Another optical illusion is here to fry your brain

We’ve seen all kinds of optical illusions here at Creative Bloq, but our favorite genre has to be things that seem to move but don’t move even though they really do seem to move. Falling squarely (or rather circularly) into this category is this pair of circles that we still fail to understand.

Courtesy of our favorite Twitter-based optical illusion artist Jagarikin, this latest illusion features two rotating circles. Add a pair of directional arrows and the circles appear to slide in that direction. Except that they are not. (Love taking your breath away? Check out our favorite optical illusions.)

Optical illusion of rotating circles

Don’t try to tell us these circles don’t move (Image credit: jagarikin on Twitter)

Indeed, place a pair of arrows inward inside the circles, and they appear to move towards each other. The top and bottom make them feel like they’re sliding, yes, up and down. And they can even appear to stretch or shrink, with a set of four arrows pointing towards or away from each other. Basically whatever these arrows do, the circles seem to follow.

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“Perhaps my favorite optical illusion. The circles don’t change position or size. And yet …”, a Twitter user comments, while another adds: “I am convinced that the circles are really moving and to deny it is sheer madness.” Speaking perhaps for all of us, another user exclaims, “STOOOOOP, I FEEL 100% MANIPULATED AND I HATE IT.

But while the circles really look like they’re sliding, many users have added grids to prove they’re not. As soon as reference points are added, these arrows lose all their sinister and magical power – it is clear that the circles are stationary.

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So how does it work? According to ScienceAlert, this illusion is a variation of the “Phi phenomenon”, which “transforms rapid sequences of color or light changes into something deeper, like a general feeling that something has changed position.” And in this case, it’s not really the arrows leading. There are actually “changing contrasts in the borders around the colors” of the circles which create the illusion of the circles moving in one direction.

This is by no means the first mind-boggling / mind-blowing / dizzying illusion we’ve seen of Jagarikin. From drooping figures (which don’t actually fall) to spinning cubes (which don’t actually rotate), the artist is responsible for some of the best illusions we’ve seen in recent years. (If you’re wondering which is worse, check out these McDonald’s burgers at your own risk.)

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