Circling Flower Optical Illusion


Phenomenal optical illusion was just sent in by Melanie. Even though she can’t be sure about the author and its origin, Melanie noticed how the hole animated #gif seems to rotate (when observed as a whole), which is just the opposite from when you observe each and every individual dot by itself. Crazy, isn’t it? Update – source: Bees&Bombs

  • mrboma

    This is a great example of how a wave propagates through particles (or a sports stadium, for that matter). The individual particles move in their own pattern in a local area, but taken together, the wave moves along through and past that local spot.

    • palanced

      Yes, I thought of a hay field in the wind as an example.

  • Chris

    That is a good one

  • sad-hero

    wow .. thats crazy .. I love it

  • Rana


  • nelson

    Looks really great using peripheral vision.

  • Michael Affronte


  • It’s the same thing as wave hand in standium

  • Scott

    I’ll bet this animation is a good analogy as to how ocean and lake waves move across the water’s surface, even though any given bit of water hardly moves overall from its place in the water.

    Cool GIF. Pretty colors, too.

  • Dave
    • Vurdlak

      Thanks Dave, we weren’t aware of the author until now. Fixed

  • Nico

    The whole image *actually* rotates, in a sense.
    In my opinion it’s not a real illusion.

    It’s like waving a rope up and down from one end when someone holds the other end.
    Every point in the rope only goes up and down, but the “wave” moves along the rope.
    Here the wave is circling around, even though no dot is. They are just out-of-phase in a sinusoidal way.

  • I think, it is the same principle as for the Lissajous curves. See:

  • The amazing is the source, you should really give them some credit.

  • Someone

    But it’s just like a Mexican wave!
    Seriously, it does.

  • Sasa

    i think the secret is the 16th dot when drowing 3 petal

  • Jackson

    The amount of time that went into just the timing on each dot must be intoxicating. That or the artist was lol.

  • Actually this is an illustration of the “phi phenomenon” (see Wikipedia).
    And it strangely looks likes a simple version of one of my works, in which I modify global rotating pattern by only changing the ball’s starting times.
    Check it out at

    • Jackson

      Sinusman, it says your video is private and cannot be accessed.

  • Pikachu .-.

    U stare at a dot then it switches direction…. COOL

  • Nils
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