Why this rolling circle of dots is more than it seems


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A video of eight dots rolling along a circle is more than first meets the eye.

YouTube user brusspup, who creates videos of optical illusions, uploaded the video Monday. It now has more than 2 million views.

As the video demonstrates, each dot isn’t actually rolling along the circle — they’re moving along straight lines. You can recognize this without the help of the lines by focusing on one dot at a time. If you look at all of the dots at once, however, your brain just recognizes a rolling ring of dots.

Beginning at 0:43, one dot is added at a time. When the fourth dot appears, you’ll notice they form a rotating square.

Brusspup writes, “This is just another example of looking deeper into something so simple and discovering a hidden pattern.”


Slate’s Phil Plait also notes the dots move at varying velocities. This…

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