Stepping Feet Optical Illusion

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Here’s an interesting optical illusion animation I discovered earlier today. Check out them traveling feet on your right: one may think they tend to step out of phase every now and then when the radial grid becomes visible, yet in reality their movement is always constant and parallel. This becomes obvious whenever the grid disappears.

It is as if they were some sort of tiny feet going tip-tap-tip-tap… Right? The effect is even more pronounced if one does not look directly onto the feet.

Illusions such as this one truly have a remarkable character – after a while it becomes obvious what is really happening here (since they kindly provide us with time to study their secret, because of their continuously repeating animation), yet they still manage to fool us over and over again. As they repeatedly switch from normal to illusory state, the magic happens right in front of our eyes! I just hope you enjoyed today’s optical illusion as much as I did!

29 Comments

  1. i got how it works! the yellow blends in with the white strips and is unsee-able while its front is in the white, and seems to stop for a moment, but then catch up with the blue when it reaches black!

    • Hello Michael, glad to have you onboard. The source and author of this optical illusion (one I received via user submission) is Excel Hero, and is properly credited inside the post. I have also written the accompanying text by myself, but as you noticed the inspiration probably came from a quote on his site.

    • @Vurdlak: Ah, now I see. I had searched for a link to the source, but not clicked on those particular words. Ok.

      @Daniel: yes, I remember our exchanges. Great work!

      Best, Michael

  2. Fun! As you say, the way the illusion works is obvious. But then, given that, I’ve tried to see if my “understanding mind” can override my “immediate sense mind” such that I can see continuous motion that I know is really there.

    So far, I’ve tried but I can’t. What I *can* do is focus on just one of the “feet” and see its continuous movement, but while focussing on that one “foot”, the other one continues to jerk.

    Wow!

  3. I think those blocks actually stop every now and then. I tried following them with the mouse and found that they don’t actually move smoothly when the background appears. If I’m right, then this is not really an illusion.

    Try for yourself and see.

    With that said, I love most of illusions on this site.

  4. @Vurdlak, thank you for sharing this old post of mine!

    @Michael Bach, thank you for giving me permission to post my replica of your tremendous work.

    @Golfer, you are correct about the feet, but it is not the illusion’s fault. The screen recording of the illusion was turned into an animated GIF. The GIF is not capable of rendering the true nature of the illusion over the entire revolution of the circle.

    If you look at the MS Excel file that the screen recording was done from, you will see that the illusion is smooth and honest:

    http://www.excelhero.com/blog/2010/08/excel-optical-illusions-week-25.html

  5. What popped out at me almost immediately is the illusion of a vortex when the grid disappears. To me, that is better than the intended illusion…An illusion within an illusion. Great one!

  6. This illusion is a Fake!
    When you allign a straught edge with the blue and yellow block edges and make it rotate at the same speed as the blocks then you will see the shift in position of the blue and yellow blocks relative to each othet when the blacl & white radial segments appear.

    Optical illusions can be great fun but this one is not an illusion.

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