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You think it's moving but it's not.
July 24, 2003 12:17 PM   Subscribe

You think it's moving but it's not.
posted by xmutex (85 comments total)

 
trippy!
posted by dabitch at 12:22 PM on July 24, 2003


[commence gibbering]
posted by blueshammer at 12:24 PM on July 24, 2003


"Hello, Dell customer support, how may I help you?"
"How does my computer know which one I'm looking at so as to make it stop turning?"
"WHY IS EVERYBODY ASKING THAT TODAY?!"
posted by Hildago at 12:28 PM on July 24, 2003


You think it's moving but it's not.

yes it is.
posted by quonsar at 12:31 PM on July 24, 2003


Whoa. Whooooaaaaa. Very cool. And I'm a little freaked out now.
posted by Salmonberry at 12:33 PM on July 24, 2003


yes it is.

liar.
posted by xmutex at 12:39 PM on July 24, 2003


Maybe there's nanotech in my monitor now, too.
posted by tommasz at 12:40 PM on July 24, 2003


I thought it was there, but it's not.
posted by soyjoy at 12:43 PM on July 24, 2003


Ow, my brain!
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:44 PM on July 24, 2003


All right. How does it work? My first guessing is that it has to do with the normal involuntary movements of the eye, but maybe it's a brain thing. Does anyone know?
posted by Songdog at 12:45 PM on July 24, 2003


Must kill the Queen!
posted by Witty at 12:49 PM on July 24, 2003


i think it has something to do with pikes..
posted by zeoslap at 12:52 PM on July 24, 2003


That's awesome
posted by pjgulliver at 12:52 PM on July 24, 2003


I would guess its to do with the way the peripheral of your eye handles contrasting colour, but I have no idea. Whatever, its disgustingly cool.
posted by Orange Goblin at 12:52 PM on July 24, 2003


The Queen is Dead
posted by i_cola at 12:54 PM on July 24, 2003


Still the best illusion ever.

In fact even if I have the image in Photoshop where I can verify the colors are the same, I still can't convince my brain it's true.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:55 PM on July 24, 2003


I searched for "raar effect," but I think the Dutch word raar means "strange."
posted by letitrain at 12:56 PM on July 24, 2003


**sound of bongwater bubbling**

I saw God, dude...
posted by jonmc at 12:57 PM on July 24, 2003


letitrain: Yeah, it does.

Also available in green by the way (don't let the url fool you, SFW)
posted by fvw at 12:59 PM on July 24, 2003


hahaha, i love that xmutex thinks those aren't moving.
posted by quonsar at 1:05 PM on July 24, 2003


Gaaaaaah. y6y6y6's link freaks me out.

You think it's moving but it's not.

I think this sentence is going to be twisted and adapted over and over to make a new MetaFilter catchphrase.
posted by Tin Man at 1:05 PM on July 24, 2003


y6^3, that is truly freaky. I have to go lay down now.
posted by pizzasub at 1:06 PM on July 24, 2003


y6 - I just don't buy that one. If they're the same color, then why aren't the A & B the same color font? Am I being totally dense?
posted by widdershins at 1:07 PM on July 24, 2003


You think it's moving but it's not.
I think this sentence is going to be twisted and adapted over and over to make a new MetaFilter catchphrase.


Metafilter: You think it's freaky but it's not.
posted by pizzasub at 1:09 PM on July 24, 2003


Ow. That is freaky... I found a way to make them stop (appearing to be) spinning, though. Defocus your eyes a bit and they'll just be greenish yellowish blobs that are safe to look at. Of course, focus on the screen again, and they'll start writhing around like before.
posted by wanderingmind at 1:11 PM on July 24, 2003


Cool... it seems to be a peripheral vision illusion, which is why it stops moving when you look at it directly. Also, the "spirals" are actually concentric circles.

On preview... just googled illusion and "peripheral vision" and came up with this page. "Allergen" matches this one very well, and that's about the least freaky illusion on the page.
posted by ptermit at 1:13 PM on July 24, 2003


I just don't buy that one

buy it or not, when loaded into PSP and eyedroppered, the squares are the same color. boggling.
posted by quonsar at 1:17 PM on July 24, 2003


Discs to the left of my center of vision turn counter-clockwise, discs to the right turn clockwise.
posted by tomharpel at 1:17 PM on July 24, 2003


Do you hear helicopters?
posted by squirrel at 1:21 PM on July 24, 2003


OK, I retract - when you look at the partially shaded squares you can see that they are in fact the same color.

I'll be damned.

on preview: thx, quonsar...
posted by widdershins at 1:22 PM on July 24, 2003


Widdershins, it's true. Your brain just expects all the light squares to be equal, and tries to compensate for the shadow. You can watch an animated version here.

What's really cool is to open the jpg in photoshop, take a little rectangle from A, copy it, and slide it across the board to B. You'll swear it changes color as it goes. You can also drag it around on the big green thing for the same effect. If you do it just right, you can make it look half light, half dark all at once. Who needs drugs when you've got a brain?
posted by donnagirl at 1:22 PM on July 24, 2003


y6 - I just don't buy that one. If they're the same color, then why aren't the A & B the same color font? Am I being totally dense?

widdershins: the squares are the same shade of gray. But the A is lighter than gray and the B is darker than gray. In fact, that probably helps create the illusion.
posted by Tin Man at 1:23 PM on July 24, 2003


widdershins - In regards to ybybyb's link: try what I did the first time I saw it. Print out the picture. At this point the squares look like 2 different colors. Then cut out squares A & B from the sheet of paper. As the context changes, the 2 squares will suddenly look the same. Really spooky. (Some other folks reported doing the same thing on the screen using Photoshop.)
posted by tdismukes at 1:24 PM on July 24, 2003


It is a peripheral vision illusion. keep your eyes focused on the white space between them for a few seconds -- steady, now -- and they all stop moving. Twitch again and they move.
posted by me3dia at 1:26 PM on July 24, 2003


Songdog, it's a brain thing. In this image for example, the circles appear to be growing because the brain is trained to treat the yellow color as an afterimage of blue, so it looks like the circles are moving away from the yellow direction. See also this one.

It's all about afterimages, or the brain's belief that it's seeing an afterimage.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:27 PM on July 24, 2003


In the words of Neo -

"Whoa"
posted by da5id at 1:29 PM on July 24, 2003


y6 - I just don't buy that one. If they're the same color, then why aren't the A & B the same color font? Am I being totally dense?

Numbers don't lie, here are the hex values:

'A' square: #6B6B6B; 'A' Text: #ADADAD
'B' square: #6B6B6B; 'B' Text: #313131

The different coloured text provides for a smoother illusion, but it still works fine if you just cut-and-paste the 'A' block over the 'B', like so.
posted by mazola at 1:29 PM on July 24, 2003


I think I've seen this kind of illusion before, but only as one set of spirals. The illusion was generated when you moved your focus to the right and left. (I don't remember the explanation for it.) What makes this one so creepy-crawly is that there are enough of these spirals set along the page that your vision shifts from one to the other as you (involuntarily) scan it. So it's not the fact that some spirals are in your peripheral vision that causes it - it's the motion.

I just don't buy that one. If they're the same color, then why aren't the A & B the same color font? Am I being totally dense?

The shadow makes the colors darker but not lighter - it doesn't reverse anything. It's a whole local-color-vs.-light-source thing. The shadow could easily be darker or lighter, and you'll still perceive the checkerboard as a checkerboard. You just won't get the neat coincidence of the white square in the shadow being the exact value the black square in the light is.
posted by furiousthought at 1:29 PM on July 24, 2003


Here's a better example. The motion always appears to be occurring such that the yellow is on the trailing side.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:31 PM on July 24, 2003


Wow. I am ... flattered that so many of you took the time to explain it to me. You could have been trying to prove me wrong, of course, but in my world you were all gently, sweetly, lovingly educating.

*birds chirping, sun glowing, hammock swinging, tall glass of cold homemade lemonade in hand, bare foot dangling over side and playing w/dandelion*

Aaah. It's nice here.
posted by widdershins at 1:46 PM on July 24, 2003


Also available in green by the way (don't let the url fool you, SFW)

Thanks for posting that, fvw. I still can't get into the original link, but had no prob with that one (perhaps my proxy server at work has gotten so jaded that it wants to see "porn" in the URL before letting something through).

And speaking of jaded, mazola, I thought I was over the whole checkerboard illusion, but seeing it that way maded me say "whoa!" all over again.

Excellent stuff, all round.
posted by soyjoy at 1:46 PM on July 24, 2003


dude I saw it move! thats so effed up.

mother effers.
posted by mcsweetie at 1:57 PM on July 24, 2003


for all the y6 disbelivers go here and then select the 'Kofka Ring'.

It's an interactive demonstration of the same thing
posted by carfilhiot at 1:58 PM on July 24, 2003


That green ones makes grrrreat desktop wallpaper. (Except of course for the nosebleed and convulsions every time you switch your monitor on).
posted by Raindog at 2:07 PM on July 24, 2003


It has to do with how your eyes/brains perceive color, in particular these colors. Though it will work with other colors of the appropriate shades/hues.

For instance, if I put a piece of purple see-through plastic in front of it, they stop spinning. My assumpion would be that blue and red would work too."
posted by answergrape at 2:12 PM on July 24, 2003


make it stop MAKE IT STOP.


*eyeballs throbbing*
posted by gottabefunky at 2:13 PM on July 24, 2003


Here it is, to prove to one and all, via waxy:


posted by mathowie at 2:21 PM on July 24, 2003


bah! a fiendish al qaeda plot.
posted by quonsar at 2:25 PM on July 24, 2003


Obviously some kind of photoshop / printed paper virus thing. Cool.
posted by Raindog at 2:31 PM on July 24, 2003


From George_Spiggott's link: Caution: Please escape from this page before you feel sick.

By the time the warning loaded, I was already queasy. Holy moly. Time to step away from the computer and find a motion-sickness pill.

Thanks to xmutex for the link and everyone else for the explanations.
posted by swerve at 2:35 PM on July 24, 2003


Also not moving.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:00 PM on July 24, 2003


Man, there should be a "may make your head explode" warning on this thread!

My head hurts....
posted by mrmanley at 3:16 PM on July 24, 2003


I think I'm moving but I'm not.
posted by moonbird at 3:16 PM on July 24, 2003


yes you are.
posted by quonsar at 3:35 PM on July 24, 2003


Do I need to be looking at the blue/yellow illusions in a particular way? I don't seem to be picking up on the illusion. Not really seeing anything that seems to be moving. Though the repititious nature of those do provide some interesting effects( different diamond patterns at different layers become visible when focusing on certain areas). What's wrong with me?
posted by mnology at 3:36 PM on July 24, 2003


never, ever ask that question here!
posted by quonsar at 3:37 PM on July 24, 2003


What if everything's moving but the things that are supposed to be moving which don't appear to be moving unless I'm not looking at the things that are moving but aren't supposed to be moving.

Whoa. I think I moving back and forth ... through time.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:41 PM on July 24, 2003


What's wrong with me?

You my friend, are what we call a Cyclops.
posted by anathema at 3:43 PM on July 24, 2003


I've been exposed!
posted by mnology at 3:45 PM on July 24, 2003


Matt Howie: Thanks for posting that animated checker illusion thing, but I STILL can't get my brain to accept it unless I cover up the green checker on the right with my hand - then it works. My brain, that is.
posted by trigfunctions at 3:49 PM on July 24, 2003


Love this, you stopped the front page from moving for close to five hours now.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:03 PM on July 24, 2003


should be close to 4 hours, the checker illusion boggled my timing
posted by thomcatspike at 4:05 PM on July 24, 2003


You think it's moving, but it's not.


posted by George_Spiggott at 4:14 PM on July 24, 2003


HAHA, I haven't laughed like that in a good while George Spiggott!!!!!
posted by jmd82 at 4:16 PM on July 24, 2003


ladies and gents, we have a winner.
posted by quonsar at 4:20 PM on July 24, 2003


Do I need to be looking at the blue/yellow illusions in a particular way? I don't seem to be picking up on the illusion. Not really seeing anything that seems to be moving
I don't see them moving either, although I see the first one well enough to make me see after-images for several seconds after looking away.
posted by dg at 4:29 PM on July 24, 2003


Animated jpeg. At last we get to see an implementation.
posted by NewBornHippy at 5:03 PM on July 24, 2003


This one has always messed with my head. You're simply seeing something that isn't there.
posted by Jimbob at 5:05 PM on July 24, 2003


I've never thrown up more in my life.
posted by pemulis at 5:48 PM on July 24, 2003


Truly excellent. I wonder how somebody came up with that...
I notice that (a) the wheels stop moving if I hold my eyes quite steadily on one for a few seconds, and (b) they move less and stop faster with only one eye open.
posted by uosuaq at 6:02 PM on July 24, 2003


Am I the only one who wishes that Matt would go in and edit a comma between "moving" and "but"?

Please?

All right, I'll go back to that cool Mark Twain thread where nothing's happening.

(Let the insert / moving / butt comments commence.)
posted by interrobang at 6:32 PM on July 24, 2003






woah...
posted by delmoi at 7:24 PM on July 24, 2003


**sound of bongwater bubbling**

I saw God, dude...


HAHAHAHAHA

Very good post, and an excellent thread all around.
Thanks for the post, and the follow on comments.
Whacky stuff for sure. I still have trouble with the checker board one, though Matthowies post gives a good visual.

All in all, good stuff.
Tomorrow is Friday. Enjoy it.
posted by a3matrix at 7:40 PM on July 24, 2003


And just for reference purposes, it appears that the back cover image is from Trick Eyes II.
posted by gluechunk at 9:37 PM on July 24, 2003


I had to try for a few minutes to see any motion, and then it was only when I shifted my focus around the image pretty erratically.
posted by Nothing at 11:17 PM on July 24, 2003


*sets as wallpaper!
posted by cell at 12:26 AM on July 25, 2003


Caution: Please escape from this page before you feel sick.

Still waiting ...
posted by walrus at 2:29 AM on July 25, 2003


All the wiggly lines and spinning circles are fun, but this one really freaked me out!



Having something inside your head is invasive and nasty... don't do it folks!
posted by DrDoberman at 4:31 AM on July 25, 2003


IT'S ALIVE!
posted by Grand Wahzoo at 5:10 AM on July 25, 2003


You think it's moving but it's not.
posted by soyjoy at 7:24 AM on July 25, 2003


My eyes! The googles do nothing!
posted by tr33hggr at 7:56 AM on July 25, 2003


try altavista then...
bah.
posted by imaswinger at 8:03 PM on July 25, 2003


It pleases me that posts like these get huge responses on MeFi. ...This place hasn't become completely stodgy after all!
posted by Down10 at 8:54 PM on July 25, 2003


You think it's moving and it is. via fark
posted by donth at 1:05 AM on July 29, 2003


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