Imaginary Spiral Optical Illusion

James Thomas Fields has created a very strong optical illusion effect, which gives the illusion of appearing and disappearing spiral lines. Just look at the pattern James originally shared via our FB channel. First time you look at it, there is a big chance you won’t go into details. Now if someone hid the picture from you after a moment and asked from you to describe what you have just seen moments ago, your answer would probably end up something like this – “I think it showed a spiral that narrowed down to a central white spot. At the same time the spiral was covered with some kind of ying-and-yang overlaying pattern.” Even though not far from truth, the real deal is that there were no actual spirals present at all! Now if you look at the picture once again, and try and focus on the seemingly present spiral lines, you’ll soon discover there really aren’t any… Good job James!

19 Replies to “Imaginary Spiral Optical Illusion”

  1. its kinda lame – but i like it
    considering proximity we should be more apt to see the arc leading to the center – but for some reason continuity seems to take over (though its in theory secondary, and even more so when proximity=touching)
    continuity is what makes you “see” the lines that arent there – matching the image to come coherent pattern

    but whats wrong with the arcs – in theory nothing – so why is this happening?

  2. oooooooooh i get it – in addition to continuity and promximity you have closure
    closure is the connection of empty spaces (e.g. connect the dots)
    the white of the “ying yang” pulls you towards the continuity

  3. I think our minds assume there is a line because the so called “yin and yang” circles have “holes” or “spaces” in the outside ring. The reason I am thinking that is because the lines seem to go right through this whitespace on every yin and yang symbol when I view it.

  4. At first this caused me to instictively look away. Very stressy for the eys. Even now I see still some afterimages.

    I saw the lines but I also had the impression, that the inner white circle moved a little bit.

  5. I’m not sure what you mean by no spirals present. I just traced three of the rows laterally and they do in fact spiral right into the center. Every single row (versus colum) of symbols is a spiral.

  6. There may not be any actual spiral lines, but the pattern does spiral into the centre of the picture. So there are spirals present – a lot of them.

  7. This is a nonsense, THERE ARE SPIRALS. This illusion is quite different from those made with circles appearing to be spirals. This pattern is made with size-decreasing bubbles in a way that the bottom side of the bubble match with the top side of the next composing an almost perfect spiral with some white holes inside that obviously our eyes ignore. EXAMPLE:


    you see a line above, but there is no line! amazing??

  8. ^^Froscas bad example.

    OP means there are no spiral lines. Try focusing in on any of the spiral lines that appear and thus they disappear.

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