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How Many Spots Can You See In This Picture?

The mind-boggling optical illusion that’s taking the internet by storm!

By Alexia Dellner, 12 September 2016
How Many Spots Can You See In This Picture?

Are you ready to be amazed? There’s a new optical illusion making the rounds on the internet and it may be one of the most perplexing ones yet! Called Ninio’s Extinction, the visual trick asks people to see how many dots they can see in the image. 

You’ll probably see at least one, maybe two or three dots, but your brain simply won’t let you see the truth - that there are actually 12 dots in the picture!

The optical illusion sounds simple enough but if you take a look at the image below of intersecting grey lines against the white background, you’ll be surprised to find that your brain won’t let you see how many dots there actually are!

Psychology Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka posted the image on Facebook on Sunday and has already gotten over 10,000 shares. Then game developer Will Kerslake posted the optical illusion on Twitter, where it quickly racked up thousands of retweets.

Intrigued about the optical illusion that is going viral? Take a look at the image and see what all the fuss is about! The picture is posted below - how many dots do you see? 

You’ll probably see at least one, maybe two or three dots, but your brain simply won’t let you see the truth - that there are actually 12 dots in the picture! 

The image features 12 black dots, placed where the lines intersect across the grid. Although the dots can all be seen individually, it’s practically impossible to see all 12 at the same time. In fact, the dots that you CAN see may even appear to jump around!

The reason we can’t see all 12 dots at the same time apparently has to do with our weak peripheral vision. In other words, while we can see what is right in front of us, it’s much more difficult to figure out what’s happening on the edges of our vision. That’s when our brains try to guess what’s going on, and fill it the blanks. In the case of the above image, we mostly see a white and grey grid so that’s what our brains then fill in at the periphery. Makes sense (sort of...)! Whatever the explanation, it's pretty mind-boggling stuff!