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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!

  • climber59

    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.

  • I can tell that they are moving, i checked.

    • Annishia

      no they are not, if u look closely at one dot, u can see it kinda wipes color on and off. so cool illusion!!

    • Cody

      explain to me how you “Checked” to see if they are moving?

  • Care Bear

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

  • qwertyuiop

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

    • Anonomous

      Yeah, your right on that one! It might just be for decoration, though…

  • catzrules


  • a person

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

  • smarty

    smart but all it is animations it is chaging coulour slightly

  • Sarah-Jane

    lovee it :)

  • rd

    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.

    • a person

      its so true!!

  • Jess

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

  • popcorn

    WOW thats so clever! :D

  • Slammer

    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.

  • zwerty


  • Vipul

    Mind Numbing!!!

  • ZL123

    This is too cool!

  • 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.

  • boh

    so cool

  • Radical Bombs


    Someone please put this on youtube :D

  • Miky Dallaire

    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

      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

      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.

  • cool

  • Yo Girl 123

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

  • Sharron

    I love it!!

  • Braedon James Poole

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

  • Sean

    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!

  • One of the best!

  • Jeff

    this is pretty close to what magic mushrooms do to you

  • Honey

    it really is awesome

  • Barbara Barron

    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!

  • Kristen

    That’s awesome!

  • Dinasaur

    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

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

    • Dinasaur

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

    • happydoodle

      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.

  • Jeffrey

    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.

  • Skyler


  • Richard Haviland

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

  • Jbomb

    Wow, some people are easily impressed!

    Okay illusion, but it’s nothing mind blowing!

  • Yo Girl 123

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

  • Josh

    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.

  • meindert

    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).

  • Sarah Hunt

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

  • 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

  • olivia

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

  • kira

    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.

  • ML

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

  • Bob

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

  • Bob

    If you isolate one dot you see it is legitimate

  • ream

    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.

  • GaryZ

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

  • I

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

  • J

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