How many dots are on the image below? Three? Six? What bloody dots?
There are twelve black dots at the intersections in this image. Your brain won’t let you see them all at once. pic.twitter.com/ig6P980LOT— Will Kerslake (@wkerslake) September 11, 2016
Stop counting this instant because your eyes are lying to you: there are 12 altogether, only you can’t see them all at once because we humans have pretty lame peripheral vision, and as a result your brain has to make a guess about what’s going on between those grey lines.
It’s enough to make our head hurt just by the science of it alone; as your eyes move, so will the number of dots that come in and out of focus.
The latest optical illusion primed to have the internet tearing its collective hair out, this fiendish graphic comes from Japanese psychology professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka, published in a 2000 journal called perception.
Oh and no, it’s not a GIF – we’re not monsters.