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By on December 3, 2012, with 34 Comments

Spinning Girl Illusion ExplanationSpinning Girl Illusion ExplanationSpinning Girl Silhouette was an animated illusion that practically propelled our site to success few years ago. It was back in the old days when Digg was still a major player. Anyway, the article still receives certain amount of attention and comments, but I noticed how many still struggle seeing the lady spinning in both directions.

As you can recall it is possible to see the silhouette of this young dancer spin in both directions. Heck, some observers can even change the spinning-direction whenever they want. I still struggle, but on few occasions I was able to do just that!

Recently one of our fans shared his solution for this problem. Check the explanation below, where two additional representations of the same animation were synchronised and positioned next to the original. The only difference being the coloured contours, which should help you understand this famous illusion better.

When you’re done, there’s still something I’d like to show you – did you know our dancer had a Spinning Husband, and both of them have a Spinning Pet?! Bizarre, right? Check both of them, and try to repeat what you’ve just learned!

Spinning Girl Illusion Explanation


34 Responses
  1. dude says:

    i can see both ways!

  2. Hypersapien says:

    The version with the red and blue lines is several years old as well.

  3. hardcore says:

    This is one classic illusion and I love it! But there is a problem. Everytime I look at it, it changes directions before I see the girl turn completely! Also, who added breasts to her?

  4. Robyn says:

    Cool took a while but i see it now! :)

  5. Ty says:

    Wow, it’s a good thing that you had the solution posted. After watching the clockwise solution I see clockwise rotation, and vice versa.

  6. Carol Cheney says:

    I can make her change directions…. really cool… thanks for sharing!

  7. lodovicus says:

    hi ,, it’s quite helpful,

    but the real spinning direction is spinning to left. we can see it from the shadow of the silhouette it self, when the left foot away there will be a shadow, but it’s impossible for the right food to have a shadow when it spins from back to the front side,,,it’s my opinion :) it’s just for fun :) test our brain, lol ,, hope some one have a better way to explain what i see:) thanks

    • Wakener says:

      lodovicus–where the shadow would fall depends on which side the girl’s being lit from, and the direction of the lighting is as ambiguous as the direction of spin. In fact, concentrating on changing the lighting rather than the spin might help some people reverse her direction at will!

  8. Pest says:

    Ahh thank you for this. I saw the post with the original spinning girl awhile back and for the life of me couldn’t get her to switch.

    But thanks to this I can see it perfectly now!

  9. Shelley says:

    He nailed it. I can actually see her spinning in both directions at the same time thanks to the very simple colorations. Go figure.

  10. General Catacus says:

    I…. don’t get it.

  11. Wess says:

    This is the coolest one I have seen on here.

  12. Tom says:

    If you look to the left of the image you can get it to go from clockwise to counterclockwise. If you concentrate you can get it to go right to left and left to right without revoling completely

  13. Ben Gibson says:

    Very strange indeed, at first i was REALLY looking hard at the spinning picture trying to make it turn the other way, but had no success in changing its direction, but then i saw the other variations and after that i could easily switch her directions whenever i wanted, its so weird to think that they are the same animation. very clever.

  14. Fritz says:

    I had trouble at first, but I found by concentrating on the tip of her foot at the right time, I was able to see the spin direction instantly reverse.

  15. Finkle says:

    Didn’t even notice, thought you were pedaling some sort of BS.. But being with your desktop ap for a year or two, maybe three, I figured I’d read on a little; and sure enough deliver is your specialty.

  16. polkiju says:

    This is a very good explanation. I think it would be stronger if it didn’t have the shadow…….

  17. lettie says:

    if you cover the top of her body and just look at her feet, it is easier to see both directions without looking at the other diagrams!!

  18. George says:

    initially i saw her spinning in a single direction, then she starting doing half turns from the back to the front in alternating directions.

  19. suor de sapo says:

    Now it’s very easy to change spinning direction.
    Where are those who claimed that was a fake with two different Gif? Maybe still remain a few of them, like in the 2012 doomsday bullsh*t…

  20. Eddie says:


  21. sasostojki says:

    If you only look at the reflection of her ”spinning leg” the she will be moving only from left to right and vice versa ,so then she would not be spinning at all!!!
    Maybe another illusion within the illusion :-)

  22. Tommy says:

    look at the girl then hold you finger between you eyes like your pointing up, then rotate your hand in the direction you want it to go

  23. Clixnix says:

    Dear Earthlings,

    You have been royally fooled. She is not spinning around at all. Not clockwise. Not counterclockwise. Cover up all but the shadow of her feet. You will see that she actually is oscillating back and forth in a 90 degree arc while bouncing up and down.

    Still, it produces a nice optical illusion.

  24. Elain says:

    I can see it spinning both ways my problem is with all three of those images, I am seeing two spin in opposite ways.

  25. Adam Klemm says:

    Actually it’s the hips. The rotation can be reduced to a quater turn simply by looking at the hip moving up and down. I’ve never seen this before. But, I’m a consummate puzzler since I could walk. I’m old now and my father always bought me spacial puzzles.

    Love thos though. Sharing on FB.

  26. Adam Klemm says:

    My mistake, half turn. As she passes through a quarter, quickly lookat her standing knee and run your eyes up to her hip. You’ll get it immediately. Took me less than a minute. Want to watch her spin… don’t use the maneuver til you want to

  27. azkesz says:

    hey, at least she’s naked

  28. Faith says:

    I can see her turning right, left and also going back and forth without doing a full turn.

  29. Mad Raven says:

    The secret to making her switch directions is to watch her feet and the shadows of her feet gazing not staring at the heel of the standing leg. A few seconds and she changes direction

  30. sinistral says:

    You hacked my brain

  31. Kelsey says:

    This is fake. The figure changes her direction every few seconds. That’s why you think you are seeing her spin in both directions. Look at her arms. One time her right arm is raised, the next thing you know, her left arm is raised. NIce try but very fake.

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