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By on January 30, 2009, with 60 Comments

As the title of this post states, the wheel below can be seen spinning in both directions. Don’t believe me? Try to concentrate on the outer rim first. You should automatically see the wheel spinning leftward. But if you notice the center cog, and start looking solely on it, it should help you see the wheel spinning in opposite direction – rightwards. With a little exercise, you should be able to switch it’s direction each second. Yeah, the illusion exploits some functions of our brain in a way I’m not sure I can understand. More info on this can be found inside the Spinning Girl article.

Wheel That Spins in Both Directions


60 Responses
  1. Sarah says:

    This is so cool! I love it! :D

  2. Anonymous says:

    ok, it is so low on fps that I can switch easely while concentring on the center it s true
    big love

  3. Anonymous says:

    but somehow it seams naturaly going on the left if you look well at the shadows and reflects, only while looking at the middle you can see it going to the right, I think it ain t that cool :p
    so much love anyway my dear M.O.Illusions

  4. Anonymous says:

    well this is pretty cool:)
    i can see it spinning in both directions but irts easy to tell its naturally going clockwise.
    but i like it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    wow that looks wierd :p nice illusion

  6. Scott Carter says:

    This illusion poses an interesting brain training challenge. It wasn’t difficult to perceive the wheel spinning in each direction. So if you find this so, see if you can persuade your brain to alternate between perception of left and right spin. It’s tempting to shift your eyes and treat this differentiation as a visual thing, but it’s not. Feel your brain shift. Then do it again and again, repeating the action faster and faster. I found that I could almost make it stop mid spin, reverse for about 120 degrees, and reverse again. It reminds me of a dancing figure swaying back and forth. I’m working on making him stand still and just flicker.

  7. Lisa says:

    MOI should post some of those magic eye pictures… I’m not sure if they are illusions, but they are awesome nevertheless… love the illusion

  8. fuckstick says:

    its only going in one direction. the outer part is clockwise and the middle center piece is counter clockwise.

    nontheless it’s not bad.

  9. K-milk says:

    HOLY CRAP! Can any one else see the center spinning clock wise and the rest of the wheel spinning counter clock wise?

    Nice one!

  10. FaQ says:

    ACK! My head’s about to explode!
    I Think I’ll focus on this more next time when I’m not bogged down with the task of writing a 4-page opinion on a court case within the next two hours for my political science class….=(

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is great. I like the spinning girl better, but I like the coloring used in this one. Keep up the great site.

  12. Anonymous says:

    this reminds me, it has been a while since i have eaten good acid. i need to work on that.

  13. Anonymous says:

    As always, good illusion Vurdlak! One small complaint– if I look at it too long, it makes me sick! my brain and my eyes are NOT in agreement, lol!

  14. taylorswiftforlife<3333 says:

    ahh when i first opened the article i immediately saw it spinning right/clockwise.

    then after reading that it should be easier to see it spinning leftward, it became really hard for me to see it going clockwise!
    i can only get it to go clockwise/right for a couple of seconds.

    haha well cool illusion! thanks <3

  15. bradrobbo says:

    omg waow thats good!:) if you look toward the centre, it appears to be going clockwise, whereas if you look towards the edge(s), it appears to be going anti clockwise…. i guess its because it is in fact actually doing both, the different parts of the wheel, nice illusion thanks for posting!:)

  16. Max says:

    I think there is a lot more to this illusion then at first glance, but I think I got it. Obviously, the center cog rotates clockwise and it seems like the wheel rotates counterclockwise. However, if you follow a little lump on one of the arms of the wheel, it moves clockwise as well. Also, for some reason the shadow of the cog moves clockwise consistantly with the lump, and if you follow the shading on the rim it moves clockwise too. I think this makes it seem like the wheel is wobbling about. Lastly, it resets after about 200 degrees of rotation, maybe to add to the effect.
    Awesome illusion man, pretty darn tricky.

  17. Heijru says:

    the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the town lol

  18. cronic_005 says:

    this one = realy too muchh,, i can keep my mindz spinning for hours and hours,, hahah,,

    greetz from amsterdam,,hollanda,,

  19. Katy says:

    You can tell its going clockwise cuz of the shadow in the middle. Good Illusion:)

  20. Babayage says:

    I can see a relatively smooth movement to the left and the center turning clockwise. For a couple of seconds I can manage to have the whole wheel turn clockwise, too, but the movement is rather inconstant then, as if it was constructed of less pictures…

  21. Kitty says:

    Scott, I see what your saying, absolutely love it….fantastic illusion, my favourite so far.

  22. Anonymous says:

    xD Really COOL!

  23. Dontremb says:

    This is a similar illusion to many that have been posted here.

    The wheel is not actually spinning in either direction. It’s just different pictures of the wheel strung together at a low FPS.

    It’s your brain that makes it seem like it’s spinning in one direction or the other. That’s why you can ‘change’ the direction.

    It’s also why it appears to ‘reset’ after so long and go the other way. It’s the same with the classic balerina shadow. Your brain can only maintain one direction for so long before it automatically switches to the other direction.

  24. Anonymous says:

    There’s a band I like call Porcupine Tree. They used that illusion in one of their videos.

  25. ScrOuch says:

    This is the same effect like a very fast wheel at a car. There you also think it might turn in the opposite direction because our eye can not make as much pictures as needed to see what’s really going on.
    Our brain chooses the one direction where one spoke is nearest to the spoke before. So it looks like the wheel can also turn leftwards but it definitely turns rightwards! =)

  26. Anonymous says:

    there is no point trying to figure it out

    This is the devils work, you can even see lava in the background

  27. Strawberry says:

    That hurts my eyes

  28. Anonymous says:

    Ha, ha I’ve seen things like these before, but I’m not good at making it change directions yet… but now i’m better, sometimes i cant make it change back for ages though, not the smoothest illusion, but thanks for sharing- you’ll see it works for any spinning wheel as well

  29. Anonymous says:

    I do see the spinning each way. but, no matter how many times i look at it, the very first thing i c, and the thing i see the longest, is that the pegs are spinning one way, and the shadow and bolt are spinning the opposite direction. the overall spinning i can see for all of about 2 secconds.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Is it only me seeing that center is moving one direction and outer rim on another direction. and this happens at the same time! can not see the whole wheel movin in one direction as a whole body at the same time

  31. Ferrari says:

    i´m a fan but this is boring!!!
    you can see it on every road! every car reaches a point where the wheels look like this! it´s an interesting effect but for an illusion it´s boring! sry

  32. Tripudelops says:


  33. Anonymous says:

    for me, the centre spins clockwise, the pole things spin anti clockwise and the outer circle spins clockwise

  34. Bonnise says:

    omg i could stare at that for hours! i loved the fact that it spis in both directions… May i ask why the background is sooooo eighties-ish???

    all in all, it was cool. thanks for the awesome page!

  35. fernigarza says:

    Lol if you really really focus, there is amoment when you can see the wheel going one directon, and the little bearing attached to the center going the other direction at the same time! That is a nice illusion.

  36. Shelob says:

    It looks like the symbol for Spore!!!!

  37. Gary says:

    this one makes me nauseous!

  38. sumlikeithaute says:

    It goes the opposite way for me!
    When I focus on the outer rim it turns to the RIGHT and when I focus on the inner parts it turns left.

    My guess is it’s not spinning at all but a few different pics of the wheel at different motions strung together.

  39. Anonymous says:

    wow, this is really cool! i love it.

  40. Anonymous says:

    i can only make it spin left :S

  41. Anonymous says:

    dun concentrate on wheel but at least see it. it should appear spinning rightward!!

  42. testes says:

    this not cool, i’ve been experience this every single day while staring at my room’s table fan.. its the same like this picture

  43. purplepeopleeater says:

    what am i looking for i really dont get it

  44. andrea says:

    sarah.. really lmao

  45. Zerro says:

    look at this it look like the 5 blades rotate counter clockwise while that thing in the middle rotates clockwise its confusing but cool tho ^^

  46. littleladygoldie says:

    what Zerro said…

  47. Sandy says:

    There must be something wrong with my perception b/c I can’t get it to spin the other direction, and I’ve been trying for a while now.

  48. ack says:

    i like this. but kinda irritated to, it seems like the wheel is turning left and right slowly like a clog thats just starting to work, the nit becomes a rapid rolling cog.

    although I don’t know if this is true, because for the other illusion i tried making it my desktop background and nothing happened….

  49. Jeffrey says:

    This one sucks. Sorry, but ones like the ferris wheel are much better.
    Plus, the picture makes up its mind for you which way it is going due to the shadow in the center.
    All this crappiness is in addition to the fact that it’s missing a frame.
    This one is fail.

  50. cheyenne says:

    i think its because of that black color right ther !

  51. ANOMYNOUS says:


  52. aly says:

    i only see one direction

  53. samarendra patra says:

    the wheel is spinning in just one direction aniclockwise but its middle section (the bolt)is spinning clockwise. thats why the wheel looks like its spinning in both ways. but actually its not.

  54. Moillusions lover says:

    I agree with Anonymous

  55. Cham says:

    The wheel isnt actually spinning to me. I found the reason but Im not telling.

  56. jen says:

    you can see the BIG part of the wheel spinning in both directions, depends on the way you look at it and also how your brain works. More likely atleast I see it in counterclockwise direction but also clockwise at times.

    The thing is: focus on the wheel and imagine it going in clockwise direction, you can fool your brain for a moment.

  57. kay says:

    look at the middle cog thats only spinning one way and so is the big part of the wheel!

  58. Pikachu .-. says:


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