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Is your brain fooling you? Check out this optical illusion!

By Yannick15 December 2016
Sometimes our brain can fool us. In this blog, we will show you an optical illusion and explain what our brain makes of it.
The illusion: the spinning dancer.  Is the dancer spinning towards the left or the right? And can you make her spin the other way around? Give it a try! Below we will explain how this illusion works.


spinning dancer optical illusion

You might have noticed that the dancer can be spinning towards the left as well as towards the right! But how is this possible? This has a few reasons: 1) there is a lack of clear depth in the picture; 2) as the dancer's arms move from the viewer's left to right, it is possible to view her arms passing between her body and the viewer (in the foreground of the picture, which means she would be spinning counterclockwise on her right foot), but it is also possible to view her arms as passing behind her body (in the background of the picture, which means she is spinning clockwise on her left foot); 3) the foot on which she spins can be seen as the left- but also as the right foot. It's easier to determine her spinning direction by determining if she is spinning on her left- or on her right foot:


spinning dancer optical illusion explanation

There is a big chance you will see her spinning in both directions if you know the cues! Some people claimed that the spinning dancer was a personality test: the brain hemisphere that is most dominant makes the dancer spin in a certain direction. But this turned out to be false (but this test does show which brain hemisphere is the most dominant in you!). What they did find was that 2/3th of the people who filled out a questionnaire saw the dancer spinning clockwise. Now you know the cues try to make her spin clockwise and counterclockwise!

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