People are losing their minds over this optical illusion and it will totally mess with your head too

We all love GIF’s, yes? They can be cute, funny, and often feel like the best way to respond to your BFF when typing out actual words just won’t suffice. And we also love images that totally ~mess~ with us, like that hidden phone image we all lost our minds over earlier this year, right? SO MUCH FUN (she said while tearing her hair out).

So, how would you feel about an image that messes with your head because it looks like a GIF, but isn’t!? Well, we have the answer for you, because here’s what that looks like…

This image, looks like a GIF, but definitely is not one.

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It’s actually just 12 black dots over a series of grid-like lines. Seriously.


Originally posted on Facebook, this mind-boggling image has been shared over 10,000 times, including on Reddit with the simple explanation that “your eyes just can’t see all 12 back dots at the same time.”

But why is that?


As the BBC reports, this image is called Ninio’s Extinction Illusion after the French scientist Jacques Ninio. The reason this visual phenomenon happens is a ~little~ complicated, but basically your eyes aren’t able to handle all the complicated things happening in this image.

The BBC continued to explain (via Ninio’s paper), “When the white disks in a scintillating grid are reduced in size, and outlined in black, they tend to disappear. One sees only a few of them at a time, in clusters which move erratically on the page. Where they are not seen, the grey alleys seem to be continuous, generating grey crossings that are not actually present. Some black sparkling can be seen at those crossings where no disk is seen. The illusion also works in reverse contrast.”

Science, amirite?

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