An optical illusion is a mistake in the visual perception of the observed phenomena. In other words, it is a deception on your brain and your visual senses, and this is why it is sometimes also called a visual illusion.

Here are some of the most interesting optical illusions, including the spinning girl illusion:

1. The spinning girl

The spinning girl illusion was created by web designer Nobuyuki Kayahara and the main question to be answered is “In which direction is the girl spinning?” Take a good look and think about whether she is spinning clockwise or counterclockwise?

spinning girl illusion
Nobuyuki Kayahara, CC BY-SA 3.0

There has been a claim that the direction of the girl’s rotation might indicate which of your brain’s hemispheres is being active at the moment.

According to this claim, if the girl in the picture is rotating clockwise, then your left hemisphere is more active at the moment (your left brain is responsible for logic, analysis, and rational thought). But if she is rotating counter-clockwise, then your right hemisphere is said to be more active (your right brain governs emotions and intuition).

This would sound quite probable when you see the spinning girl illusion, but the truth is that the direction of her rotation has nothing to do with the function of your brain’s hemispheres.

The correct answer is: she is spinning in both directions. By the effort of thought, you can change the direction of her spinning to the opposite. If you find it difficult, then you can use this satellite image below:

spinning girl illusion

Look at the right side of the picture and then to the main illusion, and she will spin clockwise; look at the left side and she will spin counterclockwise. The lines on the girl’s hands and legs help your brain determine the direction of her rotation, and you begin to see the direction pointed in the picture. It looks like magic, doesn’t it?

2. The grey square

Look at square A and square B. Which color are they?

Grey square optical illusion

I bet you said that square B is white and square A is grey. Am I right?

Guess what? They are both grey! Don’t believe me? See for yourself in the animation below:

Optical illusion grey squares

3. Checkerboard

Optical illusion checkerboard

Are lines and edges strictly horizontal/vertical and parallel/perpendicular to each other?

Yes, they are, even though it doesn’t seem so! You can use any kind of tool to check it for yourself.

4. Cafe wall illusion

Café Wall Illusion

This is very similar to the previous illusion. Are the horizontal lines parallel to each other?

Yes, they are despite the fact that they look distorted.

5. Bergen’s illusion

Bergen's illusion

What do you see in this picture?

Maybe you can see white dots appearing and fading away. Me too! But the truth is that in the picture, there are only black lines and no dots at all!

6. Motion illusion

motion illusion
Fiestoforo, CC BY 3.0

I bet you think that it’s just another .gif image that contains motion, just like a couple of those above.

No, it’s not! The picture is totally static, and the motion you can see is nothing but an illusion!

7. Real magic

optical illusion

Now, this one is a bit creepy and I should warn you not to stare at it if you are too tired or sleepy right now. Please also avoid staring at this image for more than 10-15 seconds.

If you are fine though, focus your attention at the center of the image for about 10 seconds and then look around you! You will see the space around you distort as if you were in a sci-fi movie or a psychedelic trip!

I hope you liked this small compilation of optical illusions. Images such as the spinning girl illusion are a clear demonstration of the complexity of the human brain and our visual perception. Who knows, maybe the world we see with our eyes is an illusion too…

Do not hesitate to share your impressions about the optical illusions you have seen!

Anna LeMind, B.A.

Copyright © 2012-2021 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Gyalia Hliou

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing for your rss feed and I’m hoping you write again soon!

  2. Avatar
    steve

    Money is a illusion you know you got paid but it’s just not there :} . Thank you for optical illusions page it was a good exercise for the mind and it was a real eye opener . steve

  3. Avatar
    daniel55645

    the dancer one is crazy. i’ve never been able to see it goes counter clockwise until this. then with your picture aid i could make it swap back and forth at will and it was crazy. I feel like a little kid with my amount of excitement over that

  4. Avatar
    lol9

    awesome illiushos thank or letting ,y little friend who I call my bro because he is nice.know how illushons work

  5. Avatar
    aman

    Nice collection.But the dancing girl is best. I saw it rotating in both direction, but switching from one direction to other seemed hard

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