusion, but why is there a blue circle with eyes in the middle?

  5. catzrules says:


  6. a person says:

    that got my eyes before i caught up with what was really going on. That is so cool!!!

  7. smarty says:

    smart but all it is animations it is chaging coulour slightly

  8. Sarah-Jane says:

    lovee it :)

  9. rd says:

    Very cool. I am guessing it has something to do with the shadows. Even the white dots have shadows at the bottom. The shadow increases and goes almost to the top and the dots “rise up” with the shadow. Shadows normally move with motion, so our visual system may be trained to perceive movement when it sees changing shadows.

  10. Jess says:

    I love it!
    It’s so cool! and cute!(:

  11. popcorn says:

    WOW thats so clever! :D

  12. Slammer says:

    It’d be cool if they were all shifting outward instead of just up, so it’d be like pulsing. And then you could make the change go in a kind of circular way so itd be rotating too! pretty cool though.

  13. zwerty says:


  14. Vipul says:

    Mind Numbing!!!

  15. ZL123 says:

    This is too cool!

  16. Peter Gorham says:

    My goodness – it even looks like the space between the inner dots and outer dots gets smaller (on the bottom) and bigger (on the top). Well done.

  17. Radical Bombs says:


    Someone please put this on youtube :D

  18. Miky Dallaire says:

    Don’t forget the fact that one pixel on your screen are created from more than one eletronic LED. Even thought the space they use are very tiny, there is still a position shift.

    So yes, probably the images would still have a moving illusion on a sheet of paper if that was possible, but this is mostly cause by an electronic architecture. :-)

    Nice to look at anyway!

    • voigt_meister says:

      A pixel on today’s screens are much too small to add to the shit of the image. Also, the RGB components are positioned from left to right. The dots move up and down.

    • Myth says:

      Black and White in terms of pixel on the monitor means lighting up all colours and turning them off, so there’s no shifting at all in this sense.

  19. Yo Girl 123 says:

    it’s so obvious, the color is moving up and down, not the circles.

  20. Sharron says:

    I love it!!

  21. Braedon James Poole says:

    that is cool it must be the colour is coming from the bottom and it looks like it is moving up

  22. Sean says:

    At one glance, it looks like it is an animation. but if you put your mouse pointer at a dot, it really didn’t move! I am guessing that the black color goes over the white color from bottom to top, causing it to look as if the dots are moving!

  23. Jeff says:

    this is pretty close to what magic mushrooms do to you

  24. Honey says:

    it really is awesome

  25. Barbara Barron says:

    the black colour change fills the dots from bottom to top, almost like a glass filling with water, I’m sure it has something to do with it. because black’s a strong colour it “lifts” the dots.
    I may well be wrong!

  26. Kristen says:

    That’s awesome!

  27. Dinasaur says:

    hey vurdlak, theres a chain mail going on, and there are a bunch of funny illusions. Some of them had already been posted, but most havent. most of them are either RELATIVE SIZES illusions or the thing where a face from a book or a mag kinda blends into the persons head… but most are pretty cool, and some are just HILARIOUS!!! if u want to use some, post one at a time, this way this batch will last longer…

    • Dinasaur says:

      srry omg forgot the pics!!!! here they are.

    • Dinasaur says:

      what the… i cant download pics from my pc???? without a url??? plz give me ur email, ill send them then.

    • happydoodle says:

      ok first off its really dumb to give someone ur email wen u dont know them. and second, half the ppl who comment here or even look at the illusion prolly cldnt care less. im sry 2 burst ur bubble, but no one cares.

  28. Jeffrey says:

    It’s the shadows on the bottom of the dots– they always stay dark. So when the rest of the dot turns black, it merges with the shadow and seems to move upwards.

  29. Richard Haviland says:

    Someone did a lot of work creating this illusion, I think it’s great :)

  30. Jbomb says:

    Wow, some people are easily impressed!

    Okay illusion, but it’s nothing mind blowing!

  31. Yo Girl 123 says:

    It’s so obvious. The color is moving up and down, not the dots.

  32. Josh says:

    I don’t really think this is clever at all.

    One, if you move the “bottom” of an object up, you are still technically moving an object, even if in this case you could more think of it a rotating say a ball backwards (one that was half black and white).

    Secondly, would this work with any colour other than black? Your brain sort of thinks of the black as a shadow from the white moving, which isn’t really a trick.

  33. meindert says:

    How come that the pixels on the smaller version (on google gadget) are moving all over the show?
    And no that is not an illusion, if I put my mouse pointer on it you can see them move(On the google gadget page).

  34. Sarah Hunt says:

    This isn’t really an optical illusion, they creator used shadows to simulate depth. Common graphic design practice.

  35. Eugenia Ng says:

    my guess is tht it’s cuz the colours change in an up-down pattern — like a shade of black washes over the dots upwards but the white washes downwards

  36. olivia says:

    theres no moving its just the way they change colour witch makes it look like there moving

  37. kira says:

    The white actually pans down causing the effect. It is not alternating between just black and white but the white is overlaying on top of it by sliding down. This makes it seem like the dots are moving.

  38. ML says:

    if you stare at it the colour changes but it doesn’t move!

  39. Bob says:

    If you isolate one dot it is easy to tell it is legitimate.

  40. Bob says:

    If you isolate one dot you see it is legitimate

  41. ream says:

    those who think it is an illusion need to go back to third grade.

    It is the same effect as if you would move a lamp above a sphere. It is not just a color change.

  42. GaryZ says:

    It actually looks as if it’s breathing. IT”S ALIVE!!

  43. I says:

    i does that cuz wen its white, the bottom is black so it looks like the black is bigger

  44. J says:

    Scroll your mouse wheel up and down the gif. You will just see the color wipe without the movement.

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