'Intense' optical illusion leaves people divides – so what do YOU think is happening in this picture?

PEOPLE have been left baffled over an optical illusion of grey squares that look like they are moving. 

At first glance, the image – which has a collection of squares around the edge and in the middle of a plain background – looks more like a gif than a still pattern. 

However, this is actually incorrect as the picture isn’t moving at all. 

The optical illusion has been circulating on Reddit, after being shared by user evilgator, and it has now received 25,000 upvotes. 

The caption said: "This is not a gif."

Many people were highly impressed at the illusion, with one writing: "Depending on which eye I use, the inside or the outside wiggles. Wtf?"


This brief explanation may help to unscramble your brain…

  • Optical illusions make a little bit more sense when you learn that our eyes have very little to do with what we see and it is our brains that play the key role in creating images and trying to protect us from the potential threats around us
  • Our brain is constantly trying to make sense of the world at the quickest pace it can despite the world being in 3D and the images on our retinas being in 2D
  • It can be really difficult for your brain to interpret everything at once so it will often take shortcuts and give you a simplified version of what you see so you can have quicker reaction times if the object you're looking at looks dangerous
  • When you look at an object what you're really seeing is the light that bounced off of it and entered your eye, which is converted into electrical impulses that your brain then turns into an image
  • Our brains can warp straight lines if an object in the middle of them looks like it's drawing closer as it wants to emphasize the potential threat
  • Different colours and light and dark can make the same sized objects look different or make patterned images look like they're spinning

Another added: "I don't feel good."

So how does it work?

The illusion is an example of illusory motion which tricks the brain into thinking something's moving.

This occurs thanks to the interacting of the colour contrasts and shape position. 

Has this blown your mind?

We have seen this before in an optical illusion of a 2D orange silhouette.

In other news, this brain frying optical illusion will leave you wondering what you are seeing.

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