Ziggy Travelers Optical Illusion

I have found something interesting today. As you see, the continuous animation on your left, pictures three grayish rods traveling up and down – indefinitely. Optical illusion produced here, makes my brain think the rods are also traveling to the right, altogether moving in a zigzagged direction. Am I the only one experiencing this? Do I have your support, or have I gone completely mad? Please tell me. Those black and white tiles located inside our little rods, surely appear often! It can’t be they are there by mistake. It’s funny how often we meet them. They were also present in our last illusion (funny building), if I’m not mistaken. Hope someone creates similar animations using this technique – there could be few more interesting results, don’t you think? Credit for this animation goes to Scott Henderson from Cool Illusions.

171 Replies to “Ziggy Travelers Optical Illusion”

  1. Don’t worry, you’re not going mad! I’m having the same experience :)

    so unless I’m going mad to, you’re doing fine ;)


  2. If I look directly on the picture, I can’t see that they also moving to the right, but while I was reading the text I saw it. It’s strange, but somehow I can only see it if I look right next to the picture…

    sorry for my bad english…

  3. If you’ve gone mad, so have I! I never dreamed that they weren’t moving horizontally until I read your description. Even then I had to look at it awhile until I was convinced. Very cool.

  4. If you look at the rods directly they are just moving up and down, but if you look at the right edge of the image they are moving all over the place. :-)

  5. It definitely does look like they’re moving to the right, more so when the rods are changing direction at the top of bottom of the screen. I come to your site pretty much everyday. Keep it up!

  6. Gah, that’s wierd. If you look away, and watch the rods out of the corner of your eye, it enhances the effect.

  7. I agree that they look like they are zigzagging its so wierd on the eyes. Great job with the website keep it up

  8. I’m not even sure what you want us to see here, but it hurtds my eyes and i have a headache. So, tell you what. I’ll come back aftr my headache’s all gone,and then i’ll read your intro again.

  9. I also thought they were moving diagonally until I realised the distance between the left side of them and the left end of the square wasn’t changing.

  10. Strangely, I thought thats what was happening on my google homepage – but seems to lose the effect with the block of text next to it :s

  11. I just got it! the 3 rods are moving up and down but because the black tiles move to the right it looks like the rods are moving in a zig-zag pattern! Very neat!

  12. Well if you look a few cm to the lower right it looks like the bars are zig zagging up and down towards the right. So I don’t think your going mad

  13. I normally don’t comment here, even though I do love all the illusions. I would have to say that this one is one of my favorites, it will be very interesting to see what others do with it.

  14. The effect is better while using peripheral(sp?) vision. I wonder if it would be as effective if the scrolling dots in the columns were synchronized of if it’s the fact that there not why this works? I also can’t help but wonder if they were long boxes with two colors opposite sides?

  15. until i read the discription i took it as fact that the rods were zig-zagging. u rnt going mad at all. or maybe i am as well :S

  16. Wow!! That’s good! I wouldn’t have guessed they were only moving up and down if I hadn’t of read the description. Well done.

  17. I see the bars going right too. I’m sorry if my english isn’t good enought, I’m spanish. It’s a courious optical illusion.

  18. This one is cool. I like that it’s so simple. It does look like the rods are moving right, but they’re really just going up and down. I think they’re spinning from left to right, but I wonder if that can change like the spinning girl…

  19. w00t first comment!

    That’s awesome. If you look closely, though, you can see that before the rods move upward again, they move back to the corner. It’s very subtle though, so you wouldn’t know unless you’ve seen this kind of thing before.

  20. I get it. The rods don’t move at all like side to side they olny move up and down…The things moving make it look like the patteren you see….All this from a 12 year old in REACH

  21. At first glance it appears that the rods are travelling to the right but after a closer look you will see that the distance between the rods and the left wall never changes. It is because of the circulating black and white squares that make it appear like it is moving to the right.

  22. yes, they look as though they are moving to the right but they are indeed staying in the same place moving up and down, only.

  23. been checkin this website every day for over a year first time comment nice illusion this is one we havent seen before .. deffo some scope for it to be developed. keep up the good work mate!!!!!!!!

  24. Good one….I put paper across two just to confirm they are only going up and down, but the brain tells me they are travelling across the page…..I like it.

  25. don’t worry, I see it too. It’s because your brains tell you that the moving of the tiles are because they are “rolling” over the grey underground.

  26. 1st comment. i have been a fan of this site for a long time now but this is my first comment. I see the illusion, your not crazy. I always try to figure out the illusion b4 i read the text and i looked at the picture and im thinking to myself, ok 3 bars moving up and down and a lil to the left. good stuff. keep up the good work

  27. Wow, no you’re not going crazy. At first I thought for sure they were zig-zagging; but then I remembered what site they were posted on and watched closer. Excellent illusion!

  28. You’re completely insane. However, the rods do appear to be moving to the right due to the rotating black and white shapes within the rods. The rods as a whole are in fact moving in only on dimension; up and down.

  29. Nope your not going mad, i can see it too, infact if you stare at it long enough they seem to fo the other way too =)

  30. This is the first time I have been to your site and I love it. I actually had to take a pen and hold to my screen to make sure the rods weren’t zigzaging, lol very cool

  31. I was surprised, when I read your description, because that’s when I first realised that the rods aren’t moving in a diagonal.

  32. cool…first comment (YAY!)
    and i c the illusion too
    at first i thought that it was zigzagging and it would go back and forth
    maybe im going crazy too…

  33. i totally thought it was moving to the right, but then read the paragraph, and realized that they were stationary. Great site, great illusion.

  34. You’ve got my support, Vurdlak! I could have sworn the my Vista gadget was experiencing an error when this one popped up!

  35. your site is awesome!!! it seems that they only start to travel to the right when they hit the top or bottom of their vertical travel.

  36. Oh yeah, i see that, ur not going bonkers lol.
    but that is so annoying, while i read it it see it moving zigzagged out of the corner of my eye, but wen i actually look at it, I don’t see it as much.

  37. Cool, they do appear to go forward.

    Always fun to guess what the illusion is before reading the text. This time I was able to guess correctly. Maybe, sometime try posting an illusion without telling people what it is, and let people guess.

  38. No, you aren’t mad. I see it too. The effect increases greatly when I see it out of the corner of my eye. Try it! And… Am I first?

  39. It seems like moving right because the patterns are going right. But really if you look to the left side and look at the left side of the left “pole”, you can see it’s parallel and is going up and down.

  40. Hey, first of all thanks for all these cool illusions. They entertain me on my igoogle home page everyday :-)

    This one is really weird, if I stare straight at it and focus, they only move up and down. The real illusion begins when I focus on a different part of the screen but watch the animation in my perferal vision. When I do that, it looks as if they are moving diagonally up and down to the right. Weird eh?

  41. I almost didn’t click on your link, as I didn’t see any illusion. I saw 3 rods traveling up and down in a zig zag pattern…OOPS!

  42. This is my first comment here. These ‘black and white square’ (or other shaped) illusions are quite grouse (cool). It has been known for some time that these combinations of black and white affect how they are perceived by the brain.

    You may or may not already know that this principle was used by navies in WWI and WWII, painted various warships this way as it was confusing to submariners viewing such a ship through a periscope – the viewer had difficulties determining the direction of travel and distance of the intended target. Rushing the shot probably meant a miss while taking the time to work out the illusion meant that the periscope was visible longer than needed and increased the chance of detection, something that is a main principle of submarine warfare (at least until a torpedo is fired).

    It also affected viewing from a surface vessel as well!

    Thank-you for these, please keep em coming!

  43. Yes, you have gone completely mad! Just kidding. They seem to drifting to the right to me as well. First time commenting for me, longtime fan of your site.

  44. I thought: what’s special about that… they’re just spinning around, going from one side to the other….

    Took a few seconds to realize I was wrong :)

  45. same to me.. the brain has to deal with 2 movements at the same time, trying to combine them into a non existing one !..

    The illusion is even more obvious if you dont look the image directly, but look at the text beside.

  46. hmmm… guess I’m the odd ball out. All I saw was three rods moving up and down with black and white checkboard pattern spinning on the rods. I was wondering what was so special about them.

    But if I look at them out of the corner of my eye I see what you see, so now I understand.

    I always have been the oddball out though… in everything, so it doesn’t surprise me to much.

    Maybe it didn’t work at first because I used to stare at illusions alot when I was little….?

  47. it appears that they are moving to the right, but that i the illusion! really they are just moving up and down. good illusion though! keep it up :)

  48. When i first looked at this I was wondering why they never hit the right side of the square….then i realised….d’oh!

  49. Hi
    First time comment for me to
    Your site is always a good morning start with interesting mind bubbles!

    I guess this one also works whith fooling your brain
    cilinders that rotate on a suface usually are roling… so moving…

    You can help your brain get the real picture by focusing on the left cilinder, that one is close enough to the edge to see there’re not moving right, only up and down

  50. So I see a small jump after the figures went up and back down. Probably my mind triwes to connect the place I should see them and the place they really are…

  51. It seem like there moving in a zig-zag like you described but if you focus carefully you see the rods are just moving up and down

  52. I found it worked more when I wasn’t looking directly at it. If I kept my eyes on your blog next to the illusion – they definately appeared to be bouncing over to the right and then back again.

  53. If looked at directly, doesn’t do much. Look to the side so periphery vision take control and they move a lot more

  54. WOW!

    While I was reading the paragraph, it seems to move right and when I looked at the animation, it started to move right again, and I was thinking, when will they get all the way to the right? Then, I realized the illusion.

  55. …amazing… I thought that it was just rods going from left to right also. Now I see that it is actually just panes of color grouped up and moving simotaneously before going back to the starting point.

    Nice Illusion

  56. this is a really good one. they’re not going to right at all are they? anyway, this is a pretty original one. sometimes u just have illusions that are exactly like ur previous ones. u r still doing great! long time fan as well.

  57. I love this!

    Please keep up the good work, I love seeing all the interesting illusions you find and/or are sent, it’s really a nice little mental break from my work day.


  58. Sometimes I think these illusion are stronger than LSD…
    It is just ultra real.

    man, a trip is 16 hours, this is 60 seconds and you get a brain damage, too!

    Wow, great site with great Grafix

    Fix me now

  59. Please place some patterns on the surround, varying size, orientation, even more moving them with differing directions and speed. This will make a decent study with which you can publish in a major international, peer reviewed journal, before then, you may want to do some literature review whether this is a new illusion or not.

    This effect can be understood in terms of local-global motion paradigm and foveal vs. peripheral motion. In the latter paradigm, I can tell one thing: localization of feature extracted in the periphery is less accurate than it is on fovea.

  60. I think, that our ancestors had a big evolutionary advantage, if their peripheral vision was very sensitive to moving objects, so that they could notice predators earlier than others. The price we have to pay for it (beeing fooled by an optical illusion that is simulating motion) seems not too high, regarding that if they hadn’t developed this sensitivity, we would not be here…

  61. In general, a moving stimulus on stationary background causes urgency for the visual system to repond quickly even if it is presented on fovea, because it introduces a high level of contrast which readily calls immediate attention for further processing. High contrast in brightness, color or other features means it has a high level of energy, variations or uncertainty in the region of stimulus. It could be a predator or a prey. Perhaps, peripheral vision may have been equipped to detect this high spatial or temporal contrast stimulus rather than to provide details. In fact, receptors on the periphery are far larger than those on fovea, not well suited to extracting accurate location information.

  62. Bzzz… I suppose if you move those rollers, and change the direction of the rolling, it’ll be the exact opposite. Illusion, man! Illusion!!!

  63. its looks like there moving right but tehre not. They arent moving at all, the screen is. if you look closely you can see the the paterns are changing. this makes them appear moveing but there not

  64. They look like while they’re moving up and down, they move to the right. But it’s just up and down. Since the black and white squares on the rods moving up and down are moving right, it appears as if the entire thing is moving to the right.

    1. We know its an animated gif but the rods seem to be moving to the right as well as up and down. but they clerly are not.

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